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Netbook Performance: Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris

Michael Larabel

Published on 15 July 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 7 - 110 Comments

In the past we have published OpenSolaris vs. Linux Kernel benchmarks and similar articles looking at the performance of Sun's OpenSolaris up against popular Linux distributions. We have looked at the performance on high-end AMD workstations, but we have never compared the OpenSolaris and Linux performance on netbooks. Well, not until today. In this article we have results comparing OpenSolaris 2009.06 and Ubuntu 9.04 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook.

The Dell Mini 9 was equipped with an Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.60GHz, 1GB of DDR2-533MHz system memory, an 8GB SSD, and Intel 945GME integrated graphics. Ubuntu 9.04 x86 was running with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26.1, X Server 1.6.0, xf86-video-intel 2.6.3, Mesa 7.4, GCC 4.3.3, and an EXT3 file-system. OpenSolaris 2009.06, which was released in June, was based upon Solaris Nevada Build 111b. The packages included X Server 1.5.3, Mesa 7.2, GCC 4.3.2, xf86-video-intel 2.4, and the ZFS file-system. On the OpenSolaris side it had Java SE 1.6.0_13-b03 as its default OS Java environment and with Ubuntu there was OpenJDK IcedTea6 1.4.1.

Using the Phoronix Test Suite on both Linux and OpenSolaris we ran a number of different tests. These tests included Sun's Java 2D Microbenchmark, LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, LZMA compression, GnuPG, dcraw, Threaded I/O Tester, GraphicsMagick, BYTE Unix Benchmark, Sudokut, Sunflow Rendering System, and Java SciMark. During testing both operating systems were left at their defaults as our intentions are to provide an "out of the box" comparison of both Ubuntu 9.04 and OpenSolaris 2009.06.

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