May 02, 2011 -- Recently there were benchmarks on Phoronix looking at the Ubuntu 11.04 boot performance relative to past Ubuntu Linux releases. This was done with five mobile systems and going back as far as Ubuntu 8.04. The tests showed around Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was where the boot performance in Ubuntu's been the best but Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04 have slowed down a bit in how fast it's reaching the desktop. In this article we are looking at the boot performance when simply changing out the kernels. Every kernel from Linux 2.6.24 to 2.6.39-rc4 was analyzed.
April 07, 2011 -- Matthew Tippett and I presented at the 2011 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit today in San Francisco about benchmarking and continuous testing of LLVM and the sub-projects that depend upon this compiler infrastructure. As the slides are somewhat generic and can be applied to many other open-source projects, the slides are now available. It's basically how to leverage the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org for driving continuous benchmarking to monitor performance regressions.
March 28, 2011 -- Version 4.6 of GCC was released over the weekend with a multitude of improvements and version 2.9 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine is due out in early April with its share of improvements. How though do these two leading open-source compilers compare? In this article we are providing benchmarks of GCC 4.5.2, GCC 4.6.0, DragonEgg with LLVM 2.9, and Clang with LLVM 2.9 across five distinct AMD / Intel systems to see how the compiler performance compares.
March 26, 2011 -- Version 2.9 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine is set to be released in a little more than a week, but what will it mean much for users in terms of performance? We will be looking at the LLVM 2.9 and Clang performance in the coming days (along with GCC 4.6, which was just released). We are beginning this weekend by providing a look at how using LLVM 2.9 affects the performance of the Mesa Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver relative to the previous LLVM 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8 releases.
March 18, 2011 -- While the performance of the Btrfs file-system with its default mount options didn't change much with the just-released Linux 2.6.38 kernel as shown by our large HDD and SSD file-system comparison, this new kernel does bring LZO file-system compression support to Btrfs. This Oracle-sponsored file-system has supported Gzip compression for months as a means to boost performance and preserve disk space, but now there's support for using LZO compression. In this article we are looking at the Btrfs performance with its default options and then when using the transparent Zlib and LZO compression.
March 10, 2011 -- There have been a flurry of comments this week following my post why software defaults are important and why in the Linux benchmarks at Phoronix.com the tests are most often carried out in their default/stock configurations: it's what most everyone uses. There have been comments by Ted Ts'o on file-system default mount options and whether they are sane or not in the non-enterprise distributions and others have questioned if defaults like Compiz on in Ubuntu by default makes sense. Does using Compiz still hurt your graphics performance?
March 09, 2011 -- Here are the results from our largest Linux file-system comparison to date. Using the soon-to-be-released Linux 2.6.38 kernel, on a SATA hard drive and solid-state drive, we benchmarked seven file-systems on each drive with the latest kernel code as of this past weekend. The tested file-systems include EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS, and NILFS2.
March 06, 2011 -- Last month there were benchmarks on Phoronix looking at the multi-core scaling performance of multiple operating systems, including CentOS 5.5, Fedora 14, FreeBSD 8.1, and OpenIndiana b148. CentOS 5.5 uses the long-term Linux 2.6.18 kernel while Fedora 14 has the more recent Linux 2.6.35 kernel by default, but a number of users asked how the Linux 2.6.38 kernel would fair for multi-core scaling with the removal of the Big Kernel Lock and various other low-level improvements in this forthcoming kernel. Here are some benchmarks showing just that.
March 03, 2011 -- VirtualBox, the Sun/Oracle virtualization platform, has supported OpenGL acceleration and Direct3D acceleration within virtual machines for more than two years. When the host system has hardware GPU acceleration, OpenGL/Direct3D calls can be passed from the guest to the host when the VirtualBox guest driver is installed. There has been the Linux 3D support since VirtualBox 2.2 and was initially limited to OpenGL 1.4 support and in the summer of 2009 it turned to OpenGL 2.0. We had not delivered any early benchmarks as the initial support was too buggy, but even with the recently released VirtualBox 4.0, while the support is usable and stable for the most part, it is still far from being very efficient and will crash under some OpenGL software.
February 27, 2011 -- Matthew Tippett and I talked this weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo on the matter of making more informed Linux hardware choices. While Linux hardware support has come along way, it is not perfect and there are still shortcomings. However, with Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org, which were released in Los Angeles, we believe there are now the capabilities to dramatically enhance the Linux hardware and software experience. These freely available tools are not only a game-changer for Linux, but have the capabilities to impact how projects and organizations handle their Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris testing as well.