What does it mean when developers behind one of the world's most popular desktop environments decide to jump into the deep end and fork a distribution? Depending on who you ask you'll hear madness, excellence, confusion, and excitement as onlookers figure out the exact nature of a new breed of beast and guess what it will do.
After a very exciting past two weeks, the merge window for Linux 4.7 is expected to close today. This was an action-packed merge window with a ton of new code being introduced. While I've already written dozens of posts on Phoronix about the changes that got me excited, here's my usual kernel feature overview. Here's a look at what's coming for Linux 4.7.
With the in-development Linux 4.7 kernel there is a new CPUFreq governor that leverages the kernel's scheduler utilization data in an attempt to make better decisions about adjusting the CPU's frequency / performance state. Here are some benchmarks of that new CPUFreq governor, Schedutil, compared to the other CPUFreq governors as well as the Intel P-State CPU frequency scaling driver.
After carrying out the recent GCC 4.9 vs. 5.3 vs. 6.1 compiler benchmarks for looking at the GNU Compiler Collection performance over the past three years on the same Linux x86_64 system, I then loaded up a development snapshot of the LLVM 3.9 SVN compiler to see how these two dominant compilers are competing on the performance front for C/C++ programs.
Given the recent stable release of GCC 6 (GCC v6.1.0), here are some fresh compiler benchmarks on an Intel Debian x86_64 system when comparing the GCC 4.9.3, GCC 5.3.0, and GCC 6.1.0 compiler releases.
One of the most recurring requests this week from Phoronix readers were for doing some ZFS file-system tests on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Here are some basic results using a single SSD.
Some Phoronix readers have been requesting fresh tests of OpenGL graphics/gaming performance on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with its different desktop environment options. For some brief results to share this Sunday, here are some Intel Skylake numbers when running Ubuntu 16.04 and testing out Unity, Xfce, KDE Plasma, LXDE, GNOME, MATE, and Openbox.
Linus Torvalds ended up tagging the Linux 4.6-rc1 kernel on Saturday night rather than opting for Sunday. While we tend to get excited about every major update to the Linux kernel, Linux 4.6 is coming in particularly heavy with new functionality and notable improvements to existing features. Linux 4.6 is arguably looking like the most exciting release in a few kernel cycles.
Last week I posted various LLVM Clang and GCC compiler benchmarks using packages available on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and with the testing from a Xeon Skylake system. Today are some complementary tests when benchmarking GCC 5.3.1 and LLVM Clang 3.8 while testing each compiler with a variety of different optimization levels.
For your viewing pleasure to get our March 2016 Linux benchmarking started is a Linux 4.1 through Linux 4.5 kernel benchmark comparison when testing with a 4GHz Intel Xeon E3 v5 Skylake CPU and using a RadeonSI-supported graphics card and SSD for storage.
When getting access to an assortment of new Intel Xeon E3 "Skylake" processors one of the first testing thoughts that came to mind were some fresh GCC vs. Clang benchmarks. So using the $600+ Xeon E3-1280 v5 processor running up to 4.0GHz, I carried out a comparison of the GCC and Clang compilers using the packaged versions being offered by Ubuntu 16.04, the Xenial Xerus.
Most often when running GCC vs. LLVM Clang compiler benchmark comparisons it's done on Intel/AMD x86 hardware or occasionally on ARM when benchmarking an interesting ARMv7/ARMv8 system. However, in having remote access last weekend to the prototype of the Talos Secure Workstation powered by a POWER8 design, I was very anxious to run some compiler benchmarks to see how these open-source compilers compete on the alternative architecture.
Today's the day! It's Vulkan day! After the better part of two years of hard work, Vulkan 1.0 is ready to meet the world! Today The Khronos Group is announcing the release of Vulkan 1.0 with an embargo that just expired. This hard-launch today is met by the public release of the first conformant driver. The first Vulkan-powered game is also in public beta as of today, but the Linux situation as of today isn't entirely exciting for end-users/gamers as most vendors are still baking their Linux support with Windows generally taking priority. However, even ignoring operating system differences, you need to make sure your expectations are realistic before trying to fire up a Vulkan game while giving developers time to learn and design for this new graphics API.
