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I recently bought myself an old IBM x3800. After the 65kg has been moved into my apartment and Oneiric has been installed on it, I tried to have a look at how fast I could get with my hardware. So I cleaned my ccache (this is the "without cheating" from the title) and started a build from my notebook with distccd running on the other machines.
So all in all I had:
  • one Lenovo W520 notebook (4 core i7-2720QM with 16GB RAM)
  • one Sun Ultra 24 workstation (4 core Q9650 with 8GB RAM)
  • one IBM x3800 (8 core Xeon MP 3.16Mhz with 8GB RAM)
and the development build1) chugged in after 32 Minutes. Rebuilding from ccache took ~8 minutes on that machine, so "pure compile time" was ~25 Minutes. Of course, starting the build on one of the other machines would likely have been a bit faster still as:
  • the Sun Ultra is about twice as fast alone as the notebook alone (full build in <1 hour)
  • the notebook did not run on a software RAID-0 (like the others would)
  • the notebook did not mount the build platform with noatime, which would be good for a few additional minutes of saved time
So: When doing a lot of work on Libreoffice, RAID-0 and noatime (together with distcc and ccache) are to be considered. However, If you are new the code, you probably only want to care about:
  • ccache
  • --disable-mozilla
  • --disable-binfilter
all the other stuff is only getting interesting once you are doing very regular work on Libreoffice. And an since it is getting winter again on the northern hemisphere: An IBM x3800 is a nice way to heat your apartment, if it was not for the noise and the electricity bills.

1) 2 jobs per core and:
  ./autogen.sh \
  --disable-mozilla --disable-binfilter
--disable-zenity \
  --with-junit=${HOME}/.jenkins/junit-4.9b2.jar --with-external-tar=`readlink -f ${WORKSPACE}/../../tarfiles/workspace` \
  --without-help --without-myspell-dicts \
  --with-system-libs \
  --without-system-libvisio --without-system-libcmis --without-system-jars --without-system-graphite --without-system-lpsolve --without-system-libexttextcat --without-system-poppler --enable-librsvg=no \
  --with-num-cpus=35 --with-max-jobs=35


Bjoern Michaelsen

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