1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Five Years Of Linux Kernel Benchmarks: 2.6.12 Through 2.6.37

Michael Larabel

Published on 3 November 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 8 - 74 Comments

While we have conducted studies related to the Linux kernel performance in the past such as benchmarking up to twelve kernel releases, going out the door this morning are the results from the largest-ever Linux kernel comparison conducted at Phoronix, and very likely the largest ever of its kind regardless of source. Every major Linux kernel release from Linux 2.6.12, which was released in mid-2005, up through the latest Linux 2.6.37 development code was tested. This represents the past five years of the Linux kernel and shows how the performance has evolved over the past 25 stable kernel releases and the most recent 2.6.37 development kernel.

Benchmarking 26 kernels was no easy feat with running nearly two dozen tests each time and each test being run multiple times (usually three to five times as a minimum). Fortunately, with the Phoronix Test Suite combined with an Intel Core i7 "Gulftown" made this process much faster, easier, and more reliable than what would otherwise have been possible. A huge thank you goes out to Intel for supplying Phoronix with the Intel Core i7 970, which is their 32nm Gulftown processor with six physical cores plus Hyper Threading to provide a total of 12 threads. The Core i7 970 has 12MB of L3 cache and is clocked at 3.20GHz while having a maximum turbo frequency of 3.46GHz. This is one very fast desktop processor as shown in our Intel Core i7 970 Linux review and more recently within our LLVMpipe Scaling On Gulftown article where the performance of this Intel LGA-1366 CPU was looked at when running Gallium3D's LLVMpipe when enabling 1/2/3/4/5/6/12-threads. While the i7-970 is very fast, it's also very expensive at approximately $900 USD (NewEgg.com and Amazon.com), but it allowed this major Linux kernel comparison to happen in just under a week of constant testing, which is significantly less time than it would have required if using one of the less powerful Intel or AMD CPUs.

With all of this kernel benchmarking being carried out by the Phoronix Test Suite, particularly when using the latest Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 "Iveland" work, benchmarking all of these kernels was not so tedious and it ensures our kernel test results were automated, easily reproducible, and statistically significant with the tests being carried out multiple times and other measures taken plus other recent advancements. As this is also being done with an Iveland snapshot, the new Phoronix Test Suite graphs are being utilized, which provide error bars on graphs where relevant. The set of tests we ran on every major kernel release from Linux 2.6.12 through Linux 2.6.37 Git included GnuPG, Gcrypt, OpenSSL, NASA NAS Parallel Benchmarks, TTSIOD 3D Renderer, C-Ray, Crafty, MAFFT, Himeno, John The Ripper, LAME MP3, 7-Zip, BYTE, Loopback TCP Network Performance, timed Apache compilation, Apache web-server, PostMark, FS-Mark, IOzone, Threaded I/O Tester, and PBZIP2.

In order to go back all the way to the Linux 2.6.12 kernel, which puts us to the era of Ubuntu 5.10, SuSE 9.3, Fedora Core 4, and Mandrake 2006 distributions, we decided to go with Fedora Core 4 as the base operating system. However, in order to run Fedora Core 4 on the Core i7 970 desktop system rather than 2005-era hardware where this benchmarking process would have easily taken weeks, we ran all tests from within a Fedora Core 4 virtual machine. The Core i7 970 host system was running Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit with the Linux 2.6.35 kernel on an ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard, 3GB of DDR3 system memory, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, and a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD. The 64-bit FC4 virtual machine with its stock packages and installation options (aside from disabling SELinux) was using KVM virtualization and had access to all 12 processor threads, 2GB of system memory, and a 32GB disk image. Every major Linux kernel release was built from source while following the same kernel configuration options, build procedure, and user-space. We wanted to go back even further than the Linux 2.6.12 kernel, but our GCC4 build was having issues compiling some of these even older kernel releases. This 64-bit FC4 virtual machine setup to do our Linux kernel benchmarking was the only active process running on the Gulftown test system.

Try out our latest pass4sure 70-290 study packages and HP0-S27 practice questions to pass your E20-322 exam in a hassle free way.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis
  2. D-Link DCS-2330L HD Wireless Network Camera
  3. Gigabyte AM1M-S2H
  4. AMD's New Athlon/Semprons Give Old Phenom CPUs A Big Run For The Money
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.4 On Linux With Radeon R3 APU Graphics
  2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 RC Benchmarks
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.4 Brings Few Linux Performance Improvements
  4. The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated
Latest Linux News
  1. R600 Gallium3D Lands Many OpenGL Fixes
  2. LLVMpipe Gallium3D Now Exposes GLSL 3.30
  3. NGINX 1.6 Brings SPDY 3.1 & Other New Features
  4. Linux Foundation Announces A Core Infrastructure Initiative
  5. More Steam Linux Tests/Benchmarks Might Be Coming
  6. NVIDIA's Amazing Single-Board ARM Computer Might Be Delayed
  7. Fedora 21 To Get A Playground, New Features
  8. PC-BSD Is Developing Its Own Desktop Environment
  9. Valve Is Bringing VOGL To Windows & Working On Regression Tests
  10. Canonical Is Taking Over Linux 3.13 Kernel Maintenance
  11. Google Web Designer Is Now Natively Available On Linux
  12. Ubuntu 14.10 Is Codenamed The Utopic Unicorn
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  2. HTPC-upgrade advice: AMD Richland A8-7600 or Kaveri A10-6700T ???
  3. What Else Would You Like To See On Phoronix This Spring?
  4. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  5. The Most Amazing OpenGL Tech Demo In 64kb
  6. Announcing radeontop, a tool for viewing the GPU usage
  7. New card. Open source drivers only.
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control