Operating Systems Archives
Is Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu?

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.

19 May 2010 - 145 Comments
Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks

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.

9 May 2010 - 72 Comments
Nearing The Release Of Fedora 13

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.

7 May 2010 - 3 Comments
Ubuntu 10.04 Is More Power Hungry Than Windows 7

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.

4 May 2010 - 85 Comments
Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?

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.

3 May 2010 - 169 Comments
Did Ubuntu 10.04 Achieve Its Ten Second Boot Goal?

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.

28 April 2010 - 20 Comments
PCLinuxOS 2010 Runs Against, But Falls Short Of Ubuntu 10.04

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 2.6.32.11 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.

25 April 2010 - 6 Comments
The First Benchmarks Of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0

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.

22 April 2010 - 10 Comments
From Dapper To Lucid, Four Years Of Ubuntu Benchmarks

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.

13 April 2010 - 18 Comments
Fedora 13 Beta Is Set To Sail

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.

13 April 2010 - 3 Comments
Mac OS X 10.6.3 Packs Some Regressions

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.

30 March 2010 - 11 Comments
Mac OS X 10.6.2 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Performance

While we are just weeks away from delivering the most comprehensive Mac OS X vs. Windows 7 vs. Linux benchmarks, and Apple is on the heels of releasing the major Mac OS X 10.6.3 update, for those impatient ones today we have published an extensive set of tests comparing the performance of Mac OS X 10.6.2 against a development build of Ubuntu 10.04. This is our first time exploring how Canonical's Lucid Lynx can compete with Apple's Snow Leopard.

29 March 2010 - 19 Comments
Testing The Power Management Of Ubuntu 10.04

This morning a call for testing went out to try out the new pm-utils-powersave-policy package that should be making its way into the Lucid Lynx repository in time for the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS next month. This package offers up several fixes and new power savings features that should help those mobile users running Ubuntu 10.04 to prolong their battery life. We tested out this new package with a notebook and netbook to see how it changes the power game for Ubuntu 10.04 along with whether it's much of an improvement over the current Ubuntu 9.10 release.

18 March 2010 - 6 Comments
Benchmarks: Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, openSUSE

Last week we delivered benchmarks of Fedora 13 Alpha and Ubuntu 10.04 (along with testing the Fedora 11 and 12 too), but today we have a new set of comparative benchmarks that are covering the latest development versions of Ubuntu 10.04, Mandriva 2010.1, PCLinuxOS 2010, and openSUSE 11.3. Here they are.

16 March 2010 - 35 Comments
Fedora 13 Alpha Benchmarks

Following the release of Fedora 13 Alpha this week we delivered Intel graphics benchmarks looking at the performance of an Intel Atom Netbook using the very latest kernel, DRM, and Mesa packages that Fedora is known for carrying. There are regressions in the Intel stack worth noting, but in this article, we are continuing in our Fedora 13 benchmarking by looking at the general system performance of the Linux desktop.

12 March 2010 - 3 Comments
PC-BSD 8.0 vs. Kubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

PC-BSD 8.0 was released last week and while we have already delivered FreeBSD 8.0 benchmarks including against Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and Fedora / Debian / OpenBSD / OpenSolaris for which PC-BSD is based, we took this opportunity to deliver a fresh set of *BSD benchmarks. In this article we have benchmarks of PC-BSD 8.0 x64 against Kubuntu 9.10 x86_64.

5 March 2010 - 12 Comments
PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 Released

After releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 earlier this month and delivering the subsequent 2.4.1 update, we have now released PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 "Anzhofen" to the public. PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 makes it extremely easy to benchmark your computer on a completely standardized software stack from a Live DVD/USB environment.

25 February 2010 - 9 Comments
PC-BSD 8.0 Released For A Polished, Friendlier FreeBSD Desktop

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.

23 February 2010 - 10 Comments
Farewell To Solaris Express Community Edition

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.

27 January 2010 - Add A Comment
Fedora, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris Benchmarks

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.

25 January 2010 - 77 Comments
Benchmarking Debian's GNU/kFreeBSD

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.

18 January 2010 - 25 Comments
Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 Benchmarks

With Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 having made it out yesterday, we couldn't resist but to run some new benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx after our original tests last month found Ubuntu 10.04 was off to a poor performance start. In some areas the performance of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 remains lower than in Ubuntu 9.10 -- largely due to performance regressions upstream in the Linux kernel -- but we have also included some very early performance numbers from Fedora 13.

15 January 2010 - 5 Comments
Benchmarks Of The Gentoo-based Sabayon

For those looking to experiment with a Gentoo-based Linux system but are not looking forward to the obstacles of installing Gentoo itself, an easier and quicker approach can be to use a distribution like Sabayon Linux. Sabayon uses pre-compiled x86 and x86_64 packages for installing the Linux distribution from its LiveDVD and uses their own Entropy system for package management, though these binary packages are compiled from Gentoo's Portage and using the Portage system is still available. The LiveDVD installer is also very easy to use and is just like using Ubuntu's Ubiquity or Red Hat's Anaconda. With all the benchmarking though of Ubuntu and Fedora as of late on Phoronix, we found it time to put out some benchmarks of Sabayon Linux. Up today are benchmarks from the recently released Sabayon 5.1 along with the older Sabayon 4.2 and for comparison is Kubuntu 9.10.

4 January 2010 - 79 Comments
Ubuntu 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, 64-bit Benchmarks

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.

30 December 2009 - 41 Comments
Ubuntu 10.04 Already Shortens The Boot Time

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.

18 December 2009 - 13 Comments
Ubuntu 10.04 Is Off To A Poor Performance Start

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.

9 December 2009 - 27 Comments
FreeBSD 8.0 Benchmarked Against Linux, OpenSolaris

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.

30 November 2009 - 30 Comments
Chromium OS, Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix Benchmarks

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.

23 November 2009 - 25 Comments
Mac OS X 10.6.2 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

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.

18 November 2009 - 6 Comments
Fedora 12 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

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.

5 November 2009 - 23 Comments

581 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.