The twelfth year is now in the books at Phoronix. In 2016 on Phoronix there were 3,336 original news articles and 248 featured multi-page articles and Linux hardware reviews. That puts our total now at more than 21.3k news articles and 3.3k Linux hardware reviews and other featured articles. Happy New Year to all and 2017 will hopefully be even better.
In 2017 we can look forward to the continued advancements of open-source graphics drivers, the Linux kernel getting better and better, open-source software security continuing to improve, Steam / Linux gaming hopefully continuing to gain ground, Linux VR, Wayland desktops getting better, perhaps finally seeing the Ubuntu convergence strategy with Unity 8 and Mir playing out, and potentially a whole lot more.
I hope you enjoyed all the various year-end recaps on Phoronix. While I'm still battling through 365 days per year writing new content, working on benchmarks, and developing the Phoronix Test Suite, special thanks go out to Eric Griffith, our former intern who still contributes the occasional Linux gaming review/article. Also special thanks to community member "Tildearrow" via the forums who has been helping with some proofreading. And as always, many thanks to all of our readers -- particularly those who are Phoronix Premium subscribers or not engaging in ad-blocking on Phoronix. Phoronix Premium subscribers and advertisements are the only way that Phoronix is able to continue.
The longest time on Phoronix this year without new content was roughly 19 hours, when feeling rather burned out but it's continued now for nearly four years of having original new content on the site each and every day of the year.
Speaking of which, for those not able to afford the normal price of a Phoronix Premium subscription even though it's generally less than $3 per month, for the next few days I'll honor to those reading this message Phoronix Premium rates at just $20 USD for an annual subscription or $100 USD for the lifetime subscription. That way some of those blocking ads or those that weren't able to participate in any of the specials earlier this year can start the year out right and help out by joining Phoronix Premium to benefit from an ad-free site, multi-page articles on a single page, etc. To take advantage of the $20+ offer, follow the steps outlined in this earlier post while ignoring the dates in that post as I will honor the offer for the next week (let's say until 7 January 2017) to those taking the time to read this post.
For marking the end of 2016, below are our 16 most viewed articles and news items of the year. Anyhow, off to spend the rest of the day now with the wife and dogs while enjoying some Augustiner Edelstoff and Weihenstephaner Kellerbier. Back in the morning with more Linux benchmarks and other articles. Here's to an even better 2017 with your support!
Other Letdowns For Linux / Open-Source Users From 2015
When ending out 2015 I wrote about some of the open-source Linux letdowns of the year while since then Phoronix readers have suggested more items that they were sad to see not materialize this year.
Btrfs RAID 5/6 Code Found To Be Very Unsafe & Will Likely Require A Rewrite
It turns out the RAID5 and RAID6 code for the Btrfs file-system's built-in RAID support is faulty and users should not be making use of it if you care about your data.
X.Org Might Lose Its Domain Name
Unless there's a miracle, the X.Org Foundation stands to lose one of its biggest assets: its single-letter domain name.
LLVM Patches Confirm Google Has Its Own In-House Processor
Patches published by Google developers today for LLVM/Clang confirm that the company has at least one in-house processor of its own.
Systemd Rolls Out Its Own Mount Tool
Systemd-mount is the newest tool added to systemd by Lennart Poettering.
In A UEFI World, "rm -rf /" Can Brick Your System
Running rm -rf / on any UEFI Linux distribution can potentially perma-brick your system.
Video & Input Driver ABIs Will Change Again For X.Org Server 1.19
A few days ago the X.Org video and input driver ABI versions were bumped again following some breaks in the interface.
I've Had Enough & Today Everyone Has The Phoronix Premium Experience
Notice something different about your viewing experience today of Phoronix...?
Mozilla's Servo Is Whooping The Other Browsers In Performance
While the Rust-written Servo engine being developed by Mozilla is still experimental, Google's Jake Archibald has done a performance comparison of Servo against other engines and the results are mighty impressive.
