Improving build performance (on slow storage)

Michael Tremer michael.tremer at ipfire.org
Thu Jun 13 16:17:06 BST 2019


Hello,

I just wanted to post you an update about the build system which we have recently merged.

The whole build process is primarily CPU bound and secondarily IO bound. Some builders have by definition slow storage (the ARM SBCs for example), but also for other reason it does not make sense to run the build on persistent storage. We can keep it in RAM instead which makes accessing files a lot faster and saves write cycles on the media.

Therefore, the make.sh build script is mounting /usr/src in the build environment as a ramdisk. All source will be extracted there and the build will be performed. After the build is done, the whole ramdisk will be destroyed again.

This feature is automatically enabled on all build systems which have 4GB of RAM or more. You can manually disable it with the ENABLE_RAMDISK=off switch in .config.

I hope this brief email makes sense. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Best,
-Michael


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