Operating Systems Archives
A Quick Tour Of Oracle Solaris 11

Solaris 11 was released on Wednesday as the first major update to the former Sun operating system in seven years. A lot has changed in the Solaris stack in the past seven years, and OpenSolaris has come and gone in that time, but in this article is a brief look through the brand new Oracle Solaris 11 release.

10 November 2011 - 28 Comments
Scientific Linux, openSUSE, Ubuntu Tests

Up for viewing today are benchmarks of Scientific Linux 6.1, openSUSE 11.4, Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS, and Ubuntu 11.10. This is the latest in the series of Ubuntu 11.10 benchmarks after looking at the power consumption, boot speed, performance relative to Sabayon 7, and virtualization performance.

3 November 2011 - 3 Comments
A Weekend Drive With OpenIndiana 151a

Last month to mark the one year anniversary of the OpenIndiana project there was the release of OpenIndiana 151a, the latest build of this Illumos-based Solaris operating system. I have finally had time to try out this latest OpenIndiana release and, of course, to run a few benchmarks.

16 October 2011 - 5 Comments
Sabayon 7 vs. Ubuntu 11.10 Performance

The release of Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" this week captured most of the Linux spotlight, but also arriving this week was Sabayon 7, the Gentoo-based Linux distribution that's meant to be easy-to-use and desktop-oriented. In this article Sabayon 7 has been pitted against Ubuntu 11.10 with its stock Linux 3.0 kernel and its new experimental Fusion kernel.

14 October 2011 - 25 Comments
The Other Issue With Ubuntu 11.10: Boot Speed

Besides Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" continuing to regress when it comes to increased power usage for many different systems, another area where Ubuntu 11.10 has regressed is with its boot speed. A clean install of Ubuntu 11.10 is definitively slower than previous Ubuntu Linux releases. Here's another look at the Ubuntu Oneiric boot performance along with some other new metrics to share as the official Ubuntu 11.10 release approaches later in the week.

11 October 2011 - 5 Comments
WattOS: Is It Faster & Can Save Power Over Ubuntu?

For some months I've been meaning to try out WattOS, an Ubuntu derivative that claims to do more than providing simple desktop theme changes and other high-level customizations. It seeks to provide a simple and fast desktop that's also said to conserve more power and run better on older hardware, but is this actually the case? Here are benchmarks of WattOS R4 compared to the upstream Ubuntu 11.04 release from which it's derived, and the numbers are quite revealing.

30 September 2011 - Add A Comment
Ubuntu 11.10 Boot Performance: It's Slowing Down

When Ubuntu 11.04 was released, Phoronix provided Bootchart results for five different systems showing the boot performance from Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS through Ubuntu 11.04. Since Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the boot time has unfortunately increased.

28 September 2011 - 12 Comments
Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Ubuntu 11.10 Benchmarks

At the request of many Phoronix readers, here are some benchmarks comparing the 64-bit performance of Ubuntu 11.04 versus a recent development build of Ubuntu 11.10. Six different systems were benchmarked for this comparison.

26 September 2011 - 8 Comments
FreeBSD: A Faster Platform For Linux Gaming Than Linux?

FreeBSD provides a Linux binary compatibility layer that allows 32-bit Linux binaries to be natively executed on this BSD operating system. Linux binary compatibility on FreeBSD allows Linux-only applications to be executed in a near seamless manner on this alternative platform, even for games. New tests have revealed that the modern FreeBSD operating system (via PC-BSD 8.2) can actually outperform Linux when it comes to running OpenGL Linux game binaries.

7 September 2011 - 102 Comments
The Graphics Stack, Requirements For Ubuntu 11.10

If you're thinking about trying out the Ubuntu 11.10 Beta release later in the week or are beginning to wonder about what the graphics driver options for Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" when released in October, here's a collection of information you'll want to know about the graphics drivers to be found in Ubuntu 11.10.

29 August 2011 - 3 Comments
A Look Through Fedora 16 Alpha

Fedora 16 Alpha was released earlier this week while the final release is not due until early November. If you have not yet tried out this latest Fedora development release, in this Phoronix article is a brief look through the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution.

