I just returned to the United States after being in Ukraine the past five days over Easter weekend. The purpose of this trip was to explore the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and surrounding areas -- Kyiv, Pripyat, the Red Forest, etc. Contrary to some initial beliefs, it was not an April Fools' Joke. Due to the great interest in Chernobyl among those interested in science and technology whether it be due to the fascination with nuclear power or finding Chernobyl popularized by video games, documentaries, and the like, I have published my collection of these photographs of Chernobyl showing what the area looks like in 2010 -- just days prior to the 24th anniversary of this catastrophic disaster -- along with some of my thoughts and information collected from this journey.
Touring Chernobyl and Kyiv, Ukraine was definitely a captivating experience and certainly the highlight of my year (well, aside from the annual Oktoberfest outing). I intend to go back as there is so much more to explore at Chernobyl, in Pripyat, and in surrounding areas. It may also be part of the Phoronix "It Blew Up Real Good" Tour. This experience was also captured at Chernobyl2010.com.
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.
Often when we are preparing for cross-distribution comparisons or benchmarks of different operating systems (like our recent Mac OS X 10.6 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks) we are often asked to include Arch Linux in the mix. This is usually on the basis of including a rolling-release distribution to provide a performance look at a constantly evolving distribution with many of the most recent open-source packages rather than a traditional distribution with packages that may be months older. Many of those requesting Arch be included in our testing mix also claim that Arch performs significantly faster than Ubuntu and our usual test candidates. The main reason we do not deliver many benchmarks of Arch, Gentoo, or other distributions that use a rolling release approach is that they are not very reproducible with their results since their packages are frequently changing and there are more end-user customizations going on compared to most other distributions. However, to test the performance claims of Arch versus others, we have compared the performance of the newest Arch 2010.05 media against Ubuntu Linux.
Valve Corporation has today rolled out their Steam Mac OS X client to the general public and confirmed something we have been reporting for two years: the Steam content delivery platform and Source Engine are coming to Linux. This news is coming days after we discovered proof in Steam's Mac OS X Client of Linux support and subsequently found more Linux references and even the unreleased Steam Linux client. The day has finally come and Linux gamers around the world have a reason to rejoice, as this is the biggest news for the Linux gaming community that sees very few tier-one titles.
With Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 having made it out yesterday, we couldn't resist but to run some new benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx after our original tests last month found Ubuntu 10.04 was off to a poor performance start. In some areas the performance of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 remains lower than in Ubuntu 9.10 -- largely due to performance regressions upstream in the Linux kernel -- but we have also included some very early performance numbers from Fedora 13.
Last week we delivered benchmarks of Fedora 13 Alpha and Ubuntu 10.04 (along with testing the Fedora 11 and 12 too), but today we have a new set of comparative benchmarks that are covering the latest development versions of Ubuntu 10.04, Mandriva 2010.1, PCLinuxOS 2010, and openSUSE 11.3. Here they are.
There has been an effort underway within the Debian development community to pull the FreeBSD kernel within this distribution to provide an alternative to using the Linux kernel. In essence with this Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project you have the standard Debian package set providing a GNU user-land with a GNU C library, but the FreeBSD kernel is running underneath. The Debian project has also been working on Debian GNU/Hurd to effectively do the same thing but with the GNU Mach microkernel. But unlike Debian GNU/Hurd, with the release of Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will reach a release status. With the Debian Squeeze release being just two months away we have decided to provide the first public set of benchmarks that compare the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD performance to that of Debian GNU/Linux. We have tested both the 32-bit and 64-bit builds of Debian with the Linux and FreeBSD kernels.