When having out the Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" HP EliteBook this weekend besides comparing fresh OpenGL numbers to early Sandy Bridge results going back to 2012, I also compared Ubuntu 16.10 / Linux 4.8 and Linux 4.9 compared to older kernel benchmarks I did with the same system.
Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration.
One of my "hobbies" when news is light and there isn't any fun/new/exciting hardware keeping me busy on a given weekend is checking out the various Vulkan projects on GitHub. It's been great seeing all of the independent graphics renderers/engines being tried by different individuals, tons of different Vulkan samples, and a lot of other innovative projects around Vulkan, many of which I've written about in the past few months on Phoronix. One of the projects I see being regularly updated when checking on weekends and haven't written about yet is LLGL, the Low-Level Graphics Library.
Earlier this year patches were posted for a new /dev/random implementation for the Linux kernel dubbed LRNG -- simply, the Linux Random Number Generator. The LRNG work has yet to be merged in the mainline kernel but the code has now been updated for Linux 4.9.
The KDE developer community has firmed up the schedule for the KDE Applications 16.12 release.
This weekend I pulled out a Core i5 powered HP EliteBook that served as Intel's Software Development Vehicle for Sandy Bridge. I hadn't touched this laptop in a long time but decided to see how the current Linux + Mesa graphics stack on Ubuntu 16.10 compares to the older Linux distributions when Sandy Bridge hardware was more relevant.
Following EXT4 file-system encryption and F2FS per-file encryption support, the UBIFS file-system is also bringing in encryption support built off this fscrypto framework used by EXT4/F2FS.
Friday's GCC 7 status report indicates the feature freeze is coming up in just a few weeks.
This week I was shopping for a solid state drive to replace a hard drive on one of my backup/archival systems and ended up settling for the Crucial MX300 in getting 525GB of storage for just $120 USD. Here are some benchmarks of the Crucial CT525MX300SSD1 compared to some other SSDs on Linux for those curious.
While Mesa 13.0 is coming along for release next month with exciting features like OpenGL 4.5 for Intel, unofficial GL 4.4/4.5 for RadeonSI/NVC0, and the addition of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver, there is some functionality that sadly won't be found in this release.
With the GNOME 3.24 desktop that's currently in development the latest GNOME Shell code has support for easily letting the user launch an app on a dedicated GPU when applicable for handling NVIDIA Optimus use-cases of having integrated and discrete GPU laptops.
The latest GCC 7 development code has an optimization pass now for loop splitting.
An Intel developer has published testing patches for providing a SoundWire bus driver within the Linux kernel, which implements the MIPI SoundWire 1.1 specification.
Those making use of the promising Solus Linux distribution will soon find their BLAS-based workloads are faster.
Google is ending this week by rolling out the Chrome/Chromium 55 web-browser beta.
The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update.
NVIDIA has released the 375.10 Linux driver as their first release in this new 375.xx series.
With Mesa Git and Linux 4.9 I have done AMDGPU vs. Radeon, AMD OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks, and other tests while in this article is our first side-by-side comparison of AMD Radeon GPUs on their open-source driver against NVIDIA GPUs on Nouveau when using Linux 4.9 Git and Mesa Git as of this week.
The perf code for Linux 4.10 is set to receive a new "c2c" tool.
Now that Feral Interactive released Mad Max for Linux yesterday, they are moving forward to push out their next Linux game port - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It's coming out in just two weeks.
Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks of a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system seeing performance boosts under Linux 4.9 and it turns out it's looking more widespread than just affecting a niche system or two. When testing a more traditional Intel Haswell desktop, Linux 4.9 Git is seeing more wins over Linux 4.8 and 4.7 kernels.
It's easy to run benchmarks on Linux as well as Solaris, BSD, and other operating systems, using our own Phoronix Test Suite open-source benchmarking software.
Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical's service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux's KernelCare.
Intel has updated its currently out-of-tree Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 patches for compatibility against the Linux 4.9-rc1 kernel plus made other improvements to the code.
Plasma 5.8 was only released at the beginning of October but already there has been a number of Wayland improvements queuing up for the next milestone, Plasma 5.9.
It's been a while since last running any major Linux graphics tests with Intel Haswell era hardware, but in preparing for a big Linux 3.x/4.x kernel comparison with a Core i7 Haswell, I ran some fresh graphics benchmarks with OpenGL and Vulkan.
The first alpha release of the upcoming LibreOffice 5.3 open-source office suite was tagged a short time ago in Git.
Nintendo announced their new "NX" portable console today as the Nintendo Switch. While we don't focus on game consoles at Phoronix, hardware and talk of graphics APIs do excite us.
ARM has posted a new video showing off the side-by-side performance of OpenGL ES and Vulkan graphics APIs on ARM hardware.
The supported Linux 4.8/4.7/4.4 kernel series have seen stable point releases today to address a new CVE security issue nicknamed "Dirty COW" that is a local privilege escalation issue and could allow attackers to overwrite files to which they don't own write access.
MPV Player 0.21 is now available as the latest version of this popular fork of MPlayer/MPlayer2.
This morning's release of the Mad Max game for Linux lists only NVIDIA graphics as supported, but it does turn out at least for newer AMD GPUs using the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver things should work -- well, assuming you are using the latest open-source driver code.
Another early feature being talked about for Fedora 26 is no longer installing the Syntaptics X.Org driver by default.
A short time after Mesa 13.0 was branched in Git yesterday, well known AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák was landing new work in master.
SDL 2.0.5 is now available as the latest version of this library used by many cross-platform games and is part of the Steam Runtime. SDL 2.0.5 brings many new features and improvements.
DragonFlyBSD is now defaulting to LibreSSL throughout its operating system stack and is planning to completely remove OpenSSL in the near future.
Feral Interactive's port of Mad Max to Linux (and macOS) is now officially out and can be found on Steam.
Now that release manager Emil Velikov has worked through his LLVM issue, Mesa 13.0 Release Candidate 1 is now officially available as the first development release that has core OpenGL 4.4/4.5 support in Mesa.
Now that Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, it's onward to testing this new Linux kernel on the dozens of test systems at Phoronix. With some early testing on a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E box, there are some promising improvements.
The Anaconda installer is never done evolving... The Anaconda installer will be updated, again, with Fedora 26 but hopefully won't see the major fallout during one of its earlier reworks when it was in very bad shape. This time around they are just looking to add Blivet-GUI.
The Mesa 12.1/13.0 release dragged out a bit to allow the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver to be merged and then some Gallium3D Nine fixes, which have landed. The branching / feature freeze didn't happen last week though as planned, but Emil Velikov the release manager has now provided an update.
Stemming from an issue of slow performance inside LXDE's file manager, the Raspberry Pi VC4 Gallium3D driver has received an optimization for better texture upload performance.
While Linux 4.9-rc1 was only released this past weekend, the EFI subsystem changes are already being staged for the next kernel cycle.
With having delivered a number of RADV Radeon Vulkan benchmarks recently, time to turn the tables to see how the Intel Vulkan driver stack is comparing to its i965 classic Mesa DRI driver. Dota 2 benchmarks up today under Ubuntu 16.10 while using Mesa 12.10-dev and Linux 4.9.
While there are many new features in Linux 4.9, there is some functionality we've been looking forward to that sadly isn't yet in the mainline kernel tree.
Version 1.2.1 of the promising Solus Linux distribution is now available and also premieres a MATE edition ISO to complement its original Budgie desktop.