We have been covering the Linux benchmarking scene since 2004, but one area we have never really been satisfied with have been the OpenGL tests that are available. There are now plenty of free software games that are available for benchmarking, but with most of them being based around the open-source Quake 3 engine, they aren't that demanding upon the graphics processor. The ones generally good with stressing the graphics capabilities of the system are the id Software games (Doom 3, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars) with native Linux clients. Under the workstation umbrella, there is just SPECViewPerf. On the Windows side though there are a number of OpenGL and DirectX games, tech demos, and other benchmarks. Thanks in part to the Phoronix Test Suite, however, we are starting to see a new era of OpenGL benchmarking that are able to stress the graphics card and are visually pleasing.
3 August 2008 - 11 Comments
For years MythTV has been regarded as the best media center application for the Linux platform and is extremely popular with HTPC enthusiasts. MythTV is open-source and serves as a digital video recorder with support for reading TV listings and it supports a variety of TV tuners. In addition, through various modules the functionality of MythTV can be extended to be an online photo gallery manager, serve as a music player, RSS newsreader, fetch weather forecasts, and provide quite a bit of other functionality. However, MythTV now has a new competitor and that is Boxee. Boxee is a "social media center" that is based upon the Xbox Media Center (XBMC) with versions for Linux, Windows, and MacOS X. What the Boxee developers have added, however, is a social media aspect to media playback. Whenever you are watching something through Boxee, it will record that information and share it with your friends using Boxee and the user also has the ability to recommend the media they are listening to or watching with their friends. Oh yes, it is also open-source.
1 August 2008 - 17 Comments
Last October we were the first to deliver a full-review of DeviceVM's SplashTop which was an instant-on embedded Linux distribution at the time found on a lone ASUS motherboard. Since then there has been a commitment to SplashTop on all ASUS motherboards and even on ASUS notebooks. While ASUS has been the primary partner with DeviceVM up to this point, other manufacturers are exploring this market. One of our few gripes about SplashTop is that it's limited in the current applications available and doesn't allow for much tweaking with no terminal access. However, members of the Phoronix Forums have hacked SplashTop. They have been able to run SplashTop from a USB stick on non-ASUS motherboards, boot SplashTop within a virtual machine, run custom applications, and launch a terminal within this proprietary Linux environment.
29 July 2008 - 18 Comments
We're in the middle of the development cycle right now for Phoronix Test Suite 1.2 "Malvik", but we expect to wrap up this first major post-1.0 release in September. Phoronix Test Suite 1.2 -- which is licensed under the GNU GPLv3 -- will ship with full support for a module/plug-in architecture, advanced analytical features, enhanced hardware/software detection support, and support for other UNIX operating systems. In this article we will be sharing some of the features for this new release, which has been codenamed Malvik.
27 July 2008 - 3 Comments
Over the weekend the Linux 2.6.26 kernel was released. This quarterly update to the Linux kernel introduced Kernel-based Virtual Machine improvements, new One Laptop Per Child support, a new video web camera driver, updates to the Direct Rendering Manager, and other improvements. In this article we have done some quick benchmarks of this new kernel from within the Phoronix Test Suite.
17 July 2008 - 4 Comments
Since our article yesterday entitled X Server 1.4.1 Is Released, No Joke where we shared that the X.Org server update -- a critical part of the Linux desktop -- was released albeit significantly late and the blocker bug list wasn't even cleared, it's sparked discussions on our forums and other online communities on how the X.Org release management can be improved and how new developers can become involved. One of the most common recommendations has been to get more software (distribution) vendors involved, seeing as they are the ones shipping X.Org to many of the desktop users around the world. However, as there hasn't been a list (or at least not in some time) that looks at each of the commits to the X server in regards to each of the companies and the developers involved, we've provided one in this article that covers all X Server activity going back nine years.
11 June 2008 - 21 Comments
Banshee, the Linux media player backed by Novell that's built upon Mono and uses the GStreamer framework, has today reached the version 1.0 milestone. While there are plenty of people not fond of Mono or even Novell, Banshee has turned into a fairly feature-rich media player with support for synchronizing against the Apple iPod, Creative Zen, and other devices. Through Banshee's plug-in architecture, it also supports Podcasting, DAAP music sharing, and Internet radio support, just to name a few of these extensions.
11 June 2008 - 3 Comments
Today -- just 212 days after the planned November launch date -- X Server 1.4.1 is finally released! Daniel Stone announced its release this morning on the xorg mailing list. X Server 1.4.1 has had 62 changes to it since the 1.4.1 pre-release, and that release had 46 changes, which brings the change total for this release up to 108. Even though X Server 1.4.1 has more than 100 changes, it wasn't enough to clear out the blocker bug, which still has two open bugs.
10 June 2008 - 11 Comments
You have likely already read the Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 press release, but today -- on the fourth anniversary of Phoronix -- we have reached the version 1.0 milestone for this Linux testing platform. It's been a lot of work -- over the past few months especially -- though we've reached our initial goal in formalizing and releasing our internal test tools and at the same time developing a feature-rich platform. Plans are already being made for charting the future of the Phoronix Test Suite and the features we will be rolling out over the coming months, but in this article we'll highlight some of what is already possible with Phoronix Test Suite 1.0.
5 June 2008 - 1 Comment
Phoronix Media today released version 1.0 of the Phoronix Test Suite (codenamed "Trondheim"), an extensible open-source platform for conducting Linux-based benchmarking and performance profiling targeted at IHVs, ISVs, and technology hobbyists. The Phoronix Test Suite combines years of Linux testing by Phoronix Media with input from leading technology companies to offer the most comprehensive testing and benchmarking platform available for the Linux Operating System. The Phoronix Test Suite also offers unprecedented capabilities for collaboration via the suite's online component.
5 June 2008 - 9 Comments
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