Over the past few weeks we have been providing several in-depth articles looking at the performance of Ubuntu Linux. We had begun by providing Ubuntu 7.04 to 8.10 benchmarks and had found the performance of this popular Linux distribution to become slower with time and that article was followed up with Mac OS X 10.5 vs. Ubuntu 8.10 benchmarks and other articles looking at the state of Ubuntu's performance. In this article, we are now comparing the 64-bit performance of Ubuntu 8.10 against the latest test releases of OpenSolaris 2008.11 and FreeBSD 7.1.
The tests included LAME MP3 encoding, 7-Zip Compression, Gzip compression, GnuPG, BYTE Unix Benchmark, Tandem XML, Bork File Encryption, Java SciMark, Bonnie++, OpenSSL, and Sunflow Rendering System. The Phoronix Test Suite, which is our advanced GPLv3 testing software that is compatible with Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X platforms, powered all of these tests. While the Phoronix Test Suite does offer graphics tests that are compatible with these three operating systems, we hadn't conducted any due to ATI's binary graphics driver only supporting Linux and the open-source ATI graphics drivers not yet enabling OpenGL support on the graphics card we were using (and there being a FireGL V8600 bug in the DDX driver), thereby limiting us to the VESA driver in these non-graphics tests. The Tydal 1.6 Alpha 1 release of our test suite was used due to improvements in the FreeBSD support.
For our Ubuntu run we were using Ubuntu 8.10 (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5.2, GCC 4.3.2, GNOME 2.24, the EXT3 file-system, and Java build 1.6.0_0-b12. OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 is based upon Solaris Nevada Build 101b with the Sun 5.11 kernel, X Server 1.3, GNOME 2.24, GCC 3.4.3, the ZFS file-system, and Java build 1.6.0_10-b33. Lastly, we were using FreeBSD 7.1 Beta 2 (AMD64) with X Server 1.4.2, GNOME 2.22, the UFS file-system, GCC 4.2.1, and Java 1.6.0_07-b02. Aside from changes made by the Phoronix Test Suite (and adding the GNOME packages to FreeBSD), all operating systems were left in their default configuration.
Our test hardware consisted of dual AMD Opteron 2356 processors (a total of 8 CPU cores), Tyan Thunder n3600M motherboard, 4GB of Corsair DDR2 ECC Registered memory, an ATI FireGL V8600 graphics card, and a 160GB Western Digital WD1600YS-01SHB1 SATA hard drive. This system was configured with our standard test options.