Last weekend a few Phoronix benchmarks were underway of the Linux 2.6.32-rc5 kernel when a very significant performance regression was spotted. This regression caused the PostgreSQL server to run at about 18% of the performance found in earlier kernel releases. Long story short, in tracking down this performance regression we have finally devised a way to autonomously locate performance regressions within the Linux kernel and potentially any Git-based project for that matter. Here are a few details.
22 October 2009 - 44 Comments
Earlier this month at the Red Hat Summit where Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 was released with support for the Kernel-based Virtual Machine. At this Red Hat event, virtualization -- particularly KVM -- and cloud computing were the most talked about topics. But how is KVM performing these days? With new virtualization refinements going into almost every new Linux kernel release, we have published a new set of KVM benchmarks using the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, to provide updated numbers against our KVM benchmarks from last year and our Core i7 virtualization numbers. This time around, we are also using a Phenom II processor for testing out the AMD-V technology.
21 September 2009 - 28 Comments
Last December we had looked at the Ubuntu 9.04 home encryption performance after this feature appeared in a development snapshot as an alternative to those looking for security some of their data but are not looking for completely encrypting the hard drive due to the performance impact or other reasons. The home encryption feature ended up being disabled in Ubuntu 9.04 unless a special boot parameter was used, but it has now reappeared in Ubuntu 9.10.
16 September 2009 - 5 Comments
A few weeks back Con Kolivas returned to the Linux kernel scene after parting ways with kernel development for two years. Con, who has contributed a great deal to the Linux kernel in the past particularly with CPU schedulers, returned and introduced BFS. BFS (not to be confused with the file-system of the same name) is a new scheduler for the Linux kernel that's designed for optimal performance on hardware that's more common with a majority of Linux desktop users, not massive data centers running dozens (and in some cases, hundreds) of CPUs. The BFS scheduler is designed to offer "extremely low latencies for excellent interactivity", according to Con Kolivas. In this article we have a set of benchmarks comparing BFS and the current default scheduler within the Linux kernel, the Completely Fair Scheduler.
14 September 2009 - 105 Comments
Last Friday we published Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks and then on Monday they were joined by Ubuntu 9.10 vs. Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks. One of the requests that has come up since publishing those articles are to carry out a set of tests comparing the performance of LLVM and LLVM-GCC. With Apple's Snow Leopard release, some parts of the operating system were built using LLVM-GCC for optimized performance, although this compiler is not yet matured. In this article we have a set of 12 benchmarks comparing GCC to LLVM-GCC.
4 September 2009 - 34 Comments
Beyond pushing out a new graphical boot screen just before the feature freeze went into effect for Ubuntu 9.10, Canonical released the first public version of their own app store, previously codenamed AppCenter, but now known as the Ubuntu Software Store (or software-store as its package is called). Canonical does have some grand plans for the Ubuntu Software Store and in this article we have some screenshots of what it looks like currently and how it functions along with some of their plans for the future.
27 August 2009 - 17 Comments
When benchmarking development releases of Fedora in particular, they often end up being much slower than the final build and perform lower when compared against some of the other leading desktop distributions. As we have mentioned in previous articles, this is generally due to the debugging support enabled within the development builds of Fedora. To see just what the performance cost is, we have compared the Fedora 11 performance of the normal kernel against the kernel-debug package. Additionally, we also compared the performance when disabling SELinux and system auditing support.
13 August 2009 - 29 Comments
Have you considered embracing Linux in any of your articles? If you have, but have not acted on such thoughts, why is that? Is it the Linux learning curve? The "lack of benchmarks"? Simply the lack of resources on the part of your editors and product evaluators? After speaking with several editors from fellow publications, these seem to be most of the excuses at hand. However, at Phoronix Media, we have the solutions to these problems -- and they are free and easy to adopt. I would invite you to think how using Linux to complement your Windows testing in hardware reviews could benefit your publication by providing more thorough reviews to fulfill the needs of more readers, wooing more hardware companies with having another feature to offer, and generate additional page views from having more content.
12 August 2009 - 29 Comments
Phoronix Media has released version 2.0 (codenamed "Sandtorg") of the Phoronix Test Suite, which encompasses hundreds of updates to its flagship testing and performance profiling software. Phoronix Media has also released PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 (codenamed "Gernlinden"), which is the first Linux-based desktop operating system designed exclusively for carrying out automated tests using the Phoronix Test Suite from a live environment. Phoromatic, a web-based remote test management system, has also entered closed beta testing.
4 August 2009 - 8 Comments
In less than two weeks we will be officially releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" and this by far is the biggest upgrade ever to our flagship testing and benchmarking software. While the Phoronix Test Suite is most often associated with Linux, this open-source software is also compatible with Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, and BSD operating systems too, all of which offer new improvements with Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. In this article we have detailed some of the major highlights of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 and how we seek to drive innovation into PC benchmarking and performance profiling.
23 July 2009 - 11 Comments
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