Vulkan, Raspberry Pi 3, AMDGPU & Other Exciting Linux Milestones So Far This Year
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 28 June 2016 at 08:33 AM EDT. Add A Comment
PHORONIX --
With the first half of 2016 quickly coming to an end, here's a look at the most popular open-source and Linux news covering H1-2016 on Phoronix with our daily coverage that so far this year has included 1,695 original news articles and 126 Linux hardware reviews / multi-page featured articles.

Below is a look at our most popular articles and news posts for H1'2016. Of course, this quarter/half isn't over yet as tomorrow is the very exciting Radeon RX 480 launch where there will be a lot of Phoronix coverage. In addition to a very lengthy Radeon RX 480 Linux review, there will be some extra results only initially available to Phoronix Premium members so consider joining our ad-free, multi-page-articles-on-a-single-page and more service today. Joining Phoronix Premium is one of the best ways you can ensure that Phoronix will continue to be able to provide more open-source/Linux content 365 days per year.

First up are the most popular news items so far in 2016:

Other Letdowns For Linux / Open-Source Users From 2015 When ending out 2015 I wrote about some of the open-source Linux letdowns of the year while since then Phoronix readers have suggested more items that they were sad to see not materialize this year.

X.Org Might Lose Its Domain Name Unless there's a miracle, the X.Org Foundation stands to lose one of its biggest assets: its single-letter domain name.

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.

I've Had Enough & Today Everyone Has The Phoronix Premium Experience Notice something different about your viewing experience today of Phoronix...?

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

Mozilla's Servo Is Whooping The Other Browsers In Performance While the Rust-written Servo engine being developed by Mozilla is still experimental, Google's Jake Archibald has done a performance comparison of Servo against other engines and the results are mighty impressive.

An AMD ARM 64-bit Dev Board Is Launching For $299 USD Since last year we have been waiting for AMD to launch their "HuskyBoard" ARM development board built around their Opteron A1100 ARM 64-bit SoC. That board was originally supposed to ship in Q4'15 while now available for pre-order is a new A1100 development board that looks like it may be taking its place.

Some Early Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Vulkan Tests With NVIDIA Graphics While waiting to test Ubuntu Bash on Windows, I decided to run some (manual) tests of Vulkan on Windows compared to some recent Ubuntu Linux figures with different NVIDIA graphics cards.

The AMDGPU Additions For Linux 4.7 Are Enormous More AMDGPU DRM driver changes have been queued up for the Linux 4.7 kernel merge window that's expected to open next week.

Is The Linux Kernel Scheduler Worse Than People Realize? A number of Phoronix readers have been pointing out material to indicate that the Linux kernel scheduler isn't as good as most people would assume.

GCC 6 Will Warn You About Misleading Code Indentations As reminded this weekend by Red Hat developer Mark Wielaard, GCC 6 will warn you about misleading code indentations.

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.

Radeon RX 480 Linux Testing Is Happening Right Now Not that I can share any early benchmark figures or anything of the Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" graphics card, but the testing commenced today... But I can at least share a couple images.

Ubuntu Is Deprecating fglrx (Catalyst) In 16.04 LTS Ubuntu developers have deprecated the fglrx / Catalyst Linux display stack for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Users of this upcoming Ubuntu release are now encouraged to use the open-source Radeon display stack.

Well Known Linux Kernel Developer Recommends Against Buying Skylake Systems Well known Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett who has led the charge for a number of years about UEFI/SecureBoot issues, poorly secured devices, and more, has taken aim now at Intel's latest-generation "Skylake" systems.

Some Distributions Are Already Making Changes To Linux's Scheduler Already it's looking like the research from the recently covered The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores that called out the Linux kernel in being a poor scheduler is having an impact.

Rumor: NVIDIA Working On Their Own Distribution For Linux Gamers Making the rounds on the Internet today is a rumor that NVIDIA Corp is allegedly working on their own Linux distribution.

The Relative Windows vs. Linux Performance For NVIDIA, Intel & AMD Following the recent Windows vs. Linux AMDGPU-PRO / RadeonSI testing, GTX 1080 Windows vs. Linux results, and yesterday's Intel Windows vs. Linux benchmarks, here is a look at all three sets of numbers when using some OpenBenchmarking.org magic to merge the data-sets and normalize the results.

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.

Here Is A $5 Fix To Cool Your Raspberry Pi 3 Over the past week of running benchmarks on the Raspberry Pi 3 we have seen how warm this new $35 quad-core ARM 64-bit developer board can get and it's significantly hotter than the Raspberry Pi 2.

And the featured articles/reviews:

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.

Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards
On Friday my Raspberry Pi 3 arrived for benchmarking. For our first benchmarks of this Cortex-A53 64-bit ARM $35 development board is a comparison against eight other ARMv7 and ARMv8 development boards running their official Linux distributions while carrying out a range of benchmarks. Here are those raw performance results along with a performance-per-dollar comparison for additional insight into this low-cost ARM development board.

KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Evolved Well Beyond Where Plasma 4 Ended
Ken Vermette has written a lengthy article for us about his thoughts on the state of the KDE Plasma 5 desktop as of the recent 5.5 release. If you are curious how KDE Plasma 5 is panning out, how it works on Wayland, and much more, this article is a definite must-read.

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 A Few Dollars More Than The Raspberry Pi 3 You Can Have A Much Faster Board
Yesterday's Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards was quite interesting while today I have a complementary data point: the Raspberry Pi 3 compared to the ODROID-C2. The ODROID-C2 costs just a few dollars more ($40 USD) while having a faster SoC and other advantages.

