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The Most Popular Linux Stories Over Eight Years

Free Software

Published on 21 December 2012 07:27 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
2 Comments

In commemorating the end of the Mayan calendar, here's a look at the most popular Linux stories that have been published on Phoronix since its inception in 2004.

In the past eight and a half years, there's been more than 2,200 feature-length articles and over 7,500 news postings. The most popular news items to hit Phoronix since 2004 have been:

Say Hello To Linux 3.0; Linus Just Tagged 3.0-rc1
For anyone that was doubting Linus Torvalds would finally part ways with the Linux 2.6 kernel series, you lost your bets. On the eve of Memorial Day in the United States and his departure to Japan for LinuxCon, Linus Torvalds just tagged Linux 3.0-rc1 in Git.

AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of GPU Specs
Ending off the X Developer Summit this year, Matthew Tippett handed off ATI's GPU specifications to David Airlie on a CD (as reported by Daniel Stone). However, the specifications are also now available on the Internet! At http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/ is the location of the documentation where you can freely download the files. Right now there is the RV630 Register Reference Guide and M56 Register Reference Guide. The RV630 Reference Guide is 434 pages long while the M56 Guide is 460 pages. Expect more documentation (and 3D specifications) to arrive shortly. The new open-source R500/600 driver will be released early next week. More information to come soon. Tell us what you think. For more information, read our ATI/AMD's New Open-Source Strategy Explained article.

Dell Wants Better ATI Linux Drivers
Dell knows it won't happen overnight, but along side wanting to ship audio/video codecs, Intel Wireless 80.211N support for Linux, Broadcom Wireless for Linux, and being able to ship notebooks and desktops with Compiz Fusion enabled, Dell would like to see improved ATI Linux drivers. At Ubuntu Live 2007, Amit Bhutani had a session on Ubuntu Linux for Dell Consumer Systems, where he had shared a slide with Dell's "area of investigation", which Amit had said is essentially their Linux road-map. Amit had also stated that the NVIDIA 2D and 3D video drivers were "challenges in platform enablement". Dell wants to offer ATI Linux systems, but first the driver must be improved for the Linux platform (not necessarily open-source, but improved). Dell currently ships desktop Linux systems with Intel using their open-source drivers as well as NVIDIA graphics processors under Linux. Amit had went on to add that new Dell product offerings and availability in other countries will come later this summer.

Here's The First Screenshot Of The Linux Steam Client
Less than two weeks ago we reported on the Mac OS X Steam client confirming the existence of a Linux client and then found more Linux references too. We then found the unreleased Steam Linux binaries that were under active development. Some still didn't believe the existence of a Steam client for Linux with Source Engine support, but it's something we have said for nearly two years based upon our sources and then the emergence of these binaries.

NVIDIA PR Responds To Torvalds' Harsh Words
NVIDIA's PR department has issued a statement following the harsh comments by Linus Torvalds last week where he referred to the graphics company as the single worst company they have ever dealt with, called them out on not supporting Optimus, and other issues.

AMD: GPU Specifications Without NDAs!
This morning at the X Developer Summit in the United Kingdom, Matthew Tippett and John Bridgman of AMD have announced that they will be releasing their ATI GPU specifications without any Non-Disclosure Agreements needed by the developers! In other words, their GPU specifications will be given to developers in the open. Therefore you shouldn't need to worry about another R200 incident taking place. The 2D specifications will be released very soon and the 3D ones will follow shortly. Specifications for ATI's R300 GPUs should also be out in the future. You may recall that we explained their new open-source strategy last week, but at that time it was still up in the air internally whether or not there would be an NDA for developers. Well, there won't be now so developers can freely access this information and use it for open-source work. Tell us what you think in the forums.

ATI R500/600 Driver For Solaris Coming?
While no ATI fglrx driver is available for Solaris/OpenSolaris or *BSD, now that AMD will be offering up specifications to X.Org developers and an open-source driver, it certainly is promising for any Solaris user depending upon ATI's Radeon X1000 "R500" or HD 2000 "R600" series. The open-source X.Org driver that will be released next week is far from mature, but it should be able to be ported to Solaris and other operating systems using X.Org with relative ease. What AMD announced today is targeted for the Linux community, but it can certainly help out Solaris/OpenSolaris users that use ATI hardware. Especially with "Project Indiana" coming out soon, it's only a matter of time before the open-source R500/600 driver is ported. Tell us what you think in our Solaris forum.

The Death Of The R500 Avivo Driver
It's been a glorious past couple of months for ATI Radeon X1000 owners that have had very basic open-source support provided by the Avivo display driver. However, it looks like the open-source Avivo driver will soon be going away to a bit-bucket heaven. If AMD sticks to their word, Jerome Glisse (the Avivo lead developer) will discontinue all work on the xf86-video-avivo driver. In fact, he said he "kind of stopped doing real work on it" already and is partially the reason why the Avivo v0.1 driver hasn't been released. He is, however, looking forward to contributing to a new yet to be named open-source driver. Jerome is doing this because he believes AMD is starting to truly work with the open-source community. We will disclose more information on the new open-source driver in just a few hours.