Phoronix Test Suite 6.2 (codenamed "Gamvik") is available today as the latest version of Phoronix Media's open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software. The release of Phoronix Test Suite 6.2 is joined by a new version of OpenBenchmarking.org to facilitate greater result collaboration and analysis by the open-source communities around the world.
With LLVM 3.8 scheduled to be released this week, here are benchmarks of the LLVM Clang 3.8 compiler code compared to Clang 3.7 and Clang 3.6 for a variety of C/C++ performance benchmarks.
Last week I carried out tests of the Linux 3.5 through Linux 4.4 kernels. Those benchmarks were fairly interesting in looking at the evolution of the Linux kernel performance over the past three and a half years. With Linux 4.5-rc1 now out, here are benchmarks with this latest kernel version that's currently under development.
With Linux 4.5-rc1 expected for release today that will mark the end of this cycle's merge window, here is a look at the new features and improved functionality present for this major Linux kernel release that will then be officially christened in about two months time.
What better way to spend a cold Friday morning than looking at some kernel benchmarks, so up for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of every kernel major release going from the Linux 3.5 kernel up through the latest Linux 4.4 stable kernel release. All the tests were done on the same system and there are actually some interesting performance changes to note with these Linux kernel tests going back to the summer of 2012.
Our latest benchmarking fun from the freshly minted Linux 4.4 kernel is testing all of the popular built-in Linux file-systems plus the recently updated ZFS On Linux. File-systems tested for this comparison were Btrfs, XFS, EXT4, F2FS, ReiserFS, NTFS, and ZFS.
A Phoronix Premium supporter has again inquired about some fresh Liquorix kernel tests, so ask and you shall receive.
Ken Vermette has written a lengthy article for us about his thoughts on the state of the KDE Plasma 5 desktop as of the recent 5.5 release. If you are curious how KDE Plasma 5 is panning out, how it works on Wayland, and much more, this article is a definite must-read.
A few days ago on the new Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5 "Skylake" system I ran a variety of GCC and LLVM Clang compiler benchmarks to show how the performance of the resulting binaries differ between these competing open-source compilers.
Following Monday's NVIDIA Jetson TX1 performance overview one of the first follow-up tests I wanted to carry out was to see how the performance would evolve if using a newer compiler than what's shipped in Ubuntu 14.04. This current long-term support release ships GCC 4.8 while out since then was GCC 4.9 and now GCC 5.2.1 with GCC 6 coming in just a few months.
After a half-year of development, I'm ecstatic to announce this morning the release of Phoronix Test Suite 6.0 (codenamed "Hammerfest"). Phoronix Test Suite 6.0 is by far the most significant release ever done of our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking software and framework since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 seven years ago.
If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.4 kernel merge window will end today with the release of the 4.4-rc1 kernel. As all of the major subsystem updates have already landed for Linux 4.4, here's my usual look at the highlights for this kernel cycle.
With PHP 7.0 RC7 being the final development version of PHP 7, which is expected to be officially release at the end of the month, I've carried out some fresh benchmarks of PHP using our in-house benchmarking software. Compared in this latest PHP 7 benchmarking comparison is PHP 5.5 as packaged on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and then comparing fresh builds of PHP 5.6.15 and PHP 7.0.0 RC7. On the HHVM side was using Facebook's HHVM 3.10.1 release as packaged for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Last week I posted some fresh Linux file-system tests on a hard drive but for those preferring solid-state drives, here are some fresh benchmarks. Tested for this comparison were Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, and F2FS from an SSD while running with the Linux 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 kernel releases.
With recently having picked up four Western Digital Black HDDs, I decided to run some fresh hard drive benchmarks with the most common Linux file-systems to see how the performance compares atop Ubuntu 15.10.
Our latest benchmarks of Ubuntu 15.10 are looking at the performance of this latest Linux distribution release when comparing the performance of guests using KVM, Xen, and VirtualBox virtualization from the same system.
While the latest Linux kernel has Intel P-State driver support for CPU frequency scaling being done by this Intel-specific driver rather than the common ACPI CPUFreq driver, for some common tests -- especially Linux gaming -- the latest-generation Intel CPUs perform noticeably better using the CPUFreq driver. Here are some CPUFreq vs. P-State drivers when testing the available scaling governors.
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