For seeing how far the Ubuntu Linux performance has evolved over the past five years, in this article are benchmarks looking at the performance of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS through a recent Ubuntu 13.04 development snapshot from an aging AMD quad-core system.
An AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core system with ECS A790GXM-A motherboard was used with a 250GB Seagate HDD and ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics as the test system for this historical Ubuntu Linux comparison. This older system was used for maintaining system compatibility going back to Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS from April of 2008.
The Long-Term Support releases of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS were used and then the Ubuntu 13.04 development snapshot. This provides a look at how the Ubuntu Linux performance has evolved on this hardware over the past half-decade. Each Ubuntu release was cleanly installed and the stock packages/settings were used on each release.
A future article on Phoronix will look exclusively at the graphics performance over the course of several Ubuntu releases from this system but when using an older ATI Radeon X1800 (R520) graphics card and also comparing its performance to a vintage ATI Catalyst Linux graphics driver.
This testing is quite straightforward and was carried out in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the Phoronix Test Suite software so let's jump straight to the results.