Being developed since 2007 and integrated in Ubuntu since 2008 with their Ubuntu 8.04 LTS release has been Wubi, the Windows-based Ubuntu Installer. While most Linux users tend to install Ubuntu using the LiveCD or the alternate CD installer, by using Wubi you can setup a full desktop from within Microsoft Windows. Wubi places Ubuntu into a disk image still residing on the Windows partition, thereby making it easy to install and remove without risking any problems of messing up your drive's partitions. While Wubi may lower the barrier for entry to trying out an Ubuntu Linux desktop, it does not come without some performance penalties associated to using the loop-mounted device stored on the Microsoft file-system.
As was reported recently, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port now has limited support for handling ZFS file-systems and its stock kernel has been upgraded against that of FreeBSD 8.1. Due to the upgraded kernel we ran a quick set of benchmarks to see how the performance of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to that of Debian Linux.
With Ubuntu 10.10 having been released yesterday on the 10th of October, many Ubuntu users will be upgrading to this latest release in the coming days. However, for those that are concerned about the performance of this latest release that is codenamed the Maverick Meerkat, here are some benchmarks comparing its performance to Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS as well as last October's Ubuntu 9.10 release.
The last time we closely examined the boot performance of Fedora Linux was in 2008 when comparing the boot times from Fedora Core 4 through Fedora 8. However, with more distributions taking pride in recent months over shortening their boot time -- with Canonical for example having worked towards a ten second Ubuntu boot time -- we decided to see how long it's taking Fedora to put its hat on these days. With the three Intel notebooks we used from our recent Fedora power consumption review, we measured the boot times using Bootchart on the Fedora 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 Alpha releases.
With the release of Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 a few weeks back we decided to run some benchmarks of this operating system against PC-BSD 8.1, OpenSolaris b134, and Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS. For those unfamiliar with Nexenta Core Platform, it is an operating system that combines the OpenSolaris kernel with a Linux user-land provided by the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron" package repository, complete with apt-get support for easy package installation.
Yesterday we looked at the performance of Apple's "Snow Leopard Graphics Update" for Mac OS X 10.6.4 designed to enhance both the image quality and rendering performance for OpenGL games and applications. For testing their graphics update we benchmarked Mac OS X 10.6.2, 10.6.3, 10.6.4, and 10.6.4 with the Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0 installed and benchmarked the Apple OpenGL performance against Ubuntu Linux. The results were mixed showing Apple still has room to optimize their OpenGL stack compared to NVIDIA's Linux implementation and in not all areas did this package update result in performance enhancements. After we finished that OpenGL comparison, we decided to see how the OpenCL performance compares between Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Ubuntu Linux 10.04.1 LTS. We tested the Open Computing Language on both the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and on the NVIDIA GPU.
While our primary focus at Phoronix is on providing Linux benchmarks, we do enjoy trying out and benchmarking other operating systems like FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X. When Apple originally launched Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" we were the first to provide detailed Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks compared to Mac OS X 10.5 and also how Apple's new operating system at the time compared to Linux. We have continued to monitor the performance of Snow Leopard and found that some point releases had introduced some regressions and we have compared the performance of Mac OS X 10.6 to Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. With Apple's release last week of the "Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0" that is reported to bring "stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games in Mac OS X", our interest was piqued and we set out to run a new set of Apple OpenGL benchmarks. In this article we are looking at the OpenGL performance of Mac OS X 10.6, 10.6.2, 10.6.3, 10.6.4, and 10.6.4 with this graphics update installed.
At the beginning of this month we published workstation benchmarks comparing Windows 7 to Ubuntu Linux. In those tests, which were a continuation of tests from earlier this year when looking to see whether Windows 7 is faster than Ubuntu 10.04 and how fast is Windows compared to Mac OS X and Linux, the two operating systems performed quite closely in our workstation tests with only a few exceptions. Today, however, we are back to looking at the Linux vs. Windows performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 and this time we are looking at the OpenGL gaming performance between Windows 7 Professional and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
As I alluded to recently, the second round of Windows 7 vs. Linux benchmarks -- with the first round consisting of Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04 and Mac OS X vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu benchmarks -- are currently being done atop a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook that is quite popular with business professionals. With the high-end ThinkPad W510 boasting a dual quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU with Hyper-Threading plus a NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics processor, we began this second round of cross-platform benchmarks by running a set of workstation tests. In this article we are mainly looking at the workstation graphics (via SPECViewPerf) performance along with some CPU/disk tests.
Traditionally at Phoronix we have stayed away from publishing benchmarks of Gentoo and similar source-based distributions for the lack of them having a standard or "stock" configuration for which one can easily replicate our tested software stack due to all of the different variables that come into play so the value of these benchmarks are much less compared to those distributions providing pre-compiled binaries for a standardized set of packages. However, satisfying a number of requests, we are publishing such benchmarks today. Rather than using Gentoo itself for benchmarking, we are using Calculate Linux Desktop, which is Gentoo-based while providing a very nice "out of the box" experience, i686 and x86_64 binaries, and overall is a polished and user-friendly Gentoo experience.
Back in January, we published the first benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD: the spin of Debian that replaces the Linux kernel with the FreeBSD kernel while retaining most of the same GNU user-land and it uses the GNU C library. With those original tests comparing Debian GNU/Linux to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, the Linux version ended up winning in 18 of the 27 tests. However, over the past six months, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port has matured and it's also moved to using the FreeBSD 7.3 kernel by default (compared to 7.2 back in January) and the FreeBSD 8.0 kernel is also emerging as a viable option that can be obtained using Debian's package management system. Today we have updated test numbers looking at the performance of Debian with the FreeBSD kernel using two different notebooks where we ran the latest Debian GNU/kFreeBSD packages with both the FreeBSD 7.3 and 8.0 kernels, Debian GNU/Linux with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, and then finally we tested the pure FreeBSD 7.3 and FreeBSD 8.0 operating systems.
