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Software

Btrfs v0.19 Brings Some Gains, Some Losses

Since we began benchmarking Btrfs a few months ago we have found it to not deliver any spectacular file-system performance results on Linux. This next-generation Linux file-system that has often been compared to Sun's ZFS has not really performed that well, granted it's still very much under development. Btrfs is far from being the performance king and even its SSD mode has had little positive effect. Just weeks ago we delivered EXT4, Btrfs, and NILFS2 benchmarks, but now there is a new release of Btrfs available. Committed to the Linux 2.6.31 kernel was Btrfs v0.19. Does this release bring any performance improvements? Yes and no.
13 July 2009 - 7 Comments

Early Linux 2.6.31 Kernel Benchmarks

The Linux 2.6.31 kernel is still under active development until it is released later this quarter, but the merge window is closed and most of the work going on is to address bugs and other regressions within this massive code-base. Some of the key additions to the Linux 2.6.31 kernel include many graphics-related advancements (merging of the TTM memory manager, Radeon kernel mode-setting, Intel DisplayPort, etc), an ALSA driver for the Creative X-Fi, initial USB 3.0 support, file-system improvements, and much more. To see how the general system performance has been impacted by the new Linux kernel that is in development, we have a few benchmarks today.
8 July 2009 - 10 Comments

EXT4, Btrfs, NILFS2 Performance Benchmarks

The past few Linux kernel releases have brought a number of new file-systems to the Linux world, such as with EXT4 having been stabilized in the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, Btrfs being merged into Linux 2.6.29, and most recently the NILFS2 file-system premiering with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. Other file-systems have been introduced too during the past few Linux kernel release cycles, but these three have been the most talked about and are often looked at as being the next-generation Linux file-systems. Being the benchmarking junkies that we are, we have set out to compare the file-system performance of EXT4, Btrfs, and NILFS2 under Ubuntu using the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. We also looked at how these file-systems compared to EXT3 and XFS.
29 June 2009 - 38 Comments

StormOS Enters Beta

A beta version of StormOS has emerged, which is a desktop distribution that is based upon the Nexenta Core Platform that in turn is derived from OpenSolaris but with an Ubuntu user-land. The StormOS project emerged out of the an OpenSolaris user being dissatisfied with the slow pace of OpenSolaris on netbooks and preferring the APT packaging system to Sun's Image Packaging System. The beta version of StormOS is shipping with an Xfce 4 desktop and -- unlike the current releases of OpenSolaris -- even ships with a word processor.
5 June 2009 - 12 Comments

Testing Out The SSD Mode In Btrfs

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.
29 May 2009 - 16 Comments

Linux 2.6.30 Kernel Benchmarks

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?
28 May 2009 - 24 Comments

The State Of The Wayland Display Server

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.
20 May 2009 - 35 Comments

Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Enters Alpha

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.
10 May 2009

Btrfs Is Not Yet The Performance King

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.
30 April 2009 - 19 Comments

Driving Linux-based Benchmarking With Sandtorg

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.
13 April 2009 - 8 Comments

452 software articles published on Phoronix.
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