The Linux 2.6.28 kernel was released this past week in time for the holidays. This quarterly update to the Linux kernel brought the stabilization of the EXT4 file-system, the Graphics Execution Manager, a host of new drivers, and a variety of other updates. For some weekend benchmarking we had tested the latest Linux 2.6.28 kernel along with other recent kernels using the Phoronix Test Suite.
We had built the Linux 2.6.25, 2.6.26, 2.6.27, and 2.6.28 kernels from source using the same basic configuration on top of an Ubuntu 8.10 installation. Besides the different kernel releases we were using X Server 1.5.2, the NVIDIA 180.18 display driver, GCC 4.3.2, GNOME 2.24.1, and the stock EXT3 file-system. Our test system consisted of an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor clocked at 4.00GHz, ASUS P5E64 WS Professional, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 160GB Western Digital WD1600JS-00MHB0 SATA HDD, and NVIDIA GeForce 8600GTS 256MB graphics card.
The tests we ran with the Phoronix Test Suite (Tydal Beta 1) were Nexuiz, World of Padman, Lightsmark, LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, LZMA compression, GnuPG, OpenSSL, Java SciMark, SQLite, IOzone, and Sunflow Rendering System. These tests and this article are just intended to give a brief overview of the overall Linux performance from recent kernel releases on this Intel Core 2 hardware.