26 August 2011 - 12 Comments
The Rough Story Of Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics For Mac OS X

When Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion last week Wednesday, they not only put out their new operating system, but they also released new Mac Mini and MacBook Air hardware. The primary changes for both the Mac Mini and MacBook Air refresh is that both form factors are now shipping with Intel's latest "Sandy Bridge" processors, there is the new Thunderbolt I/O, and of course, they are shipping with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. This hardware update led me to immediately order the new Mac Mini as the latest piece of Apple hardware at Phoronix. Not because Phoronix is part of the Apple cult (since, after all, Phoronix is the leading Linux hardware site), but an immense curiosity about the Intel Sandy Bridge Mac OS X graphics driver. In particular, to see how Apple's Sandy Bridge driver compares to the Linux and Windows driver. Well, that was the plan at least, prior to the untimely demise of the new Apple hardware.

25 July 2011 - 46 Comments
Test Driving GNU Hurd, With Benchmarks Against Linux

Last week there was a GNU Hurd status update, which generated a fair amount of attention as it stated there are plans for a Debian GNU/Hurd release in conjunction with Debian "Wheezy" when it's out in late 2012 or early 2013. After being in development for more than 20 years, the Hurd is finally taking some shape. The Debian GNU/Hurd installer for Wheezy is even now working, which I tried out and ended up porting the Phoronix Test Suite to GNU Hurd. In this article is a brief look at Debian GNU/Hurd along with the first-ever benchmarks of Debian GNU/Hurd against Debian GNU/Linux.

18 July 2011 - 17 Comments
Mac OS X Power Consumption vs. Ubuntu 11.04, Windows 7

Last week we delivered results looking at the power consumption of Ubuntu 11.04 versus Windows 7, which was interesting in its own right, but in this article is a brief look at where Apple's Mac OS X operating system fits in between the power consumption of Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows.

4 July 2011 - 6 Comments
Surprising Power Consumption Of Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Windows 7

After recently tracking down the major Linux kernel power regression that's present for a vast number of mobile users in Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04, and other recent Linux distributions shipping the 2.6.38+ kernel, the sights were turned to see how the power management of Ubuntu 11.04 compares to that of Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. In this article are the power consumption results of Ubuntu 11.04 compared directly to Windows 7 Professional 1 on several different systems with distinct notebook and desktop / workstation configurations.

29 June 2011 - 22 Comments
Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Lubuntu Power Tests

With the extensive Linux power consumption tests that I've been carrying out to solve some nasty Linux kernel power regressions and find other areas for optimization, one of the requests that has come in frequently is to compare the power consumption of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. After the article earlier this week to look at how the desktop environments / compositing window managers affect OpenGL performance, I carried out a quick desktop power test. In this article are battery power consumption results for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.

2 June 2011 - 28 Comments
Is Fedora 15 Faster Than Ubuntu 11.04?

Ending out May, we have an interesting set of tests comparing the performance of Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04. This is looking at the "out of the box" performance of both operating systems on three different systems. Not only is the actual test result looked at, but we also compared the power consumption of the two operating systems.

31 May 2011 - 26 Comments
Intel Sandy Bridge On Fedora 15 Is Decent

For those Intel "Sandy Bridge" hardware customers that may be trying out the recent release of Fedora 15, the experience is decent and is in much better shape than the troubling support in Ubuntu 11.04. It is not in tip-top shape as there are some recent optimizations in the Linux kernel and Mesa that haven't landed in Fedora 15 (at least not yet in the form of an update), but it's suitable overall.

28 May 2011 - 12 Comments
Coming Soon: OpenBenchmarking.org Live

To be paired with the release of Phoronix Test Suite 3.2-Grimstad later in the quarter will be the release of OpenBenchmarking.org Live, which is a new incarnation of our PTS Desktop Live Linux distribution. For those not familiar with PTS Desktop Live, our Live DVD/USB Linux environment completely standardizes the software stack so that enthusiasts or organizations wishing to carry out benchmarks can do so to directly compare hardware differences by eliminating all Linux software differences. It is also one easy way to try out benchmarking under Linux since it is just a matter of booting the DVD/USB drive and the testing environment is pre-configured. With OpenBenchmarking.org Live, we are taking PTS Desktop Live one big step further.

13 May 2011 - 3 Comments
Ubuntu 11.04 Boot Performance Compared To Past Releases

Now that we have looked at the Ubuntu power consumption going back as far as Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (and found serious power regressions), the next round of testing is providing the Bootchart results for five different systems also going back as far as Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

27 April 2011 - 13 Comments
Another Major Linux Power Regression Spotted

Since Friday there's been a number of Phoronix articles about a very bad power regression in the mainline Linux kernel, which is widespread, Ubuntu 11.04 is one of the affected distributions, and has been deemed a bug of high importance. This yet-to-be-resolved issue is affected Linux 2.6.38 and 2.6.39 kernels and for many desktop and notebook systems is causing a 10~30% increase in power consumption. Nevertheless, this is not the only major outstanding power regression in the mainline tree, there is another dramatic regression now spotted as well that is yet-to-be-fixed.

