February 23, 2010 -- FreeBSD 8.0 was released in November with a number of improvements and various performance enhancements as our FreeBSD benchmarks have shown, but if the text-based installation process has put you off from installing this popular BSD distribution or other usability challenges, there's no reason to fear any longer. The PC-BSD project has finally come out with their stable PC-BSD 8.0 release that is derived from FreeBSD 8.0 but with much desktop-oriented love and its friendlier installer and package management system.
January 27, 2010 -- Back in August we shared that Sun would be discontinuing SXCE, or formally known as Solaris Express Community Edition. Solaris Express Community Edition for the past five years has served as Sun's delivery mechanism for the latest and greatest Solaris code that will eventually make it into the next Solaris stable release, but earlier this month Sun Microsystems put out their last bi-weekly build of SXCE and as of the end of this week all downloads will cease. OpenSolaris has superseded Solaris Express Community Edition, but with this article, we are taking one last look at Build 130, the final version of Solaris Express Community Edition.
January 25, 2010 -- Last week we published the first Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks that compared the 32-bit and 64-bit performance of this Debian port -- that straps the FreeBSD kernel underneath a Debian GNU user-land -- to Debian GNU/Linux. We have now extended that comparison to put many other operating systems in a direct performance comparison
to these Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD snapshots of 6.0 Squeeze to Fedora 12, FreeBSD 7.2, FreeBSD 8.0, OpenBSD 4.6, and OpenSolaris 2009.06.
January 18, 2010 -- There has been an effort underway within the Debian development community to pull the FreeBSD kernel within this distribution to provide an alternative to using the Linux kernel. In essence with this Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project you have the standard Debian package set providing a GNU user-land with a GNU C library, but the FreeBSD kernel is running underneath. The Debian project has also been working on Debian GNU/Hurd to effectively do the same thing but with the GNU Mach microkernel. But unlike Debian GNU/Hurd, with the release of Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will reach a release status. With the Debian Squeeze release being just two months away we have decided to provide the first public set of benchmarks that compare the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD performance to that of Debian GNU/Linux. We have tested both the 32-bit and 64-bit builds of Debian with the Linux and FreeBSD kernels.
November 30, 2009 -- 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.
November 18, 2009 -- 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.
September 28, 2009 -- 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.
September 11, 2009 -- 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.
August 31, 2009 -- 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.
August 28, 2009 -- 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!