Mercurial vs. Bazaar speedtest clone and log (unscientific)

I just did a test with the provided Python 2.x repos from the DVCS PEP for Python to check the performance of Bazaar and Mercurial.

(this is a slightly changed version of a mail posted to the mercurial list: )

All these tests are done only once with some mostly constant load, so they don't qualitfy as scientific tests, but they give a good impressing of the differences between Bazaar (bzr) and Mercurial (hg).

- Bazaar 1.5
- Mercurial 1.0.2

These are the ones which are marked as stable in my Gentoo tree (amd64).

First test: initial cloning from the web.

With repositories containing the same changesets (roughly, since bzr tracks dir name changes) Mercurial is about 9 times faster than Bazaar.

$ time bzr branch
No handlers could be found for logger "bzr"
[13868] 2008-11-05 11:36:44.358 INFO: Branched 40626 revision(s).
Branched 40626 revision(s).

real 24m0.446s
user 12m47.623s
sys 0m15.842s

$ time hg clone python-hg-trunk
requesting all changes
adding changesets
adding manifests
adding file changes
added 40556 changesets with 86253 changes to 8166 files
updating working directory
3922 files updated, 0 files merged, 0 files removed, 0 files unresolved

real 2m40.237s
user 1m34.721s
sys 0m13.027s

>>> (24.0 + 0.44 / 60 ) / ( 2 + 40.237 / 60 )

And hg only uses about half as much space as bzr for the repository data (with bzr 1.5 that is - that was the stable version in my Gentoo tree as of 2008-10-31):

$ du -hs python-bzr-trunk/.bzr python-hg-trunk/.hg
214M python-bzr-trunk/.bzr
111M python-hg-trunk/.hg

Second test: a full log.

A full bzr log takes about 2.5 times as long as a full hg log in the cloned python 2.x repositories (so hg log is about 2.5 times faster than bzr log):

$ time bzr log
real 1m10.258s
user 0m37.236s
sys 0m2.250s

$ time hg log
real 0m27.886s
user 0m12.737s
sys 0m0.482s

>>> (1 + 10.258/60) / (27.886 / 60)

As I understand it, the new revlog in C should give Mercurial another nice speedup here (am I right in that?).

Third test: local clones.

A local clone in Mercurial is about 11 times faster than a local clone in bzr.

$ time bzr branch python-bzr-trunk/ python-bzr-trunk2
real 11m36.265s
user 8m38.400s
sys 0m11.145s

$ time hg clone python-hg-trunk python-hg-trunk2
real 0m59.759s
user 0m23.321s
sys 0m5.455s


A second run (backwards, with hot filesystem caches) gave even stronger results:
$ rm -r clone python-hg-trunk
$ time hg clone python-hg-trunk2 python-hg-trunk
real 0m38.779s
user 0m23.394s
sys 0m4.635s

With bzr I first cloned backwards to heat up the filesystem caches and then cloned again:
$ rm -r python-bzr-trunk
$ bzr branch python-bzr-trunk2 python-bzr-trunk
$ rm -r python-bzr-trunk2
$ time bzr branch python-bzr-trunk python-bzr-trunk2
real 12m8.374s
user 8m44.747s
sys 0m10.782s

Result: bzr is unusable for quick local clones of not-so-small projects.

$ #cold copy of .hg
$ time cp -r python-hg-trunk/.hg tmp-hg
real 0m53.981s
user 0m0.077s
sys 0m3.486s

# hot copy of .bzr
$ time cp -r python-bzr-trunk/.bzr tmp-bzr
real 0m25.738s
user 0m0.012s
sys 0m1.368s

# hot copy of .hg
$ rm -r tmp-hg
$ time cp -r python-hg-trunk/.hg tmp-hg
real 0m14.702s
user 0m0.085s
sys 0m6.241s

To alleviate some doubts about system load: this is what top gave while I did the first local clone of the bzr repo:
23202 arne 21 1 359m 255m 3412 R 70.1 12.7 1:39.33 bzr

CPU load due to bzr moved between 60% and 80% while cloning.

The general load on the system while running bzr commands was about the same as while running hg commands (I compiled stuff with niceness 11 = low priority).

Result: So Mercurial is far faster than bzr, while being a lot more newbie friendly than git (especially when the newbies are former svn users - Python currently uses svn).

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