25 April 2011 - 38 Comments
The Tests Showing Ubuntu 11.04 On A Power Consumption Binge

Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" is set to be released on Thursday and while there are a number of new features to talk about in this latest release, the Phoronix Test Suite software has been busy analyzing the performance of this latest release. There is open-source graphics driver improvements leading to some performance improvements (such as Radeon KMS page-flipping), the famous ~200 line Linux kernel patch to improve responsiveness, and various other enhancements that catch our fancy in Ubuntu 11.04. However, one area where there is a frightening regression in Ubuntu 11.04 is with its power consumption. For mobile devices in many workloads, Ubuntu 11.04 is consuming noticeably more power than in any of the past Ubuntu Linux releases. Sadly, no one seems to have noticed in time since continuous integration testing on Linux seems to happen so haphazardly right now.

23 April 2011 - 19 Comments
Mobile Users Beware: Linux Has Major Power Regression

For those that follow my personal Twitter feed will know that for the past week I've been closely testing Ubuntu 11.04 and all Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 8.04 on many mobile devices in the office. The overall system performance, power consumption, and boot performance have been the principal targets. However, late this week I discovered a glaring regression: Ubuntu 11.04 is viciously going through power. Compared to Ubuntu 10.10, the power consumption on Ubuntu 11.04 for mobile devices is up about 10% on average but under some workloads, I am seeing the power consumption up by nearly 30%. This is happening on many mobile systems spanning multiple generations of Intel CPUs and with Intel / ATI / NVIDIA graphics. This issue has been tracked down to a frightening kernel regression in the mainline tree that is still not addressed.

22 April 2011 - 100 Comments
Apple Mac OS X 10.7 DP2 Battles Ubuntu 10.10

Upon the release of the first Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" Developer Preview, we had delivered early benchmarks of this Apple operating system slated for release this summer. Since then, there has been the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Developer Preview 2 (DP2) so we have carried out an updated set of Mac OS X 10.7 performance benchmarks. This also includes a comparative look at the Mac OS X Lion performance against Ubuntu Linux 10.10.

18 April 2011 - 16 Comments
Ubuntu 11.04: i686 vs. i686 PAE vs. x86_64

At the end of 2009 I published benchmarks comparing Ubuntu's 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit Linux kernels. Those tests were carried out to show the performance impact of using 32-bit with PAE (Physical Address Extension) support, which on the plus side allows up to 64GB of system memory to be addressable from 32-bit machines, but is still significantly slower than a 64-bit kernel and user-space. In this article the tests have been carried out on modern hardware and with the latest Ubuntu 11.04 packages to see how the three kernel variants are performing in 2011.

4 April 2011 - 43 Comments
Early Benchmarks Of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

By now you have likely read all about the features announced for Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" thus far along with seeing plenty of screenshots and videos showing off Launchpad, Mission Control, Versions, the improved mail client, and much more. But how does Apple's next-generation operating system perform? Well, here is a look at the performance of Mac OS X 10.7, including what are likely the first public benchmarks of Mac OS X Lion.

2 March 2011 - 5 Comments
Multi-Core, Multi-OS Scaling Performance

In this article we are looking at how Linux, OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD scale across multiple cores. Benchmarked are CentOS 5.5, Fedora 14, PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1, and OpenIndiana b148 as we see how the performance differs when running on one, two, three, four, and six cores, plus when Intel Hyper Threading is enabled.

21 February 2011 - 28 Comments
Mac OS X Intel Graphics Still Outperform Linux

In recent weeks we have been talking about Intel's Linux advancements as it concerns their latest "Sandy Bridge" generation of processors with integrated graphics (and there are a few more articles on the way), but how is their latest open-source driver stack performing on the older generations of Intel integrated graphics? Previously, the Intel Linux graphics have been the real loser in our multi-OS comparisons, but is this still the case? At least when comparing the Linux and Mac OS X performance on Intel 945 hardware, yes, the Mesa driver falls behind at OpenGL acceleration.

14 February 2011 - 18 Comments

580 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.