Some Early Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Vulkan Tests With NVIDIA Graphics
While waiting to test Ubuntu Bash on Windows, I decided to run some (manual) tests of Vulkan on Windows compared to some recent Ubuntu Linux figures with different NVIDIA graphics cards.
An AMD ARM 64-bit Dev Board Is Launching For $299 USD
Since last year we have been waiting for AMD to launch their "HuskyBoard" ARM development board built around their Opteron A1100 ARM 64-bit SoC. That board was originally supposed to ship in Q4'15 while now available for pre-order is a new A1100 development board that looks like it may be taking its place.
Google Working On New "Fuchsia" Operating System, Powered By Magenta / LK Kernel
Google appears to be working on a new operating system that's written from scratch and appears to be target both phones and PCs, among other form factors.
Opera Developer Update Lands RSS Reader, Chromecast Capability
For those still using the cross-platform Opera web browser, a new developer build is available today that provides new features.
Valve Expected To Show Off Linux VR Demo Today
The HTC Vive was supposed to ship with Linux support but that hadn't materialized... But it looks like it now has. Valve is expected to show off a VR Linux demo during this week's Steam Dev Days event in Seattle.
The AMDGPU Additions For Linux 4.7 Are Enormous
More AMDGPU DRM driver changes have been queued up for the Linux 4.7 kernel merge window that's expected to open next week.
Is The Linux Kernel Scheduler Worse Than People Realize?
A number of Phoronix readers have been pointing out material to indicate that the Linux kernel scheduler isn't as good as most people would assume.
And the most viewed articles of 2016:
Vulkan 1.0 Released: What You Need To Know About This Cross-Platform, High-Performance Graphics API
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.
Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards
On Friday my Raspberry Pi 3 arrived for benchmarking. For our first benchmarks of this Cortex-A53 64-bit ARM $35 development board is a comparison against eight other ARMv7 and ARMv8 development boards running their official Linux distributions while carrying out a range of benchmarks. Here are those raw performance results along with a performance-per-dollar comparison for additional insight into this low-cost ARM development board.
AMD Radeon RX 480 On Linux
After weeks of anticipation, AMD's high-end Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" graphics card is officially launching today! This graphics card starts at just $199 USD (or $239 USD for the 8GB version) and has day-one Linux support! There's available open-source driver support as well as an AMDGPU-PRO update that's expected today for those wanting to make use of this newer hybrid Linux driver stack. I've been testing the Radeon RX 480 under Linux the past week under both driver stacks and have my initial results to share this morning.
KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Evolved Well Beyond Where Plasma 4 Ended
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.
Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Gaming With NVIDIA's GTX 1070 & GTX 1080
For your viewing pleasure this Friday is our largest Windows vs. Linux graphics/gaming performance comparison ever conducted at Phoronix in the past 12 years! With the brand new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards, their performance was compared under Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.04 x86_64 when using the very latest NVIDIA Corp drivers for each OS. A range of Steam gaming benchmarks and more were done, including some cross-platform Vulkan graphics benchmarks. Continue on for this interesting comparison.
Ubuntu 6.06 To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Performance Benchmarks: 10 Years Of Linux Performance
As I'm in the process of retiring an old AMD Opteron dual-socket system, prior to decommissioning it, I figured it would be fun to go back and re-benchmark all of the Ubuntu LTS releases going all the way back to the legendary 6.06 Dapper Drake release. So here are some fresh benchmarks of this AMD Shanghai system with eight cores and 16GB of RAM when re-benchmarking the releases from Ubuntu 6.06 through the latest Ubuntu 16.04 LTS development state.
How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing With AMDGPU/Radeon Graphics Compared To Ubuntu 14.04 With FGLRX
With Ubuntu dropping support for the AMD fglrx/Catalyst driver in their upcoming 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" release and manually installing the driver doesn't sound like an option, many have renewed interest in how the open-source Radeon driver stack is performing for Ubuntu 16.04 that's due out next month. In this article are benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (on both the open and closed drivers) to that of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the sole AMD Linux driver option on a variety of graphics cards.
