What differentiates Clear Linux with other GNU/Linux distributions?

I made a post over regarding lag issues with other distributions ONLY when using web browsers (or anything that is web browser based), however with Clear Linux it seems to be all fine. I have an integrated Intel HD 620 graphics card.

Using an Arch-based distro, after installing linux-clear kernel it does perform better but still has issues. I then installed clr-power-tweaks and I ran it but it does not seem to have made a difference. What does Clear Linux do to ensure proper performance with web browsers for an Intel based hardware?

One difference is packages are compiled using latest GCC that has compiler optimisations.

Firefox nor chromium are compiled by the Clear Linux team as I was told.

But Firefox is just one exception. When most packages are compiled by latest GCC, you should see some visible performance gains.

Yes but even with Firefox, it still performs better on Clear Linux than with any other distro which I don’t quite get why, Clear Linux has something preinstalled or something that allows these browsers to perform fine, and I can’t quite figureout what it is, do you know?

As I explained, other packages are optimised. So Firefox would behave faster.

Computers are not just running one task. It’s constantly switching between different process and due to performance improvement on other programs, it means your hardware has more spare capacity to deal with Firefox

Oh I see, sorry I thought it was the other packages that are not installed were optimised.

I see mate, but what I don’t understand is why is it that everything else (even graphics card benchmark tests) run better on Linux compared to Windows, but when it comes to web browsers it is the exact opposite? Like why are the web browsers (both Firefox and Chromium) are the only things that are laggy on Linux if you happen to know?

Also what packages are installed on Clear Linux that gives browsers the advantage of performance? Can I have a list of all those packages to see if I can install it on my system?

So before I installed this distro I’ve done some research online. Clear Linux has open sourced all kernel related patches and someone had a Ubuntu with a kernel built with those patches. He/She discovered the same problem as you have, that why system in GENERAL runs faster.

This is a very interesting and a serious research topic. And I did at first suspect that the team is doing some Intel-specific optimisation due to its affiliation with Intel. But interestingly some benchmarks shows greater improvement on AMD systems.

So to this day I still cannot well explain why it’s fast, after taken into account of the kernel patches. But I just happily accept it.


Yes I heard it is supposed to be better even on AMD hardware as well.

But still I really don’t get why the browsers are so laggy on any other distro but on those distros the GPU benchmark tests that I did did better on Linux than on Windows.

Did this user have some laggy issues with web browsers?

I don’t get it either, I hope somebody on this forum can tell me what packages I need to install on my Arch-based distro so that I can get it to be as optimised as Clear Linux for web browsers.

@puneetse I know you’re working on some performance documentation - will you be touching on this topic?

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Sort of. The specific ask here is pretty broad without data and we can’t really speak for what is happening on a computer running another OS. As @doct0rHu touched on, the performance in Clear Linux is a total result - not just one thing - of the design decisions and optimizations down to the tools that are used to build everything. So while the documentation I’m drafting up will cover all of the techniques that are used, it is not going to have information on a “magic switch” that an be flipped to achieve the same level of performance on another OS.


Serious answer: You’d need to install ClearLinux.

More complete answer: Browsers are very complex things. They are very resource intensive and use large amounts of memory, storage, networking, and are build on large and complex software stacks.

I can’t possibly list all the dependencies that are needed to make a generic browser work. They literally depend on 100+ libraries and components and many of them will have an impact on the performance of the system as a whole. While in the end it may just be that one library or service is the problem on your other OS, it’s impossible to guarantee that fixing it will resolve the problem.


Fair enough.

I could but honestly I find that using the package manager is really confusing and hard and requires a few lines of commands just to install chromium as an example. Maybe if I could install the pacman package manager that connects to your repository then maybe I could give it a shot, is this even possible though?

technically anything is possible, but no, this would likely seriously conflict with our own package management, and likely cause major problems at some random point in time when it is least convenient.

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I would add to what @ahkok said about browsers being very complex things with a lot of different dependencies… Firefox on Windows seems to be better optimized or built than in Linux (in general). And in general, Chrome , especially Chromium, runs faster than Firefox both on Windows and Linux.

Yes, I have the same general feeling that browsing in linux tends to be more problematic, performance-wise, than in Windows. But not by much.

I thought firefox would have been properly optimised on both Windows and Linux?

Do you have an Intel-based hardware for your graphics card?

I actually see performance gains with clang compiler against the same source as gcc.

For some code gcc wins clang loses, and for other code the reverse is true.

I am dealing with C code


Maybe because clang uses different default flags compared to gcc?