April 16, 2009 -- Earlier this week we looked at the Inspiron Mini 9, which was Dell's inaugural Atom-powered netbook. The hardware to the device was fine and it even shipped with Ubuntu Linux, albeit with a few modifications. In that article though we said we would have Ubuntu benchmarks coming from this 8.9" Intel device and today we have those numbers to share. We are looking at the performance of Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 8.10, and Ubuntu 9.04 from the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook. Since Ubuntu 8.04.2, Intel's Atom performance has improved tremendously and Dell should begin thinking about upgrading past the Long-Term Support release.
March 31, 2009 -- Last week marked the release of the Ubuntu 9.04 Beta and this week there is the planned release of the Fedora 11 Beta. Both distributions are similar in the respect they will be upgrading several common packages like GNOME 2.26, but in Fedora 11 are more upstream (and experimental) bits like kernel mode-setting, the EXT4 file-system by default, and various other features. Being the Linux benchmarking fanatics that we are, we set out to run a few performance tests comparing the Ubuntu 9.04 Beta to the latest Rawhide packages that will make up today's Fedora 11 Beta release.
March 30, 2009 -- Last week Intel had pushed out a second alpha release of Moblin V2 and now it boots even faster, which means they are down to the point of being able to boot in just a few seconds. Beyond a very quick boot process, they have already incorporated kernel mode-setting and other newer Linux/X.Org technologies while also working to build a desktop environment around the Clutter OpenGL tool-kit. Moblin is certainly turning into an interesting Intel creation, but how does its performance compare to other mobile-focused Linux distributions? We have benchmarked Moblin V2 Alpha 2 and compared it against what is likely their biggest competitor in the mobile space, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and the LPIA-based Ubuntu MID edition. Which of these mobile operating systems is the fastest? We hope to find out today.
March 27, 2009 -- When it comes to putting Ubuntu Linux on mobile devices, Canonical has two flavors of their popular Linux distribution to suit the needs of vendors and end-users: Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Ubuntu MID. The former targets netbook computers (hence its name), particularly those with Intel Atom processors, and brings a unique interface atop GNOME. The Ubuntu MID edition is targeted for very small netbooks and mobile Internet devices. Particularly, Ubuntu MID aims to be on handheld devices and those with 4-7" touch-screens. Beyond having a different user interface, Ubuntu MID is spun with LPIA packages instead of the i386 package-set. LPIA is quite similar to i386, but targets the Low-Power Intel Architecture with different compile-time optimizations. With the low-power focus, will this distribution extend your battery life? Yes, our results today show that the power consumption can be cut down by greater than 10%.
March 25, 2009 -- Back in January Intel had pushed out its first alpha release for Moblin V2. This Intel-optimized Linux distribution targeting systems with Intel Atom hardware was quite unique and offered a number of advantages for being a netbook-oriented operating system. Particularly special about Intel Moblin V2 was its boot-time, which was extremely fast when using a Solid-State Drive. Intel has now put out a second alpha release for Moblin V2, which we are briefly exploring today.
February 21, 2009 -- Being worked on as part of Mandriva's next Linux distribution update is a technology they are referring to as Speedboot. Speedboot will be officially introduced with Mandriva Linux 2009.1, and compared to the normal boot process, it begins initializing some processes early on while it postpones other tasks until after the graphical display manager has shown. In essence, the user is logging into their Linux desktop even before the system is fully booted. We have some timed results of Mandriva's Speedboot along with videos showing the differences.
February 16, 2009 -- When announcing Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope, Mark Shuttleworth had hoped to make this next Ubuntu Linux release perform better and to boot "blindingly quick", in particular with Ubuntu beginning to appear on more mobile devices. Well, with Alpha 4 have been released earlier this month, are Canonical developers and the community in the right direction with making Ubuntu 9.04 boot quickly? We have boot-time benchmarks of the latest Ubuntu 9.04 work along with Linux desktop benchmarks comparing it to its predecessor, Ubuntu 8.10.
February 07, 2009 -- gOS and Linux Mint are two of the many Linux distributions based upon Ubuntu, but they provide their own spin of things. gOS, for instance, ships with WINE and Google Gears by default and focuses upon providing an easy and rich experienced catered around Web 2.0 services. Linux Mint ships with its own set of customizations and its focus is on providing an easy-to-use Linux desktop by having a distinct user interface, its own set of system, and shipping with various proprietary drivers, plug-ins, media codecs, and other packages. We had a question though from a reader asking whether the performance of these Ubuntu derivatives is vastly different from Ubuntu itself. With that inquiry, we have run a couple benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 8.10, gOS 3.1, and Linux Mint 6.
January 11, 2009 -- With the EXT4 file-system having been stabilized with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, the Ubuntu developers are preparing to adopt this evolutionary Linux file-system update. EXT4 will not replace EXT3 as the default file-system until at least Ubuntu 9.10, but as of yesterday, Ubuntu 9.04 now has install-time support for EXT4. In this article we are looking at the EXT4 support within Ubuntu as well as providing a few Linux file-system benchmarks from a netbook-embedded solid-state drive. In this article we have published Ubuntu benchmarks of EXT4, EXT3, XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS file-systems.
December 07, 2008 -- One of the exciting features that is being worked on for Ubuntu 9.04 is encrypted home directories. What this means is that at install-time for either the LiveCD or server installation (or at a point later on when creating additional user accounts), the administrator can opt to have the user's home directory encrypted. This is a step-down from the Ubuntu 7.10 install-time encryption that would encrypt the entire hard drive and just not the user's home directory, but alas, that comes with performance consequences. At the request of Canonical, we have carried out a few benchmarks showing what effect the Ubuntu 9.04 home encryption feature has on the system's overall performance.