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ARM & Steam Continue Exciting Linux Enthusiasts

Valve

Published on 30 November 2012 06:58 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve
11 Comments

With November coming to a close, here's some statistics on the most popular content on Phoronix this month.

During this month, while I may be stepping down from publishing roles here in the near future, on Phoronix I published 206 news articles (an average of more than six Linux/hardware/open-source news items per day) and 22 full-length featured articles. This brings the tally to more than 7,300 news articles and over 2,200 featured articles/reviews since founding the site eight years ago.

The most popular news items in November on Phoronix were:

Linus Torvalds Switches Back To KDE
Linus Torvalds has announced today via his Google+ page that he's switched back to using the KDE desktop. He's provided his positive and negative feedback after having previously dumped KDE/GNOME in favour of Xfce.

The Steam Linux Beta Begins...
Finally... After talking much about Steam on Linux at Phoronix over the years and many people that have doubted the earlier Phoronix exclusives, Valve is rolling out the Steam Linux Beta today!

Valve's Steam License Causes Linux Packaging Concerns
Valve's initial roll-out of their Steam client for Linux is all centered around Ubuntu. With Ubuntu having the largest market-share on the Linux desktop, Valve is focusing upon proper Ubuntu support as their first priority. In the days that the Ubuntu/Debian package has been available of the Steam Linux Beta, it's already been reported to work on other Linux distributions. Some Linux distributions have also begun to package the Steam Linux binary for their own platforms, but now there's some concerns about doing this, at least from the Arch Linux camp.

Debian Switches Back To GNOME From Xfce
Debian will no longer be defaulting to the Xfce desktop but they have returned to using the GNOME desktop as the default.

GNOME 3.8 Is Dropping Its Fallback Mode
Matthias Clasen on the behalf of the GNOME Release Team has announced that they have decided to eliminate GNOME's "fallback mode" with the upcoming 3.8 release that allowed a "GNOME classic" mode that didn't depend upon OpenGL/3D rendering and was more like the GNOME2 traitional desktop.

Skype 4.1 For Linux Released
Microsoft has released Skype 4.1 for Linux.

The most popular featured articles in the past 30 days included:

Samsung's A15 Chromebook Loaded With Ubuntu Is Crazy Fast
Google recently launched the Samsung Chromebook that for $249 USD features an 11-inch display, a 16GB SSD, a promise of 6.5-hour battery life, and is backed by a Samsung Exynos 5 SoC. The Samsung Exynos 5 packs a 1.7GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with ARM Mali-T604 graphics. With using this new ARM Cortex-A15 chip plus the Samsung Chromebook not being locked down so it can be loaded up with a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or openSUSE, it was a must-buy for carrying out some interesting Cortex-A15 Linux benchmarks. The Exynos 5 Dual in this affordable laptop packs an impressive performance punch.

ARM Cortex-A15 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 3 vs. Intel x86
Last week I shared some early benchmarks of the Samsung Chromebook while running Ubuntu Linux. The Samsung Chromebook is very interesting since it's one of the few readily available computers on the market employing an ARM Cortex-A15 processor rather than Cortex-A9 or other models. The Cortex-A15 found in the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual SoC proved to be very powerful and this Chromebook was quite a good deal with it being trivial to load Ubuntu Linux (and other distributions) while costing only $250 USD for this ARM-based laptop. In the past week I have carried out additional ARM Cortex-A15 benchmarks, including a comparison of its performance the the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core ARM "Cardhu" tablet and several Intel Atom/Core x86 systems.

Benchmarking NVIDIA's R310 Linux Driver Improvements
This week NVIDIA began advertising their new "R310" Linux graphics driver that "delivers [a] massive performance boost to Linux gaming" as a result of Valve releasing their Steam Linux Beta. The NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver not only improves the performance for Valve's Source Engine games, but many Linux OpenGL games. In this article are benchmarks from three graphics cards to highlight the optimizations.

Clock-For-Clock, Nouveau Can Compete With NVIDIA's Driver
Similar to last week's testing of comparing the open-source vs. closed-source Radeon Linux driver performance from a stock Ubuntu 12.10 installation, the tables have now been turned to look at NVIDIA hardware on this latest Ubuntu Linux release. Benchmarks were done of the stock Nouveau open-source graphics driver, the official NVIDIA proprietary driver, and the proprietary driver when it was underclocked to match the clock frequencies as used by the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver.

What Linux Users Need To Know When Holiday Shopping For PC Hardware
If you plan to upgrade your Linux desktop hardware in the near future or will be shopping for new PC hardware this holiday season, here's a few words of advice on recommended components and manufacturers to go with for the best Linux hardware experience.

Linux 3.7 File-System Benchmarks: EXT4, Btrfs, XFS
In this article are benchmarks of the latest Linux 3.7 kernel development code of the EXT4, XFS, and Btrfs file-systems.

If you appreciate the content offered by Phoronix.com, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip this holiday season. You can also follow Phoronix via Facebook and then @Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel on Twitter.

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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