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Software

A Linux Compiler Deathmatch

Started by one of our readers more than a week ago was a compiler deathmatch for comparing the performance of GCC, LLVM Clang, PCC (the Portable C Compiler), TCC (Tiny C Compiler), and Intel's C Compiler under Arch Linux. This user did not stop there with compiling these different x86_64 code compilers, but he also went on to look at the compiler performance with different compiler flags, among other options. The results are definitely worth looking at and here are some more.
31 January 2011 - 76 Comments

Benchmarks Of The Official KQ ZFS Linux Module

Last summer we delivered the news that a native ZFS file-system implementation for Linux was coming by an Indian company known as KQ Infotech where they leveraged the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories ZFS Linux code, finished it off in some areas, and took care of the POSIX support. This ZFS Linux module was eventually released to a group of beta testers -- us included -- and we ran some ZFS Linux benchmarks back in November using the latest beta code. Since that point, however, KQ Infotech has made their ZFS Linux port publicly available and earlier this month they declared this work as stable via its general availability release. We have decided to benchmark this latest ZFS Linux code to see where the performance now stands against the EXT4, Btrfs, and XFS file-systems.
27 January 2011 - 24 Comments

Extensive Benchmarks Of Amazon's EC2 Compute Cloud

Last month we delivered our first benchmarks of the Amazon EC2 Cloud, but those initial tests were limited to just a few of their cloud computing instances due to failures with the Ubuntu EC2 operating system on their other compute instances. Earlier this month we then showed how the Amazon EC2 Micro was comparable to a Nokia N900 and Intel Atom, but now we have a more exhaustive comparison complete of all major Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud types. Using the Amazon Linux AMI operating system, we have run a plethora of performance benchmarks on the m1.small, m1.large, m1.xlarge, m2.xlarge, m2.2xlarge, m2.4xlarge, c1.medium, and c1.xlarge cloud computing instances.
12 January 2011 - 2 Comments

Can DragonFly's HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.
7 January 2011 - 29 Comments

Amazon EC2 Micro: Barely Faster Than A Nokia N900?

In December we published our first set of Amazon EC2 benchmarks for their Elastic Compute Cloud using Ubuntu EC2 and the different instances that were compatible. Now though we are in the process of carrying out a new set of benchmarks from Amazon's cloud that not only contains more tests, but using the official Amazon Linux AMI we tested nearly every instance type. Except what is missing are the results for the "micro" (the t1.micro API name) instance. Why? It is simply too slow and irregular.
3 January 2011 - 6 Comments

The Top Phoronix Stories Of 2010

With 2010 now coming to an end, what were the most popular Phoronix stories this year? For those curious about the most viewed articles and news posts on Phoronix in 2010, here's a list. Exclusive information on Valve's forthcoming Linux Steam client, photographs from my adventure to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Site, and multi-OS benchmarks had dominated 2010.
29 December 2010 - 4 Comments

Benchmarks Of The Btrfs Space Cache Option

In early November we delivered benchmarks of EXT4 vs. Btrfs on an early Linux 2.6.37 kernel as our latest round of tests comparing these two leading Linux file-systems. There were some changes in the Linux disk performance with these file-systems using the latest Linux kernel code, but overall it was not too interesting. However, as the Linux 2.6.37 kernel does introduce a new mount option for Btrfs, the space_cache option, we decided to explore its performance in today's article.
24 December 2010 - 21 Comments

Linux Gaming: Native vs. Wine vs. Windows 7 Performance

Linux gaming has a bright future ahead with the forthcoming Unigine games, successful indie campaigns, and many other Linux-native game titles being just out on the horizon. Right now though if you are a dedicated PC gamer looking to satisfy your entertainment appetite under Linux, more than likely you find yourself using the Wine program so that you can run many Windows programs under Linux. What is the performance impact though of using this method? In this article, we have a couple benchmarks comparing the performance of Wine, native Linux game binaries, and the native Microsoft Windows 7 Professional performance.
20 December 2010 - 54 Comments

Linux KVM vs. VirtualBox 4.0 Virtualization Benchmarks

Oracle's been vigorously working on their VM VirtualBox 4.0 software and in just the past week they have delivered two public betas that bring a number of new features. Among the changes there is support for Intel HD audio / ICH9 to guest VMs, the concept of extension packs, user-interface improvements, support for limiting a virtual machine's CPU time and I/O bandwidth, 3D acceleration fixes for guests, and a great number of bug-fixes. How though is this updated Oracle/Sun virtualization platform comparing to the older VirtualBox 3.2 release and that of the upstream Linux KVM (the Kernel-based Virtual Machine) that most Linux distributions rely upon? Here are a number of benchmarks that seek to answer this very question.
13 December 2010 - 27 Comments

Speeding Up The Linux Kernel With Transparent Hugepage Support

Last month we reported on the 200 line Linux kernel patch that does wonders for improving the desktop responsiveness of the system. There was certainly much interest (over 100,000 views to both of our YouTube videos demonstrating the change) but this patch really didn't speed up the system per se but rather improved the desktop interactivity and reduced latency by creating task-groups per TTY so that the processes had more equal access to the CPU. There is though an entirely different patch-set now beginning to generate interest among early adopters that does improve the kernel performance itself in compute and memory intensive applications and it's the Transparent Hugepage Support patch-set. Here are our initial tests of the latest kernel patches that will hopefully be finding their way into the mainline Linux kernel soon.
8 December 2010 - 42 Comments

466 software articles published on Phoronix.
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