There is still three months left until Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" will be officially released along with the Ubuntu Netbook spin and the various other incarnations of this popular Linux distribution, but today we have some initial netbook tests of this next version of Ubuntu Linux. While Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook may boast a new user-interface now that it is using the Unity Desktop, the changes that have taken place "under the hood" have led to some performance differences compared to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook.
With these initial Ubuntu Maverick tests on a netbook we used the Samsung NC10 for testing with its Intel Atom N270 processor, 945G graphics, 2GB of system memory, 32GB OCZ Core Series SSD, and 10-inch 1024 x 600 LVDS panel. We compared the performance of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook to a daily snapshot of Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook from 2010-07-02. This spin of Ubuntu Maverick carried the Linux 2.6.35-6-generic i686 kernel, X.Org Server 1.8.2 RC2, xf86-video-intel 2.11.0, Mesa 7.8.2, GCC 4.4.4, and an EXT4 file-system. This is in comparison to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS using the Linux 2.6.32-21-generic i686 kernel, X.Org Server 1.7.6, xf86-video-intel 2.9.1, Mesa 7.7.1, GCC 4.4.3, and an EXT4 file-system.
We ran a number of benchmarks using the Phoronix Test Suite to look at the performance of these two Ubuntu netbook operating systems on the Samsung netbook, but before that we first looked to see how the power consumption differed when running on battery power. The Phoronix Test Suite charted the battery power consumption when idling for five minutes and then running the OpenArena test profile.
The power results between Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook and Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook (2010-07-02) were surprisingly interesting. Ubuntu 10.10 is currently going through about one Watt more than its predecessor. Even while idling the Maverick Meerkat release is going through greater power as it is being woken up every few seconds. Charting the CPU usage also confirmed this that while the system was idling, the CPU usage would still spike every few seconds and burn through more power. When running OpenArena with the Intel integrated graphics, the Maverick Meerkat Netbook installation continued to use more power than the Lucid Lynx Netbook release.