February 25, 2009 -- It's arriving about two months later than originally scheduled (and didn't arrive in 2008 like Intel wanted), but X Server 1.6 has been officially released this afternoon and it wasn't 212 days late like the infamous X Server 1.4.1 release.
February 25, 2009 -- Since releasing the Phoronix Test Suite to the public a year ago, one of the most popular feature requests has been for a graphical user interface. The Phoronix Test Suite is not exactly difficult to use from a command line, but this feature has been in development for Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. However, with this morning's release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 2, a preview of this GUI has been introduced. Those testing Linux, OpenSolaris, BSD, and Mac OS X systems now have a simple yet intuitive interface for facilitating their system benchmarks.
February 20, 2009 -- Earlier this month we published an article looking at the Linux versus OpenSolaris performance when using the new AMD Shanghai Opteron CPUs. Ubuntu Linux was faster than OpenSolaris 2008.11 in nearly all of the tests, but as mentioned in that article, OpenSolaris is still dependent upon GCC 3.4 where as Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions are now shipping with the newer and much-improved GCC 4 series. Following that article being published, Sun Microsystems had requested some compiler tests since they were confident the results would be different had their Sun Studio compiler been used. Well, in this article we now have some OpenSolaris benchmarks from the same AMD setup using GCC 3.4, GCC 4.0, and Sun Studio 12.
January 20, 2009 -- Phoronix Media today released Phoronix Test Suite 1.6, which is an incremental update to its flagship testing software. Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 (codenamed "Tydal") makes it easier for ISVs, IHVs, OEMs, and independent users to benchmark Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X computer systems. Introduced in this update are new options to autonomously carry out tests and to analyze the generated results, expanded test coverage, and other features to more effectively test software and hardware on supported operating systems.
January 14, 2009 -- One of the items being worked on by Red Hat for Fedora 11 is making the GNOME volume control and sound preferences area more intuitive and easier to use. With Fedora and most other distributions now using PulseAudio, they are beginning to take advantage of some of the features available through this sound server. Some of this work involves reworking the user interface for controlling GNOME Sound Preferences, which we are providing a glimpse of in this article. Among other benefits, there is finally the ability to adjust the volume level on a per-application basis.
January 12, 2009 -- We are preparing to release Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 "Tydal" later this month, which is our largest and most significant update to date. Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 has quite a few changes internally as well as a number of new features and added tests. While there are over 200 changes making up this release codenamed Tydal, in this article we are sharing some of the most significant work in this forthcoming release.
January 08, 2009 -- GParted is an excellent GNOME program for editing partitions, changing file-systems, and performing related disk tasks. However, GParted is not exactly the ideal program for new Linux users to familiarize themselves with if all they want to do is format a USB drive or external storage device. Fortunately, a new GNOME utility has come about that supersedes GFloppy and is designed to be a simple yet powerful disk formatting utility. In this article we are taking an introductory look at GNOME Format.
December 30, 2008 -- Last year we had looked at The Greatest Linux Innovations Of 2007, and as this year ends, we have compiled a similar list of what we believe were some of the greatest Linux innovations or achievements of 2008. Among the innovations named this year were KDE 4, NetworkManager 0.7, new hardware companies standing behind open-source support, and the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix.
December 28, 2008 -- The Linux 2.6.28 kernel was released this past week in time for the holidays. This quarterly update to the Linux kernel brought the stabilization of the EXT4 file-system, the Graphics Execution Manager, a host of new drivers, and a variety of other updates. For some weekend benchmarking we had tested the latest Linux 2.6.28 kernel along with other recent kernels using the Phoronix Test Suite.
December 24, 2008 -- Video acceleration APIs for Linux has been a hot topic recently with NVIDIA having introduced VDPAU last month (the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) that brings PureVideo-like features to Linux with great results while it's already finding its way into MPlayer, FFmpeg, MythTV, Xine, and VLC. AMD has been working hard on XvBA (X-Video Bitstream Acceleration), but that has yet to be officially introduced. In the open-source realm there has been talk of extending XvMC to support video formats besides MPEG-2, but that hasn't yet amounted to anything. Today though another video API is now on scene with VA-API finally being implemented in MPlayer and FFmpeg.