The Performance Of Ubuntu Software Running On Windows 10 With The New Linux Subsystem
At the end of March was the surprising news about Microsoft bringing Bash and Ubuntu's user-space to Windows 10 via a new "Linux subsystem" for natively dealing with Linux ELF binaries atop Windows. Since last week the latest Windows Insider update now ships with said support for being able to run Bash and other Ubuntu user-space programs on Windows 10. I've been benchmarking the performance of Ubuntu/Linux software on Windows 10 and have some results to share comparing it to a clean Ubuntu installation.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Gaming With NVIDIA's GTX 1070 & GTX 1080
For your viewing pleasure this Friday is our largest Windows vs. Linux graphics/gaming performance comparison ever conducted at Phoronix in the past 12 years! With the brand new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards, their performance was compared under Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.04 x86_64 when using the very latest NVIDIA Corp drivers for each OS. A range of Steam gaming benchmarks and more were done, including some cross-platform Vulkan graphics benchmarks. Continue on for this interesting comparison.

A 10-Way Linux Distribution Battle To Kick Off 2016
As our first multi-way Linux distribution comparison of 2016, I took ten different modern Linux distribution releases and benchmarked them on the same Intel Haswell system. Being benchmarked were various releases of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Debian, Clear Linux, Fedora, Antergos, and CentOS.

How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing With AMDGPU/Radeon Graphics Compared To Ubuntu 14.04 With FGLRX
With Ubuntu dropping support for the AMD fglrx/Catalyst driver in their upcoming 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" release and manually installing the driver doesn't sound like an option, many have renewed interest in how the open-source Radeon driver stack is performing for Ubuntu 16.04 that's due out next month. In this article are benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (on both the open and closed drivers) to that of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the sole AMD Linux driver option on a variety of graphics cards.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux: OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan Performance
$699 USD is a lot to spend on a graphics card, but damn she is a beauty. Last month NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 1080 as the current top-end Pascal card and looked great under Windows while now finally having my hands on the card the past few days I've been putting it through its paces under Ubuntu Linux with the major open APIs of OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and VDPAU. Not only is the raw performance of the GeForce GTX 1080 on Linux fantastic, but the performance-per-Watt improvements made my jaw drop more than a few times. Here are my initial Linux results of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Founder's Edition.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Graphics Performance With Radeon Software, AMDGPU-PRO, AMDGPU+RadeonSI
Yesterday I published some Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux gaming benchmarks using the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards. Those numbers were interesting with the NVIDIA proprietary driver but for benchmarking this weekend are Windows 10 results with Radeon Software compared to Ubuntu 16.04 running the new AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver as well as the latest Git code for a pure open-source driver stack.

OpenGL Performance & Performance-Per-Watt For NVIDIA GPUs From The Past 10 Years
Curious how the raw OpenGL performance and power efficiency has improved going back a decade to the GeForce 8 days? In this article is a 27-way graphics card comparison testing graphics cards from each generation going from the GeForce 8 series through the GeForce GTX 900 series and ending with the $999 GeForce GTX TITAN X. If you are interested in how graphics card performance has evolved, this is a fun must-read article.

15-Way Linux OS Comparison Shows Mixed High-Performing Linux Distributions
Succeeding January's 10-way Linux distribution battle is now a 15-way Linux distribution comparison on an Intel Xeon "Skylake" system with Radeon R7 graphics. Distributions part of this Linux OS performance showdown include Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE, Antergos, Sabayon, Void Linux, Zenwalk, KaOS, Clear Linux, and Alpine Linux.

The Many New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 4.5 Kernel
With Linux 4.5-rc1 expected for release today that will mark the end of this cycle's merge window, here is a look at the new features and improved functionality present for this major Linux kernel release that will then be officially christened in about two months time.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 NVIDIA OpenGL Performance
With having a clean Windows 10 installation around for the benchmarking of Ubuntu Bash on Windows 10 and Windows vs. Linux Vulkan benchmarking, I also took the opportunity to run a number of OpenGL benchmarks on both Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 Linux with the same hardware and set of graphics cards. In this article are benchmarks of Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 with various NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards.

AMD vs. NVIDIA Vulkan & OpenGL Linux Performance With The New Drivers
Thanks to AMD having released their new GPU-PRO "hybrid" Linux driver a few days ago, there is now Vulkan API support for Radeon GPU owners on Linux. This new AMD Linux driver holds much potential and the closed-source bits are now limited to user-space, among other benefits covered in dozens of Phoronix articles over recent months. With having this new driver in hand plus NVIDIA promoting their Vulkan support to the 364 Linux driver series, it's a great time for some benchmarking. Here are OpenGL and Vulkan atop Ubuntu 16.04 Linux for both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.

How Three BSD Operating Systems Compare To Ten Linux Distributions
Earlier this week I posted the results of a 10-way Linux distribution battle on the same Intel Xeon system and using all of the popular and latest Linux distribution releases. Taking things further, the article today has those results complemented by results on the Xeon system for several BSD operating systems. For seeing how the BSD performance stacks up to Linux, DragonFlyBSD, OpenBSD, and the FreeBSD-based PC-BSD were benchmarked.

8-Way ARM Board Linux Benchmark Comparison From The Pi Zero & ODROID To Tegra
For those interested in small, low-power ARM single-board computers, up for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of several different boards from the Raspberry Pi Zero to the Banana Pi M2.

Initial Hands-On With The Passively-Cooled Airtop PC Boasting A Core i7 & GTX 950
Since the Airtop PC was announced back in January there has been a lot of interest in this passively-cooled, high-performance line of PCs by the folks at CompuLab. The Airtop isn't some low-end, passively cooled PC but rather can be equipped with a Core i7 or Xeon CPU and a discrete graphics card to deliver very capable performance while having a completely silent PC. Some have been skeptical about the cooling and performance claims of the Airtop PC, but our review sample arrived this morning and have begun testing out this very interesting PC.
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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