How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing Compared To Five Other Linux Distributions
As it's been a month since our last large Linux distribution comparison (a 10-way Linux distribution battle), here are some fresh benchmarks of six Linux distributions to see how their out-of-the-box performance compares. From a Core i7 Broadwell system, the updated versions of Clear Linux, Fedora 23, CentOS 7, openSUSE 42.1, Ubuntu 15.10, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS were compared.
For A Few Dollars More Than The Raspberry Pi 3 You Can Have A Much Faster Board
Yesterday's Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards was quite interesting while today I have a complementary data point: the Raspberry Pi 3 compared to the ODROID-C2. The ODROID-C2 costs just a few dollars more ($40 USD) while having a faster SoC and other advantages.
The Performance Of Ubuntu Software Running On Windows 10 With The New Linux Subsystem
At the end of March was the surprising news about Microsoft bringing Bash and Ubuntu's user-space to Windows 10 via a new "Linux subsystem" for natively dealing with Linux ELF binaries atop Windows. Since last week the latest Windows Insider update now ships with said support for being able to run Bash and other Ubuntu user-space programs on Windows 10. I've been benchmarking the performance of Ubuntu/Linux software on Windows 10 and have some results to share comparing it to a clean Ubuntu installation.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Offers Great Performance On Linux
Today's the day that we can finally publish NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 benchmarks! Today the GTX 1060 begins shipping as NVIDIA's $249 Pascal graphics card to take the Radeon RX 480 head-on. Here's all of the Linux benchmarks you've been waiting to see for the GTX 1060 under Vulkan, OpenGL, OpenCL, and CUDA. compared to various other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs on Ubuntu Linux.
Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Graphics Performance With Radeon Software, AMDGPU-PRO, AMDGPU+RadeonSI
Yesterday I published some Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux gaming benchmarks using the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards. Those numbers were interesting with the NVIDIA proprietary driver but for benchmarking this weekend are Windows 10 results with Radeon Software compared to Ubuntu 16.04 running the new AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver as well as the latest Git code for a pure open-source driver stack.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux: OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan Performance
$699 USD is a lot to spend on a graphics card, but damn she is a beauty. Last month NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 1080 as the current top-end Pascal card and looked great under Windows while now finally having my hands on the card the past few days I've been putting it through its paces under Ubuntu Linux with the major open APIs of OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and VDPAU. Not only is the raw performance of the GeForce GTX 1080 on Linux fantastic, but the performance-per-Watt improvements made my jaw drop more than a few times. Here are my initial Linux results of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Founder's Edition.
A 10-Way Linux Distribution Battle To Kick Off 2016
As our first multi-way Linux distribution comparison of 2016, I took ten different modern Linux distribution releases and benchmarked them on the same Intel Haswell system. Being benchmarked were various releases of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Debian, Clear Linux, Fedora, Antergos, and CentOS.
15-Way Linux OS Comparison Shows Mixed High-Performing Linux Distributions
Succeeding January's 10-way Linux distribution battle is now a 15-way Linux distribution comparison on an Intel Xeon "Skylake" system with Radeon R7 graphics. Distributions part of this Linux OS performance showdown include Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE, Antergos, Sabayon, Void Linux, Zenwalk, KaOS, Clear Linux, and Alpine Linux.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 vs. 760 vs. 960 vs. 1060 Linux Performance
To complement yesterday's launch-day GeForce GTX 1060 Linux review, here are some more benchmark results with the various NVIDIA x60 graphics cards I have available for testing going back to the GeForce GTX 460 Fermi. If you are curious about the raw OpenGL/OpenCL/CUDA performance and performance-per-Watt for these mid-range x60 graphics cards from Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal, here are these benchmarks from Ubuntu 16.04 Linux.