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What Excited Linux Enthusiasts In August: Apple, Valve

Valve

Published on 31 August 2012 02:35 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve
12 Comments

There were several interesting announcements this August that excited Linux enthusiasts and the open-source community at large. Here's what was most popular in August.

This month on Phoronix.com there were 29 multi-page featured articles (nearly one per day) and 220 news articles (an average of over seven news posts per day), which were single-handedly written by yours truly.

The most popular featured articles this month on Phoronix included:

OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu Linux: A Battle With No Clear Winner
Since Apple released OX X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" last month, there have been tests going on at Phoronix of this latest Apple operating system not only on the Retina MacBook Pro, but other Mac hardware as well. In this article is a comparison of OS X 10.8 versus Ubuntu Linux -- when trying out both Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and the latest Ubuntu 12.10 development version.

Linux Is A Lemon On The Retina MacBook Pro
If you are planning to buy one of the new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display for use under Linux, hold off on your purchase. Running the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux isn't a trouble-free experience and after using even the latest development code and jumping through various hoops, Linux on the latest Apple hardware is still less than an ideal experience. Linux support will improve for the Retina MacBook Pro in the coming months, but it's not likely to see any proper "out of the box" experience until next year.

Intel OpenGL Performance: OS X vs. Windows vs. Linux
As mentioned last week when publishing the OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks, a large Intel OpenGL driver performance comparison was being carried out at Phoronix. The comparison is now compete and here are the results when comparing the Intel HD OpenGL graphics performance under Apple OS X 10.8, Microsoft Windows 7 Pro, and Ubuntu Linux 12.04/12.10. The results of this Intel OpenGL gaming performance comparison are quite interesting, but reveal some troubling Linux facts.

Running Wayland: It Works, But A Lot Of Work Remains
Following the news shared today that Ubuntu's delayed their Wayland System Compositor adoption from Ubuntu 12.10 to at least Ubuntu 13.04 there was the more positive news that there's an updated third-party spin of an Ubuntu derivative running Wayland. This article has some more information on that new "RebeccaBlack OS" release along with screenshots that provide a glimpse of where the Wayland adoption is at today.

Ubuntu 12.10 Is Faster With Intel Hardware
While benchmarks have already indicated ARM performance improvements in Ubuntu 12.10, early testing of this "Quantal Quetzal" release has also revealed that Intel hardware is benefiting too from performance optimizations for this Linux operating system update due out in October.

Quad-Core ODROID-X Battles NVIDIA Tegra 3
While not as popular as NVIDIA's Tegra 3 ARM SoC, the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 found on cheaply priced ODROID-X can actually outperform the quad-core NVIDIA ARM processor. Here are benchmarks of the $129 USD ODROID-X benchmarked against the NVIDIA Tegra 3 reference tablet and a PandaBoard ES running the Texas Instruments OMAP4460.

When it came to Linux / open-source news stories in August, the most popular content came down to:

Debian Now Defaults To Xfce Desktop
In a commit made for Debian's forthcoming 7.0 Wheezy release, Xfce is now the default desktop choice.

Nokia Reportedly Selling Off Qt
While word crept out last night that Nokia would be closing down their Brisbane office where several of the Qt components are maintained and developed, it looks like the Qt infliction is going much further. Nokia's now reportedly trying to offload Qt entirely.

Valve's L4D2 Is Faster On Linux Than Windows
Valve's growing Linux team is already experiencing success in optimizing the Source Engine, and in particular their initial Left 4 Dead 2 game, for Linux. In fact, the native Linux build with the Source OpenGL renderer is faster than running the game on Windows 7 with DirectX!

Valve's L4D2 Linux Presentation Slides
Here are the slides that Valve presented at SIGGRAPH LA 2012 about their Left 4 Dead 2 / Source Engine porting to Linux.

Comparing Intel HD 2000/3000/4000 Linux Graphics
Following the recent Intel HD 2500 Ivy Bridge Linux graphics benchmarks, here's some more numbers that were recently collected when benchmarking the latest Linux graphics code with the Intel HD 2000/3000/4000 graphics cores when clocking the rest of the CPU to a common speed.

id Software: Linux Hasn't Produced Positive Results
While id Software was known for years as being a Linux-friendly game company with providing native ports of their in-house titles with support for the id Tech engines on Linux, this is no longer the case. John Carmack, the founder of id Software, has lost his commitment to seeing Linux support.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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