Following yesterday's release of openSUSE 11.3 we tested this updated Linux operating system that's sponsored by Novell on an Intel Atom netbook and compared the performance to that of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Fedora 13. Here are the results.
Last October I wrote about running Ubuntu 9.10 with older PC hardware, but over this past weekend I restored an even older Phoronix test system to see how it runs with the most recent Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release and the very-latest Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot in relation to the older Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS. This antiquated system has an Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB IDE hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9200PRO AGP graphics card.
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.
FreeBSD 8.1 is slated to be released this month as the first significant update to FreeBSD since the rollout of the 8.0 release last November. With the second release candidate of FreeBSD 8.1 having just been made available a few days back, we have conducted a set of tests comparing the performance of FreeBSD 8.1 RC2 versus FreeBSD 8.0 and an Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot.
Following the release of the first beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 back in April we delivered our first RHEL 6.0 benchmarks while putting it up against CentOS 5.4 and Fedora 12. Now that the second beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 was released last week, we took the workstation build and have benchmarked it against the latest releases of Ubuntu, CentOS, and openSUSE.
With many Linux distributions receiving major updates in recent weeks and months we have carried out a five-way Linux distribution comparison of openSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and Arch Linux. We have quite a number of tests comparing the 32-bit performance of these popular Linux distributions on older PC hardware.
Fedora 13 was released last week with a number of new features like Btrfs system rollback support and support for easily using the open-source 3D NVIDIA driver, but how does its performance compare to that of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, which was released a month earlier? We have the benchmarks today from three different systems to tell you.
The last time we ran a performance comparison of different Linux distributions on netbooks was in late November when benchmarking Chromium OS, Moblin, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The results were interesting, but now we have a new set of Linux distributions out there, so we have carried out a new comparison. In particular, we are looking closely at how the MeeGo distribution -- which marries Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects -- is performing now that it has reached version 1.0. Also in the testing mix are Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 LTS, Moblin 2.1, and Fedora 13.
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.
Last week we delivered the first of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to much anticipation, but now we have the results for Apple's Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system to tack in too. In the first part of that Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance examination, we looked closely at the OpenGL gaming performance across six different systems and a whole slew of tests. More articles are on the way looking at the performance and later in the week we already delivered some initial disk benchmarks. However, now it is time to see how Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 compete with one another.
Last week marked the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, this week there was the releases of PCLinuxOS 2010.1 and a new openSUSE 11.3 milestone, and planned for unveiling in just over a week is the final release of Fedora 13. This week the Fedora 13 release candidate is available via their compose system as all hands are on deck to prepare for the release of Goddard.
Yesterday we published our first benchmarks of Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 that provided an initial look at the OpenGL graphics performance between these two operating systems on six different systems. Today we are continuing to compare the two operating systems as we look at the power consumption of Ubuntu and Windows on a netbook and notebook.
While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux? We have used six uniquely different systems and ran Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 on each of them with a set of 55 tests (actually, more than 165 if considering that each test is usually run at least three times for accuracy) per installation.
Canonical expressed their plans to achieve a ten-second boot time in June of last year for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, with their reference system being a Dell Mini 9 netbook. In February, we last checked on Ubuntu's boot performance and found it close, but not quite there yet, but did they end up hitting this goal for the final release of the Lucid Lynx? Well, from our tests, not quite. We tested out a near-final version of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on three netbooks -- including a Dell Mini 9 -- and the boot speed is not quite in the single digits.
While a bulk of the Linux community is engaged by the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS next week, another popular Linux distribution put out its first major update of 2010 a few days ago. PCLinuxOS, the Mandriva-based OS that is one of the top 10 most popular Linux distributions according to DistroWatch, is out with this update that bumps their kernel to Linux 220.127.116.11 while still carrying the BFS scheduler, updated NVIDIA and ATI driver support, locale improvements, and much more. We have a few benchmarks up this morning of PCLinuxOS 2010 compared to the latest snapshot of Ubuntu 10.04.
The first beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 was made available yesterday morning. RHEL 6.0 is set to offer many virtualization enhancements, power management improvements, new security features, many package updates, and even some reported performance enhancements. With Red Hat mentioning this major upgrade to their enterprise operating system carrying "performance enhancements", these claims have now been tested using the Phoronix Test Suite within our labs. There are some improvements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 to note, but also some losses.
Last week we shared that we were benchmarking Ubuntu's current and past LTS releases and began by running graphics benchmarks looking at how the proprietary drivers from the past compare to open-source drivers from the present, but now we have our assortment of system benchmarks to publish from the Long-Term Support releases of Ubuntu 6.06.1, Ubuntu 8.04.4, and an Ubuntu 10.04 development snapshot. In this article, we are looking at how Ubuntu's performance has evolved over the past four years.
Besides the Fedora 13 Graphics Testing Week taking place over the next few days, this week is also significant within the Fedora community as it will mark the release of Fedora 13 Beta. There's just one month left to go until Fedora 13 (codenamed Goddard) will be officially released, but over the past few hours we have been testing out what will become the official Fedora 13 Beta spin this morning. Fedora 13 is quite exciting and worth checking out.
Yesterday we published Mac OS X 10.6.2 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks. Overall, both the latest Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux operating systems were competitive with one another, but there were a few strong points to each OS. As luck would have it, Apple finally introduced the Mac OS X 10.6.3 update that brought a variety of maintenance updates to Snow Leopard. There were a few rumored performance-related changes as well as addressing "compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications" that was supposed to mean graphics driver updates, so we decided to run our automated tests atop Mac OS X 10.6.3 to look for any differences.
630 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.