when fantastico installs things it uses mysql, and writes files at the same time, while reading from a database.... so while people are using it i would think (no experience here, other than using fantastico) it would slow down... but otherwise i would think it would just be like any other file on a server... wether it be a php file or a system file... a file that takes up space
I don't know about fantastico itself, I never used it. But we wrote a fantastico-like feature in our control panel (about 10 packages supported currently, written by contributors), and the only thing it does is unpacking the tar.gz, and launch the install script of a given package. While installing, a tar -xvf WILL slow down your box (it wouldn't if you just upload with FTP), but it WILL also save some bandwidth (no need to upload).
That being said, if you are not USING the package installer, it wont take any CPU.
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Thanks Thomas. That is good to know. Fantastico is installed although I prefer to download each app since default Fantastico sometimes does not contain the latest version. Plus, they throw in default password as well for a few apps I have seen. But it's to have it for testing.