Coming up in our forums was a testing request to compare the performance of Linux between using 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit kernels. This is coming after Linus Torvalds has spoke of 25% performance differences between kernels using CONFIG_HIGHMEM4G and those without this option that allows 32-bit builds to address up to 4GB of physical RAM on a system. We decided to compare the performance of the 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit kernels on a modern desktop system and here are the results.
Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 1 was released last week and while it did not bring any major features yet for this Long-Term Support release of Ubuntu Linux to be released in April of 2010, it began to introduce some underlying changes like the switch to the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, X Server 1.7, and the complete removal of HAL. Our early benchmarks of Ubuntu 10.04 show that there are some negative performance regressions right off the bat, but that is from within the Linux desktop. One area that Canonical is focusing upon in particular with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is speeding up the boot process, so we decided to provide some benchmarks there too.
Tomorrow will mark the first alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04, and while there is still a long journey ahead for this Long-Term Support release before it officially makes its debut in April, we could not pass up the opportunity to provide some early benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS has already pulled in X.Org 7.5 with X Server 1.7 and other updated graphics packages along with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel that it will be using in the final build, which already presents some core differences from the current stable release, Ubuntu 9.10.
With the stable release of FreeBSD 8.0 arriving last week we finally were able to put it up on the test bench and give it a thorough look over with the Phoronix Test Suite. We compared the FreeBSD 8.0 performance between it and the earlier FreeBSD 7.2 release along with Fedora 12 and Ubuntu 9.10 on the Linux side and then the OpenSolaris 2010.02 b127 snapshot on the Sun OS side.
Intel released Moblin 2.1 earlier this month, Canonical released Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 late last month, and various other vendors have offered up their fall distribution refreshes too. Oh yeah, and Google just released the Chromium OS source code a few days ago! With all of the netbook-focused distribution updates, we found it time to run an onslaught of new benchmarks, comparing some of the leaders in this field along with running a couple full-blown desktop distributions for this round of Linux netbook benchmarking. Here are our benchmarks, including the world's first look at the Chromium OS (Chrome OS) system performance from the latest development build. Covered is everything from the video playback performance to encoding to battery power consumption and CPU/memory usage tests.
Back in August upon the launch of Apple's Snow Leopard we delivered benchmarks comparing Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 along with initial benchmarks of how Ubuntu 9.10 was running against Mac OS X 10.6. Since that time though Ubuntu 9.10 has been officially released with various changes since last August and Apple has issued two point releases for Snow Leopard, now putting it at version 10.6.2. As we await the release of FreeBSD 8.0 to deliver a larger operating system comparison, we have carried out a fresh round of tests comparing Mac OS X 10.6.2 and Ubuntu 9.10 (both x86 and x86_64 editions) under a variety of tests.
Canonical released Ubuntu 9.10 last week, which introduced the Ubuntu Software Center and brought a wide variety of other improvements, while Red Hat is scheduled to release Fedora 12 in two weeks. With the impending release and the current development freeze, we took the compose release candidate for Fedora 12 x86_64 and have looked at how its performance compares to Ubuntu 9.10. In this article are our results, which actually show some rather large differences between Fedora and Ubuntu when it comes to the speed of the Linux desktop.
With the release of CentOS 5.4 last month to bring this community enterprise operating system on par with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, we decided it was a good time to see how the server / workstation performance between this new CentOS release compares to that of Ubuntu 9.10, which was released last week, and also how it performs up against the release candidate of OpenSuSE 11.2. In this article are these benchmarks.
Last week we looked at the Ubuntu 9.10 netbook performance with two Atom-powered netbooks comparing the Karmic Koala numbers against that of Ubuntu 9.04. For the most part, Ubuntu 9.10 offered better performance over its predecessor, but there were a few performance drops in different areas. With our netbook results out of the way, next up we looked at how Ubuntu 9.10 is running with older PC hardware. For the testing in this article we pulled out an aging laptop and ran a set of tests across Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04, and the latest Ubuntu 9.10 snapshot.
There is just one week left until Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" will be released, but is it worth the upgrade if you are running a netbook? From our testing of the development releases, it is most certainly worth the upgrade, especially when compared to Ubuntu 9.04 with its buggy Intel driver stack that caused many problems for Atom netbook users. Ubuntu 9.10 brings many usability improvements to the Linux desktop, various new packages, and the overall system performance has improved too. We have ran a set of benchmarks on both a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Samsung NC10 under Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 to illustrate the performance gains along with a few regressions.
