Gentoo Linux, compilation of packages’s time

I had heard some complaints that in Gentoo Linux it takes way too much time to compile the packages that one would install in a “normal system”. I got curious and so I gathered this data on my own Gentoo system.

Note that :

  1. My cpu is an Intel Core i3-3217U CPU @ 1.80GHz. (laptop)
  2. As MAKEOPTS value, I have set to use 2 threads for compilation, having HT enabled and so 4 threads in total.
  3. I have 708 packages in total but only 608 of them have been compiled on my machine and so will be used in the data.

Visually the result can be summarized in the following histogram:

gentoo-data Some numbers about time of compilation in seconds (s):

Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max.
4.0    10.0    20.0   116.9    45.0 20580.0

So in average it took slightly less than 2 minutes to build a package on my system. Most packages take less than 50 s to build and only 3 took more than 1 hour to build (firefox/thunderbird and libreoffice).

Other numbers, about how many times I updated the packages:

Min. 1st Qu.  Median    Mean 3rd Qu.    Max.
1.000   1.000   1.000   1.314   1.000   5.000

In other words most packages were built only once, the average number of times I’ve built a package is 1.314 and the most time I’ve built a package is 5 times.

Considering that I’ve a rather slow processor and “only” 4 GB of RAM, most people could achieve times of building packages up to 5 times lesser easily, I suppose.

Thus overall I’d say that keeping a system up to date in Gentoo doesn’t take too much time, especially on a modern hardware.

P.S.: The bash and R scripts I’ve used to gather and plot the data can be found at and respectively.


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