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Software

The New Compiz Fusion Settings Manager

In the first Compiz Fusion update since last October, Compiz Fusion 0.7.2 was released this morning and accompanied by an update to Compiz. This Compiz Fusion update was not only the first in five months, but also it was the first in the 0.7 development series leading up to the stable Compiz/Compiz Fusion 0.8 release. Compiz Fusion 0.7.2 has a number of new plug-ins (11 total) and also some changes to the configuration manager. The Compiz Config Settings Manager has some minor updates in different areas, while this release also includes an alternate settings manager. The Simple Compiz Config Settings Manager, or simple-ccsm as it's called, is focused for simplicity and looks dramatically different from the main settings manager. We have screenshots and comments on the simple-ccsm in this article.
7 March 2008

11 Versions Of WINE Benchmarked

Last December we had published benchmarks of seven versions of WINE, which covered up through the WINE 0.9.50 release. We had used two versions of Futuremark's 3DMark suite for testing, and with that we had found the performance to be stable in some cases while in later WINE releases we had found some performance losses. With the WINE project on a consistent two-week release cycle, we are looking at the WINE 3D performance and this time going back with the past eleven releases.
18 February 2008 - 9 Comments

Defining The Phoronix Test Suite

It's going on four years that we have been providing benchmarks under Linux at Phoronix, and through this time the process has evolved as more applications have come about that gauge Linux system performance and meet our criteria for use in hardware reviews. While our internal process is continually refined, we have received requests for creating a Linux benchmarking manifest so that interested parties are able to easily reproduce our tests for comparative purposes and know everything that's involved. With that said, we are now working to establish the Phoronix Test Suite that will consist both of detailed documentation defining our hardware benchmarking protocols and free software that automates much of this work.
7 February 2008 - 31 Comments

Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support

Last Friday 4Front Technologies had released the binaries and source-code to OSS 4.0 Build 1013. This new build of the Open Sound System brings two major changes, which include the full source code now being available for the M-Audio Revolution and Delta sound card drivers, and a beta driver for the Sound Blast X-Fi series from Creative Labs. While earlier Sound Blaster generations have worked quite well with ALSA and OSS, the Creative X-Fi series is a black sheep under Linux. The X-Fi support that Creative Labs has provided to the Linux community has been abominable and support via ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) has yet to go anywhere while support for the complete X-Fi series via OSS is just starting to emerge. Interestingly though, Creative had provided the register documentation and other code to 4Front Technologies for this new "sbxfi" driver.
5 February 2008 - 25 Comments

A Tour Of Sun's Project Indiana Preview 2

A week ago we reported that a second preview release of Project Indiana, Sun's attempt at creating an operating system for the desktop based upon OpenSolaris and led by Ian Murdock, was on track to be released in the near future. Thursday afternoon that became true with the test image surfacing for Developer Preview 2 of Project Indiana, or what will formally be called OpenSolaris. Officially, this new release is known as the OpenSolaris Developer Preview 1/08 edition. The general availability release of Project Indiana is expected in March, but today we have up a tour of this new Indiana release.
2 February 2008 - 6 Comments

Eight Interesting Improvements In GNOME 2.22

Back in November we started sharing some of the exciting features planned for the GNOME 2.22 and 2.24 releases, and now that the first GNOME 2.22.0 Beta release is planned for later this week, we have taken another look at the packages set for inclusion and the changes that have actually been made. While nothing groundbreaking will be introduced in GNOME 2.22, this desktop environment does have some moderate changes worth noting. In this article are eight interesting packages that either have noticeable changes since GNOME 2.20 or are new to GNOME. This list isn't all-inclusive or ordered in any particular fashion, but just eight changes that had caught our attention.
29 January 2008 - 12 Comments

The Greatest Linux Innovations Of 2007

The year is winding down and while we have a lot to look forward to next year, what were the greatest Linux innovations of this year? This year at Phoronix, we have published over 325 articles, with most of them being Linux hardware and graphics reviews, and that is in addition to over 700 original news entries. After spending much time in considering what the "best" and most substantial Linux gains over the year have been, we have comprised a list of what we believe are the greatest Linux innovations of 2007 along with our reasoning behind these decisions.
11 December 2007 - 5 Comments

Snd-Oxygen For C-Media's CMI8788

We discovered back in September when running the Razer Barracuda AC-1 with ALSA 1.0.15 that this sound card was quite problematic with the initial CMI8788 ALSA driver. However, last month we reported that the driver was being rewritten from scratch with a much brighter outlook. We have retested the Barracuda AC-1 with its C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen APU using the latest snd-oxygen driver, which also works with other high-end sound cards such as the ASUS Xonar and Auzentech X-Meridian.
10 December 2007 - 5 Comments

7 Versions Of WINE Benchmarked

The WINE project is going on 15 years in existence, and two years ago, it finally went into beta. Through the beta stage, there has been a consistent release about every two weeks, which often brings a fair number of improvements to this software for running Windows programs on Linux (and other operating systems). Sparked by curiosity as to how the performance of WINE is affected release by release, we have gone through and benchmarked the past seven releases. While this only represents the past four months of work by the WINE community, the results may surprise you.
9 December 2007 - 5 Comments

A Newbie's Guide To RandR 1.2

Recently there has been much talk about RandR 1.2 support with RadeonHD and Nouveau (among other drivers), and as a result we have been asked many times now "what is RandR, and why do I care?" Well, RandR is the "Resize and Rotate" extension in X.Org and the v1.2 update introduces new functionality such as dynamic hot-plugging support for display devices. To help those who may be new to Linux or just never took advantage of this X.Org technology, we have written a brief guide with some of the RandR basics.
26 November 2007 - 11 Comments

452 software articles published on Phoronix.
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