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Operating Systems

Can Ubuntu 9.10 Outperform Mac OS X 10.6?

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.
31 August 2009 - 79 Comments

Mac OS X 10.6 Brings Serious Performance Gains

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!
28 August 2009 - 148 Comments

Checking In On Ubuntu Karmic's Boot Time

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.
27 August 2009 - 22 Comments

Early Ubuntu 9.10, OpenSuSE 11.2, Mandriva 2010 Benchmarks

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.
24 August 2009 - 10 Comments

Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4 Benchmarks

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.
21 August 2009 - 7 Comments

Fedora 12 Alpha To Bring Many Improvements

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.
19 August 2009 - 19 Comments

Korona Brings KDE 4.3 To OpenSolaris

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.
18 August 2009 - 60 Comments

Arch Linux 2009.08 Benchmarks

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.
14 August 2009 - 41 Comments

Announcing PTS Desktop Live 2009.3

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.
29 July 2009 - 31 Comments

OpenSuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva Benchmarks

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.
16 July 2009 - 28 Comments

559 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.
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