Slackware ARM announces EOL for 14.1 and -current

Some unfortunate but understandable news emerged on the Slackware ARM website today as ARM maintainer Stuart Winter released the following announcement:

Slackware ARM 14.1 will become End of Life on 1st September 2016 and development of ARM -current will cease upon the release of Slackware 14.2.

I’m just tired of continually thinking for my full time job, then working on the ARM port in what little time I have available. I don’t have the time or mental space to continue making the port represent the hallmarks of Slackware…

Please read the full announcement posted on arm.slackware.com

From what I gather, the upcoming Slackware ARM 14.2 release will continue to receive security updates, but future development on Slackware ARM will cease. I believe its user base will agree that the Slackware ARM port has been a great addition to the Slackware family and has adhered to the quality associated with the Slackware brand. I would like to express my sincere thanks and respect to @drmozes for all his work and effort on the Slackware ARM port, I have enjoyed it immensely.

Slackware Linux
Give me slack or give me death.

Not that it matter much in this context, but my self hosting project that got started with running WordPress on a RPi2 and later on a RPi3 will also come to an end. I’ve considered moving it to another distribution but it will never be as much fun as running Slackware ARM -current.

This website is now hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3

This WordPress blog is now hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3 after a year of running on a Raspberry Pi 2. Unlike with the RPi2, I’ve not done any overclocking on this device. I’m hoping that decision will decrease the number of file system related issues and obscure kernel oopses I’ve experienced lately, but I guess time will tell.

Slackware ARM on RPi3
Slackware 14.2 on a RPi3

The RPi3 is still running Slackware ARM 14.2 and the Linux kernel is at version 4.4.7 at time of writing.

My motivation for doing the upgrade was caused by my earlier comparison of the two Raspberry Pi devices on Slackware ARM: Raspberry Pi 2 VS Raspberry Pi 3 on Slackware ARM

I hope you enjoy faster handshakes and load times on this brand new power monster :]

Raspberry Pi 2 VS Raspberry Pi 3 on Slackware ARM

Let’s get ready to rumble: a battle of two Slackware ARM powered webservers.

Hosting your WordPress installation on a RPi2 can be a challenge on multiple levels. Apart from stability issues, my biggest concern is always subpar PHP performance and additional overhead with TLS connections. To determine the potential gain of upgrading my hosting platform to a RPi3, I’ve done a few tests with a MicroSD card I recently retired due to data corruption.

I’ve focused on tasks relating to performance with PHP, MySQL and OpenSSL. When running WordPress, those services are my main bottlenecks performance wise. I’ve not used any third party benchmark tools.

All tests were done in an isolated local environment .

LAMP setup:

Slackware 14.2 (current)
Linux 4.1.18-v7+
Apache/2.4.18
PHP 5.6.19
MariaDB 10.0.24
OpenSSL 1.0.2g

The card in question is a MicroSDHC Ultra UHS-I 32GB. One advice in that regard, pick something else. For the record, I’m not doing any overclocking on either device during the tests.

PHP performance:

To keep it simple but relevant, I’m letting my caching engine calculate and display the time spent to create cached versions of dynamic pages. Printed below are the values generated per device for the url: https://blog.paranoidpenguin.net/tag/office-365/

# RPI2
/** Dynamic page generated in 2.423 seconds. */

# RPI3
/** Dynamic page generated in 1.395 seconds. */

On average (after 15 pages) PHP execution was about a second faster with the RPi3 introducing additional gain on “heavier” pages.
On average, I’m writing this down a 45% decrease in execution time for PHP scripts. A result I’m rather excited about.

MySQL performance:

I’m just relaying on the BENCHMARK() function with this test. I don’t really feel like this is much of a bottleneck with my current setup that is heavily relying on serving static pages.

# RPI2
SELECT BENCHMARK(1000000,ENCODE('praise','bob'));
+-------------------------------------------+
| BENCHMARK(1000000,ENCODE('praise','bob')) |
+-------------------------------------------+
|                                         0 |
+-------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (4.50 sec)

# RPi3
SELECT BENCHMARK(1000000,ENCODE('praise','bob'));
+-------------------------------------------+
| BENCHMARK(1000000,ENCODE('praise','bob')) |
+-------------------------------------------+
|                                         0 |
+-------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (2.98 sec)

On average I’m going with a 35% decrease in query execution times.

OpenSSL performance:

# RPi2
$ openssl speed rsa2048 rsa4096

                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa 2048 bits 0.049801s 0.001378s     20.1    725.5
rsa 4096 bits 0.354483s 0.005280s      2.8    189.4

# RPi3
$ openssl speed rsa2048 rsa4096

                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa 2048 bits 0.025126s 0.000673s     39.8   1485.4
rsa 4096 bits 0.172203s 0.002566s      5.8    389.7

Based on this test, the RPi3 offers a 100% increase for both rsa2048 and rsa4096. Still not awesome numbers in the grand scheme of things but definitely a clear improvement over the RPi2.