Four-Way ARM Linux Distribution Comparison
The latest ARM Linux benchmarks to share at Phoronix is a comparison of Ubuntu 12.10, Linaro 12.10, Fedora 17, and Arch Linux when running from the dual-core Cortex-A9 OMAP4460-based PandaBoard ES development board.
There's no shortage of PandaBoard benchmarks on Phoronix with these being wonderful ARM Linux development boards that are widely supported by many Linux distributions that are targeting ARMv7 images and the performance for the dual-core 1.2GHz processor is decent. With the recent releases of Ubuntu 12.10 and Linaro 12.10 along with Arch Linux continuing to roll along, updated benchmarks from the PandaBoard ES were carried out.
Benchmarks from the four Linux distributions were carried out in their stock configurations. Unfortunately, the openSUSE 12.2 ARM release wasn't ready at the time that this round of benchmarking was carried out. All benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite.
In terms of the usability of these different ARM Linux distributions, still the easiest to install/setup is Ubuntu/Linaro for the PandaBoard. Setting up Ubuntu and Linaro on the SDHC cards are a breeze and everything tends to work very well from the OMAP4 board with these operating systems. Ubuntu 12.10 is a bit of a mess if you plan to use the Unity desktop environment because of the Unity 2D removal debacle and LLVMpipe not being well supported on ARM at this point. With Linaro 12.10 they are still shipping Unity 2D.
This round of four-way ARM Linux distribution benchmarks are just being tossed out here for public reference, so enjoy. Generally, Ubuntu 12.10 is the fastest distribution of the releases tested since it's shipping the latest stable components for the OMAP4: Linux 3.5 and the GCC 4.7.2 compiler. Linaro 12.10 is still with the older GCC 4.6 series. If you wish to compare your Linux ARM or x86 system to these OMAP4460 dual-core Cortex-A9 performance numbers, simply run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1211069-RA-ARCHLINUX72.
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