There has not been a new development release of Fedora 12 since the Constantine Alpha release back in August. However, the second and last development release, Fedora 12 Beta, is set to be released next week. It has been delayed a few times already, but Fedora 12 Beta packs all of the features that are to be found in Fedora 12 with the final development freeze already in effect. Here is an early look at where the Fedora 12 Beta is at in regards to its artwork and feature set.
Last month from the Intel Developer Forum a preview copy of Moblin 2.1 was released, which introduces the Moblin Garage and other new capabilities to this mobile Linux operating system that is targeting Intel Atom netbooks and nettops but will be moving to smaller devices too. The first preview spin of the next Moblin release was nice, but this week Intel has put out a new build of Moblin 2.1. Of course, we fired up this new release for a look.
Just days after Gentoo resurrected itself with a new LiveDVD release in celebration of its 10th birthday, the developers behind the Yoper Linux distribution have come around with a new development release of its own. Yoper dates back to 2003, and one of their goals is to be the fastest out-of-the-box Linux distribution, but there has not been a new stable release in 28 months and it is not on a rolling release cycle like Gentoo or Arch. The new release for this distribution is Yoper 2009 Beta 1 "Dresden" and ships with all of the latest Linux packages and offers a new installer and various other improvements. Yoper also remains one of the few distributions shipping with a Zen-powered kernel, and on top of that, they even offer a kernel with the BFS scheduler.
Canonical will be releasing Ubuntu 9.10 at the end of next month while the final release of FreeBSD 8.0 is also expected within the next few weeks. With these two popular free software operating systems both having major updates coming out at around the same time, we decided it warranted some early benchmarking as we see how the FreeBSD 8.0 and Ubuntu 9.10 performance compares. For looking more at the FreeBSD performance we also have included test results from FreeBSD 7.2, the current stable release. In this article are mostly the server and workstation oriented benchmarks with the testing being carried out on a dual AMD Opteron quad-core workstation.
Last year Gentoo canceled their 2008 release plans to focus on putting out just one release per year, while in years past they had put out as many as four releases per calendar year. There has not been a new official release of Gentoo since July of 2008, albeit they are one of the distributions to use a rolling release approach, but in honor of their tenth birthday they have begun work on a new LiveDVD. Gentoo has been producing timed snapshots of their installation media, but this will be the first Gentoo release in 2009.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix came around last year at Computex Taipei and the original version we tried out was quite nice with its small-screen optimizations and very different launcher interface compared to simply running GNOME or KDE on a small mobile device. This year when the Moblin V2 user-interface was finally unveiled and it put us in awe with its sleek, intuitive design that was driven by Clutter. How has Canonical responded to Intel and Moblin V2? Well, there is Ubuntu Moblin Netbook Remix that just debuted to deliver the best of Ubuntu and Moblin, but the traditional Ubuntu Netbook Remix has also picked up several improvements for its 9.10 release.
A few hours ago we talked about the Moblin 2.0 release, the launch of the Moblin Garage and Moblin Application Installer, and the next Moblin 2.1 release. Intel has provided an early development preview of the Moblin 2.1 operating system, which we briefly tested out on a Samsung NC10 netbook. Here are the screenshots and a few more details.
OpenSolaris 2009.06 was released earlier this year, but unlike in years past and contrary to their original six month release cycle, there will not be another OpenSolaris distribution release in 2009. Instead, the next slated release is OpenSolaris 2010.02, which should be out in early February of next year. It is far too early to speculate everything that this next Sun operating system will have in store, but we do have some screenshots off a recent SXCE build and other details.
Linux distributions designed specifically for use on netbooks is nothing new. Canonical produces the Ubuntu Netbook Remix version of Ubuntu for these small-sized devices, Intel has their Moblin distribution that is very fast and offers an attractive interface, gOS has their own netbook distribution, Linpus has QuickOS, and the list goes on. One of the newest netbook distributions coming around is Jolicloud, which is based upon Ubuntu Netbook Remix and is self-described as a cool new OS for your netbook. Jolicloud is focused upon building an OS around the web and one that merges open-source and the open web.
Back on Friday we published Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks and found it to offer some terrific performance improvements, but at the same time, there were a few notable regressions. Apple engineers have been working hard at pushing technologies like Grand Central Dispatch (GCD), OpenCL, full 64-bit support, and other changes to their OS X stack to bolster its performance capabilities and reduce the overall footprint. Now that we have tested Mac OS X 10.6, we are seeing how its performance compares to that of Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" will be out in October and does have some performance improvements as our earlier tests have shown, but Canonical engineers have not been exclusively focusing on performance optimizations with this release. Can the Karmic Koala outperform Snow Leopard? Yes and no.
