Earlier this month we started once again our annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we poll our readers about their choices and opinions concerning graphics cards, display drivers, and other graphics / X.Org related features of the Linux desktop. While this survey is still going on through the end of September -- so you still have time to participate -- here are the results from the first 6,300 people to submit their responses. We are publishing the results so far since there is the X Developers' Summit this week in Toulouse and some of these findings may prove to be useful during those discussions.
13 September 2010 - 70 Comments
Recently when benchmarking the Btrfs and EXT4 file-systems we were left surprised that the performance of the next-generation Btrfs file-system had regressed against EXT4 to the point where the evolutionary file-system is measurably faster in a greater number of disk benchmarks. In fact, even with solid-state drives and Btrfs offering an SSD optimized mode, it still conceded to EXT4. It turns out that in the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, Btrfs regressed. This regression should have been fixed with the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, but recently when benchmarking EXT4/Btrfs against ZFS-FUSE on a 2.6.36 development snapshot we found its performance to still be poor for Btrfs compared to EXT4. To confirm where these two most prominent Linux file-systems are at right now, we have new EXT4 and Btrfs performance results from the Linux 2.6.34, 2.6.35, and 2.6.36-rc3 kernels.
8 September 2010 - 21 Comments
The Q3'2010 update to the Phoronix Test Suite introduces new test profiles, provides new analytics capabilities, supports testing under a more diverse selection of hardware and software, and provides numerous other features for those looking to deploy this leading automated testing platform within enterprise environments.
31 August 2010
Last week we reported that a native ZFS implementation for Linux is soon being released that is based upon the work by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to bring Sun's ZFS file-system to Linux as a CDDL-licensed kernel module. As said though in that article, there is already a ZFS module for FUSE (File-system in User-space) that is already available and with it not living in the GPL-land of the Linux kernel, it is legally allowed, but it does not come without some performance overhead. Over the weekend though there's been some discussions in the related forum thread and elsewhere about the dependability of ZFS-FUSE and what the level of impact on using FUSE really amounts to in real-world usage. We have tested the ZFS-FUSE -- both the latest stable and Git snapshots -- and have compared this alternate ZFS Linux implementation to that of the native EXT4 and Btrfs.
30 August 2010 - 63 Comments
Earlier this month we delivered benchmarks comparing the ZFS, EXT4, and Btrfs file-systems from both solid-state drives and hard drives. The EXT4 file-system was the clear winner in terms of the overall disk performance while Btrfs came in second followed by Sun's ZFS in FreeBSD 8.2. It was a surprise that in our most recent testing the EXT4 file-system turned around and did better than the next-generation Btrfs file-system, but it turns out that Btrfs regressed hard in Linux 2.6.35 as to be found in Ubuntu 10.10 and other soon-to-be-released distributions. However, regardless of where Btrfs is performing, its speed can be boosted by enabling its transparent zlib compression support.
28 August 2010 - 23 Comments
Prior to the emergence of Btrfs as a viable next-generation Linux file-system, Sun's ZFS file-system was sought after for Linux due to its advanced feature-set and capabilities compared to EXT3 and other open-source file-systems at the time. While ZFS support has worked its way into OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and other operating systems, ZFS had not been ported to Linux as its source-code is distributed under the CDDL license, which is incompatible with the GNU GPL barring it from integration into the mainline Linux kernel. Next month, however, a working ZFS module for the Linux kernel without a dependence on FUSE will be publicly released.
27 August 2010 - 25 Comments
While we benchmark the latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com using our automated testing platform built on the Phoronix Test Suite, now that the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released, we have run a formalized set of kernel benchmarks on a ThinkPad W510 notebook with an Intel Core i7 CPU to see how the Linux 64-bit kernel is running with this high-end notebook under the Linux 2.6.32, 2.6.33, 2.6.34, and 2.6.35 releases.
5 August 2010 - 9 Comments
ZFS is often looked upon as an advanced, superior file-system and one of the strong points of the Solaris/OpenSolaris platform while most feel that only recently has Linux been able to catch-up on the file-system front with EXT4 and the still-experimental Btrfs. ZFS is copy-on-write, self-healing with 256-bit checksums, supports compression, online pool growth, scales much better than the UFS file-system commonly used on BSD operating systems, supports snapshots, supports deduplication, and the list goes on for the features of this file-system developed by Sun Microsystems. In this article we are seeing how well the performance of the ZFS file-system under PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1 stacks up to UFS (including UFS+J and UFS+S) and on the Linux side with EXT4 and Btrfs.
27 July 2010 - 237 Comments
As was mentioned in last Friday's article, Which Is Faster: Debian Linux or FreeBSD, tests of FreeBSD atop the ZFS file-system (rather than UFS2+S) are currently underway and those results are expected to be published in full later this week as the ZFS disk performance is compared directly to UFS2+S, UFS2+J, and also Ubuntu Linux with the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems. Today though we have a few ZFS performance numbers to share as we look at the performance of the new CAM-ATA sub-system on FreeBSD.
26 July 2010 - 13 Comments
In previous articles I have hinted that at Phoronix we are working to take advantage of the Btrfs file-system within the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic to provide an interesting feature that will further expand our automated testing capabilities, but how does this file-system come into play? Well, here is what's being worked on and it should be of terrific value to many people.
30 June 2010 - 9 Comments
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