Vulkan Completely Dominated This Month
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 29 February 2016 at 07:29 PM EST. 1 Comment
PHORONIX --
Vulkan was easily the most talked about subject matter this month on Phoronix, but aside from that there was also a whole lot of other exciting Linux and open-source content for your viewing pleasure.

This month on Phoronix there were 300 original news articles and 23 featured articles/reviews. As always, if you appreciate all of our original Linux content written over the past 12+ years, consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If you would really like to help out and ensure another successful year in providing a ton of exclusive Linux hardware content, reviews, benchmarks, and more, consider joining Phoronix Premium. Phoronix Premium gets you access to the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits while the ~$3 USD per month allow for more resources to be devoted to Phoronix and all of our efforts.

With that said, below are most viewed articles on Phoronix for this month. Our Vulkan 1.0 article is already the most viewed article on Phoronix since 2004!

Vulkan 1.0 Released: What You Need To Know About This Cross-Platform, High-Performance Graphics API
Today's the day! It's Vulkan day! After the better part of two years of hard work, Vulkan 1.0 is ready to meet the world! Today The Khronos Group is announcing the release of Vulkan 1.0 with an embargo that just expired. This hard-launch today is met by the public release of the first conformant driver. The first Vulkan-powered game is also in public beta as of today, but the Linux situation as of today isn't entirely exciting for end-users/gamers as most vendors are still baking their Linux support with Windows generally taking priority. However, even ignoring operating system differences, you need to make sure your expectations are realistic before trying to fire up a Vulkan game while giving developers time to learn and design for this new graphics API.

Ubuntu 6.06 To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Performance Benchmarks: 10 Years Of Linux Performance
As I'm in the process of retiring an old AMD Opteron dual-socket system, prior to decommissioning it, I figured it would be fun to go back and re-benchmark all of the Ubuntu LTS releases going all the way back to the legendary 6.06 Dapper Drake release. So here are some fresh benchmarks of this AMD Shanghai system with eight cores and 16GB of RAM when re-benchmarking the releases from Ubuntu 6.06 through the latest Ubuntu 16.04 LTS development state.

How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing Compared To Five Other Linux Distributions
As it's been a month since our last large Linux distribution comparison (a 10-way Linux distribution battle), here are some fresh benchmarks of six Linux distributions to see how their out-of-the-box performance compares. From a Core i7 Broadwell system, the updated versions of Clear Linux, Fedora 23, CentOS 7, openSUSE 42.1, Ubuntu 15.10, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS were compared.

For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation
Last week I brought up the Talos Secure Workstation as a $3100 USD system that's fully free and open down to the firmware and with an open-source friendly processor design while being high performance. Since then, I've had access to test out the hardware making up this POWER8-powered system to see how fast a fully-open system can be. Here is more information on the proposed Talos Workstation along with a few early Linux benchmarks.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 710: Trying The Newest Sub-$50 GPU On Linux
At the end of January NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce GT 710. This isn't some shiny new low-end Maxwell card, but rather from the Kepler lineage and retails for under $50 USD as a discrete solution to compete with integrated Intel and AMD graphics. Here are some initial benchmarks of a passively-cooled ASUS GeForce GT 710 under Linux.

9-Way Intel Xeon E3 v5 Skylake Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux
For those looking at upgrading a server or workstation to an Intel Xeon E3 v5 "Skylake" processor, here is a nine-way benchmark comparison of these processors compared to older Haswell Xeons as well as an AMD FX processor for reference. The benchmarks today were done under Ubuntu Linux and besides looking at raw performance we also have test results for the CPU thermal performance, system power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar metrics with a total of 14 AMD/Intel processors.

Early OpenGL vs. Vulkan Linux Benchmarks With Talos Principle
Now that with a workaround it's possible getting Talos Principle playing fine on Linux with the Vulkan renderer, here are the first OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks atop Ubuntu and tests done with the NVIDIA beta driver on a few graphics cards as well as attempted trying an Intel Skylake system with the open-source Mesa Vulkan/Anvil code.

LLVM Clang vs. GCC Compiler Comparison On Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
When getting access to an assortment of new Intel Xeon E3 "Skylake" processors one of the first testing thoughts that came to mind were some fresh GCC vs. Clang benchmarks. So using the $600+ Xeon E3-1280 v5 processor running up to 4.0GHz, I carried out a comparison of the GCC and Clang compilers using the packaged versions being offered by Ubuntu 16.04, the Xenial Xerus.

DRI2 vs. DRI3 Benchmarks With Intel Skylake HD Graphics 530
While DRI3 appears to be in good shape with the latest X.Org Server series and Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3 is even mandated by the Intel Mesa Vulkan driver, DRI2 is still the default with the xf86-video-intel DDX driver, similar to the situation in the Radeon DDX driver as well.

Here Is What Happens When Trying To Use Non-NVIDIA Drivers To Play XCOM 2 On Linux
For those eager to play the XCOM 2 strategy game on Linux but curious about using non-NVIDIA graphics, here is the rundown! I just finished some very cursory XCOM 2 Linux tests with different graphics drivers and hardware. Do the Mesa / Gallium3D drivers yet handle XCOM 2?

The most popular February 2016 news included:

LLVM Patches Confirm Google Has Its Own In-House Processor
Patches published by Google developers today for LLVM/Clang confirm that the company has at least one in-house processor of its own.

In A UEFI World, "rm -rf /" Can Brick Your System
Running rm -rf / on any UEFI Linux distribution can potentially perma-brick your system.

2016 Wayland Experiences: GNOME: Perfect, KDE: Bad, Enlightenment: Good
Developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the different desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results aren't a big surprise, but nevertheless it's great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring Wayland will be able to dominate the Linux desktop.

Microsoft Buys Out Miguel de Icaza's Xamarin
Microsoft has announced today they are acquiring Xamarin, the company backed by Mono developers including Miguel de Icaza, GNOME's founder.

Docker Images Are Moving From Ubuntu To Alpine Linux
Docker is reportedly going to be migrating all of their official images from an Ubuntu base to now using Alpine Linux.

The State Of Popular Open-Source Programs On Wayland
For those interested in the state of various open-source desktop programs on Wayland, there is a nice read about the compatibility with these modern Linux programs.

What Systemd Developers Want To Change With Linux User-Space In 2016
Last weekend at FOSDEM, Lennart Poettering was one of the keynote speakers where he presented on systemd's user-space plans for the years.

SFC Considers Combining ZFS With Linux A GPL Violation
The Software Freedom Conservancy has opined today that Canonical's inclusion of the ZFS file-system module into their Linux kernel for Ubuntu 16.04 is a violation of the GPL.

Google Releases ION OpenGL Open-Source Library
Google engineers have open-sourced today a new suite of libraries and tools relating to OpenGL called ION.

Vulkan 1.0.4 Specification Published
The Khronos Group has updated the public Vulkan 1.0 specification.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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