While our focus at Phoronix is on testing hardware under Linux, we remain friendly and interested in other BSD and UNIX operating systems too, including Mac OS X . With the launch of Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" we have been particularly interested in it considering the technological advancements that have been made in this update thanks to their large focus on improving the performance of Mac OS X. With that said, we have spent all week working on a grand Mac OS X benchmarking showdown by comparing the performance of the retail build of Mac OS X 10.6.0 to the earlier Mac OS X 10.5.8 through a number of different quantitative tests. We firmly believe that as of right now these are the most detailed desktop performance numbers available concerning Snow Leopard, but we already have more figures on the way. We have performance numbers from not just one Mac computer, but two different setups. Here's to the first 60+ tests we ran!
By the time Ubuntu 10.04 LTS rolls around next April, Canonical is interested in seeing Ubuntu boot on an Intel Atom netbook (specifically the Dell Mini 9) in less than ten seconds. These incredibly fast boot time goals even led Canonical to decide against investing more time in enhancing the boot experience with Red Hat's Plymouth. Canonical has already come close to achieving this with the Ubuntu 9.04 release earlier this year, but how is Ubuntu 9.10 changing the boot time with defaulting to the EXT4 file-system and their other ongoing changes? In this article, we have re-installed Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04, and a 9.10 development snapshot on two netbooks and one laptop to see how Ubuntu's boot time is changing.
Last week we provided benchmarks of Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4, but Ubuntu is not the only Linux distribution preparing for a major update in the coming months. Also released in the past few days were OpenSuSE 11.2 Milestone 6 and Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Beta 1. To see how these three popular distributions compare, we set out to do our usual Linux benchmarking dance.
Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4 was released last week and with all of its updated packages and changes compared to Ubuntu 9.04, we decided to carry out a fresh round of benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 9.04 to Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4. We used a Samsung NC10 for testing with an Intel Atom N270, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 32GB OCZ Core Series V2 SSD, and Intel 945GME graphics.
The first development release for Fedora 12 (codenamed Constantine), Alpha 1, was supposed to be released this week. However, Red Hat has pushed back its release to next week Tuesday. While there is this seven-day delay, an Alpha 1 RC1 ISO spin is available and we decided to provide a very early and brief look at the Fedora 12 release.
While Sun Microsystems puts their weight behind the GNOME desktop environment for Solaris and OpenSolaris, there are developers that do work on providing a quality experience for KDE on OpenSolaris. However, getting KDE to run on a clean OpenSolaris installation can require building KDE from source and taking various other steps. Fortunately, for KDE fans, there is now the Korona distribution, which brings KDE 4.3 as the default desktop environment to an OpenSolaris stack.
Arch Linux 2009.08 was released earlier this week with a new installer, more automatic configuration settings, many core package updates, and other changes to this growingly popular distribution. At the request of some readers, we have carried out some quick benchmarks to get a general understanding of where Arch Linux 2009.08 is performing in comparison to Ubuntu 9.04.
It has been no secret that we have been working to create our own Linux distribution that is designed to run off a Live DVD/USB device and would provide a standardized free software stack for running hardware benchmarks whether you are a computer review web-site like us, an independent hardware vendor interested in seeing how well their hardware performs on Linux, or just a hobbyist wishing to compare your system's performance against that of your friends. We first shared our plans for this a few months ago when talking about driving Linux-based benchmarking with Sandtorg (a.k.a. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0). We also briefly mentioned this Linux OS again last week when providing a detailed guide to Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, but today we are formally announcing PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 (codenamed "Gernlinden"). PTS Desktop Live is being released as a free download in tandem with the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 on the 4th of August.
With it being a while since we last compared many Linux distributions when it comes to their measurable desktop performance, we decided to run a new round of tests atop four of the most popular Linux distributions: OpenSuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandriva. To see where these Linux distributions are at, we used their latest development releases and then performed all package updates as of 2009-07-15. Following that, we ran an arsenal of tests using the Phoronix Test Suite. Here are the results.
The first alpha release of Mandriva Linux 2010 was released on Sunday. This development update brings a number of core improvements to Mandriva such as a faster boot time, Plymouth integration for enhancing the boot process, Tomoyo for providing the security framework, Moblin packaging, and various other improvements. In this article we are taking a brief look at Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1.
618 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.