May 29, 2009 -- One month ago we provided benchmarks of the Btrfs file-system and found that while it contained many features to make it a next-generation Linux file-system, its disk performance was rather displeasing. We had found the EXT4 file-system ran faster in a number of the tests and even EXT3 and XFS had their own advantages. Besides offering features like snapshots and online defragmentation, Btrfs has a mode that is optimized for solid-state drives. Will the Btrfs SSD mode cause this new Oracle-sponsored file-system to be the best for non-rotating media? We have benchmarks in this article, but the results may not be what one would expect.
May 28, 2009 -- With the Linux 2.6.30 kernel being prepped for release in early June, we have set out to provide a few benchmarks of this latest Linux kernel to see how it compares to its two earlier predecessors. While this new kernel may offer support for new file-systems (NILFS2, in particular), support for LZMA/BZIP2 kernel image compression, a new CPU architecture (Microblaze) and many other changes, are there any major performance regressions or improvements like we have spotted with our previous Linux kernel benchmarks?
May 20, 2009 -- Last year the Wayland Display Server project was started by Kristian Høgsberg, a Red Hat developer and a name known well within the X.Org community for his work on AIGLX, Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2, and various other projects. We were first to talk about the Wayland Display Server in detail, which aims to provide a mini display server that is designed around the latest X/kernel technologies like the Graphics Execution Manager and kernel mode-setting. Wayland also integrates its own compositing manager and is designed to produce a perfect frame (a.k.a. no tearing) each and every time. There has not been much to report on this project recently, but we now have a status update courtesy of Kristian.
May 10, 2009 -- Last month the plans for Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" were outlined with this next major release of our Linux (and Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, and BSD too) benchmarking software set to introduce many new features for the testing core, Phoromatic for providing remote benchmarking support, a performance and benchmarking oriented Linux distribution, and many other advancements. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 will not be released until late July or early August, but the first alpha release has been made available this afternoon.
April 30, 2009 -- With the release this week of Fedora 11 Preview, which incorporates install-time support for the Btrfs file-system into Red Hat's Anaconda installer, we have now delivered our first set of benchmark results for this next-generation Linux file-system. Through a horde of disk tests we have looked at the Btrfs file-system performance and compared it to that of EXT3, EXT4, and XFS. While Btrfs does perform well in some areas, it is not yet the performance king for Linux file-systems. As our results show, in some tests it even has a hard time competing with the incremental EXT4 file-system.
April 13, 2009 -- We have invested a lot of resources into enriching the Linux hardware experience particularly by improving Linux performance benchmarks and taking the necessary steps to make Linux-based benchmarking an attractive offer for hardware and software vendors. We have also strived to ensure that open-source developers understand the importance of automated testing and that they have the proper tools to fully automate tests relevant to them when looking for performance regressions and other conditions that otherwise would not easily be caught in an efficient and effective manner. At the same time, we have sought to standardize the benchmarking process of Linux desktops to make it easier for end-users and companies when looking to gauge how well something works on Linux. The Phoronix Test Suite has made immense progress over the past year, but today it is now time to expose our latest endeavor, Sandtorg.
April 06, 2009 -- Phoronix Media has today released Phoronix Test Suite 1.8 (codenamed "Selbu"), which is a sizable update to its very popular testing software. Phoronix Test Suite 1.8 introduces a graphical user-interface making it easier for end-users to test out their computer systems, adds support for reference system comparisons, is compatible with more *BSD operating systems, and adds a number of new test profiles and suites. The Phoronix Test Suite is designed to run benchmarks/tests atop Linux, Mac OS X, *BSD, and OpenSolaris systems in a clean, reproducible, and easy-to-use way.
April 01, 2009 -- Today X.Org 7.5 with X Server 1.7 is scheduled to be released, per the release schedule that Daniel Stone proposed earlier this year. X Server 1.7 includes X Input 2 (a.k.a. Input Hotness) and Multi-Pointer X is now enabled by default (it has been in the master branch for about a year, but it has been disabled due to X Input 2 missing). This key piece to the open-source Linux desktop also features E-EDID support, the X Server no longer needing to symlink to Mesa sources, and a horde of bug-fixes. Aside from an updated X Server, X.Org 7.5 will include various updates to different input and graphics drivers.
March 24, 2009 -- With the release yesterday of the Linux 2.6.29 kernel, we have set out to explore how the desktop performance has evolved over the past six major kernel releases. On a few occasions in the past we have provided kernel benchmarks (at one point even benchmarking 12 kernels), but this time around we have included nearly two dozen benchmarks using the Phoronix Test Suite. How has the Linux performance evolved since the release of the Linux 2.6.24 kernel back in early 2008? Well, simply put, the Linux 2.6.29 kernel in a few areas does pack some serious performance boosts.
March 11, 2009 -- Earlier this week the FFmpeg project reached version 0.5, which was quite significant considering no new FFmpeg release was made available in years. This release contained a plethora of new encoders and decoders, support for VDPAU, a variety of bug-fixes, and many other improvements. What is next for FFmpeg? When will we see proper Blu-ray support? Will there be a 1.0 release in the foreseeable future? To answer these questions plus others, I spoke with three of the main FFmpeg developers about this very popular -- and important -- open-source multimedia project.