With the Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 codename being Trondheim (codename explanation), which is a city in Norway, and today being Constitution Day in Norway, what better way to celebrate than to push out a new release! Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 contains over 40 major changes since the previous release just a week ago. Some of the top changes in this release include advanced merging capabilities of test results, several new test profiles, and support for abstract result types.
The new test profiles in this release include x11perf, OpenArena, and tandem-xml. x11perf is the common X.Org regression testing program and the version shipping with the Phoronix Test Suite is v1.5, which includes new Composite extension tests. For those not familiar with OpenArena, it's an open-source first person shooter that is powered by the Quake 3 engine. Tandem XML is the open-source XML parser and writer written by and used for the Phoronix Test Suite. The tandem-xml test profile measures XML parsing and writing of thousands of XML files.
The Nexuiz test profile has been upgraded against the recent Nexuiz 2.4.2 release. In addition, many other test profiles have been updated to conserve more disk space as well as adding in new features, such as the ability for the end-user to find out the estimated disk space taken up by each test. If there is not enough free space on the disk, the Phoronix Test Suite will immediately notify the user.
For test maintainers, Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 allows the use of a new ResultFormat tag for specifying the graph type. The maintainer can have the results be rendered to a bar graph, line graph, or a pass-fail type display. For providing the pass-fail type graphs, the Phoronix Test Suite now supports abstract results. With this, the Phoronix Test Suite is no longer limited to test that provide numerical results. For more information on this feature, see Supporting Abstract Results Within PTS. Below is an example scenario with the new pass/fail graphs.
Another new optional feature for test maintainers is creating a validate-install file inside their test resources folder, which is a file that's intended to just verify the selected test is fully and properly installed. This release also has other test installation and management improvements.
Support for generating a cache of all downloaded tests was recently added to the Phoronix Test Suite. This makes it quick and easy to transfer test files between PCs and conserves bandwidth. With this 0.7.0 release, the Phoronix Test Suite supports reading from a download cache (generated by running phoronix-test-suite make-download-cache) across FTP, HTTP, NFS, and SMB. This means you can have a PTS download cache on your LAN and share it amongst all connected PCs. However, at this time to write the download cache that first needs to be done on the local file-system. The download cache location can be adjusted in ~/.phoronix-test-suite/user-config.xml.
Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 has also picked up some new experimental AMD support. For those using R600+ (Radeon HD 2000 / 3000) graphics cards, the Phoronix Test Suite is now able to read the current operating (GPU/memory) frequencies, stock frequencies, and the die temperature. These monitoring features have been supported by the Phoronix Test Suite across all GeForce/Quadro graphics cards since we introduced PTS sensor monitoring.
For those interested in running batch tests with the Phoronix Test Suite, rather than modifying the user-config.xml file manually to suit your needs, now all that's needed is to run phoronix-test-suite batch-setup. The batch-setup option will guide the user through all relevant batch mode settings.
Some of the miscellaneous improvements include enhanced HAL hardware detection, the PHP POSIX extension is now optional, PTS Global tags can be added when using the upload option, and there is improved graph formatting. The suite-info option has been improved to properly recurse when listing suites inside suites mixed with tests, etc. Some safety checks have also been added when saving your results, to ensure that when saving to an existing PTS file that the test types are compatible, otherwise the user is prompted for a new name. In addition, when saving to an existing file, all of the current test identifiers will be listed. Of course, going into each pre-1.0 release is greater code cleaning and bug fixes. The temporary download directory for the Phoronix Test Suite is now /tmp/phoronix-test-suite/. As another small note, when using the suite-info option there is now a basic tree view that shows all tests/suites contained inside of the selected suite.
For tests that run multiple times, a limitation of Phoronix Test Suite 0.6.0 and earlier has been the end-result would be averaged between all runs (unless the test maintainer opts for the first test-run to be ignored). However, with Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 another new feature is allowing the test maintainer to calculate the average, maximum, or minimum values for multiple runs. This can be done in the test profile with the ResultQuantifier tag.
Last but not least, the Phoronix Test Suite has a generic installer. When running install-sh inside the phoronix-test-suite/ folder as root, the Phoronix Test Suite will be installed to /usr/bin/phoronix-test-suite and with respective files in /usr/share/phoronix-test-suite/ and /usr/share/doc/phoronix-test-suite. The /usr prefix can be adjusted by supplying an alternate prefix as the first argument.
That about wraps up the major changes for Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0. Of course, we encourage you to head on over to Phoronix-Test-Suite.com and download this latest release. Upload your results to PTS Global and share your feedback or last minute feature requests in the PTS Forum or PTS mailing list.
( Editor's Note: Norway's Constitution Day is similar to the Independence Day back in the United States. Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 happens to have been released today from Trondheim. If you're curious about this Norwegian town, head on over to Trondheim-Photos.com for photographs from this national holiday. )