The most popular featured articles were:

Real World Benchmarks Of The EXT4 File-System
With the EXT4 file-system being marked as stable in the forthcoming Linux 2.6.28 kernel, and some Linux distributions potentially switching to it as an interim step until the btrfs file-system is ready, we decided it was time to benchmark this journaled file-system for ourselves. We ran a number of disk-centric Linux benchmarks along with several of our real-world tests from the Phoronix Test Suite to gauge how well the EXT4 file-system performance will be noticed by desktop users and computer gamers. We have compared these EXT4 results to the EXT3, XFS, and ReiserFS file-systems.

Mac OS X 10.5 vs. Ubuntu 8.10 Benchmarks
Last week we published Ubuntu 7.04 to 8.10 benchmarks from a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 and had found Ubuntu's performance degraded peculiarly over the past year and a half. We then published Fedora 7 to 10 benchmarks covering the same time-frame and from the same exact Intel notebook computer, but the newer releases of Fedora were only marginally slower in a few tests. In our performance exploration of Ubuntu we now have additional tests to publish this morning. This time around we're switching out the hardware we're testing on to Intel's newer Core 2 series and we're comparing the performance of the x86 and x86_64 editions of Ubuntu 8.10 against Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.5 operating system.

Intel GMA X4500HD
Earlier this month Intel had announced the GMA X4500 series, which is their latest and greatest when it comes to integrated graphics processors. These IGPs were greeted by same-day Linux support (it had actually arrived before the chipset was announced), but it's still next to impossible to find motherboards using the G43 and G45 Chipsets that bear this IGP. Fortunately, however, our friends at Super Micro have come through and we have managed to get our hands on the C2SEA. The Super Micro C2SEA is an ATX motherboard that uses the Intel G45 Chipset in conjunction with an ICH10 Southbridge. This motherboard provides Intel GMA X4500HD graphics with VGA and HDMI interfaces. In this article, we are looking at the performance of this new Intel graphics processor under Linux.

ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux, Web Browser
The good folks over at ASUS have sent over the P5E3 Deluxe, which is based upon Intel's new X38 Chipset and continues in the usual ASUS fashion of pushing new (and often unexpected) innovations onto the motherboard. Without spoiling the review of this motherboard that will be published shortly, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe is one of the most innovative motherboards we have seen to date and it packs one very exciting and unusual feature. Embedded onto the P5E3 Deluxe is a Linux environment that features a Firefox-rebranded web browser and the Skype VoIP client! Within five seconds of turning on this $360 USD gaming/enthusiast motherboard, you can be using Linux and surfing the Internet. On this motherboard the feature is known as ASUS Express Gate, which is powered by something called SplashTop. SplashTop is an instant-on Linux desktop being created by DeviceVM. SplashTop isn't even launching for a few more days (October 10), but in this article we have more details on this embedded Linux environment as well as screenshots and our thoughts with what will hopefully come next for this Linux environment.

NVIDIA GeForce 7050
The NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and 6150 integrated graphics processors have been relatively popular among Linux and Windows users. These IGPs have been common in HTPC setups with the NVIDIA driver working out well with MythTV. NVIDIA's GeForce 6100/6150 parts have also appeared in a number of desktop systems, and while these IGPs cannot really handle modern games, they have no troubles with Beryl or Compiz. However, it's now time that the GeForce 6 series moves on with NVIDIA having recently introduced the NVIDIA GeForce 7025 and 7050 with the nForce 630a as the replacement for the GeForce 6100 and 6150 with the nForce 410/430. We have decided to look at the NVIDIA GeForce 7050 today as we compare it to the GeForce 6150 and test it in a variety of Linux graphics benchmarks.

NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT 256MB
The GeForce 8500GT is NVIDIA's value-priced contender in the GeForce 8 series. The 8500GT has a 450MHz core clock and 400MHz memory clock, but how is this $100 creation able to compete against other graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA? We have our hands on the passively-cooled Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT 256MB graphics card and have run our usual Linux graphics tests along with some of our first overclocking attempts with this new solution. Without further ado, we present the world's first Linux benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT.

Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?
While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux? We have used six uniquely different systems and ran Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 on each of them with a set of 55 tests (actually, more than 165 if considering that each test is usually run at least three times for accuracy) per installation.

ATI Radeon HD 3650 512MB
Last week AMD introduced the ATI Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series, which are the new low-end graphics processors compared to the Radeon HD 3800 series. These budget graphics cards are branded as the Radeon HD 3450, 3470, and 3650 and are all available for under $100 USD. While they may be cheap, they are the first graphics cards to introduce support for DisplayPort. DisplayPort is the newest digital display interface standard, backed by VESA, and is direct competition to HDMI. DisplayPort has yet to be fully supported by the available Linux display drivers, but the Catalyst Linux driver already supports these new ATI graphics cards and there will be open-source support through the RadeonHD driver in the coming days. At hand today we have the Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB graphics card as we deliver the first Linux benchmarks for this RV635 GPU.

If you wish to continue to see the extensive and frequent content being published on Phoronix, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium. Also follow the site on Facebook and Twitter with @Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel.

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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