Benchmarking Ubuntu Touch Yields Mixed Results
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 25 February 2013 at 03:21 AM EST. 1 Comment
Performance testing of Ubuntu Linux -- in the form of the brand new Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview -- on the Google Nexus smart-phones continues to move forward, but so far findings are mixed.

For those that aren't caught up in their reading from the weekend, if you haven't already read about the Phoronix explorations with the Ubuntu testing on the Google Nexus 7/10, see: Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger, My Favorite Command For Ubuntu Touch/Tablet, and Benchmarking The Google Nexus With Ubuntu.

As shared in the last article on Saturday, the Ubuntu Linux benchmarking on the popular Google Nexus tablets has moved forward. There's performance comparisons being done to different ARM/x86 hardware running Ubuntu Linux. Problems encountered so far with the Nexus 7/10 has included the tablets becoming rather warm (though not serious) but more pressing have been issues with the WiFi adapters no longer working until the devices reboot (while Ubuntu Touch is using Android / CyanogenMod for the lower layers, they are using NetworkManager), and power issues were also encountered with one tablet.

Benchmarks of the Google Nexus 10 since last Thursday have been going great. Over the weekend many benchmarks have been successfully completed from this tablet that bears a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual SoC, an ARMv7 chip bearing a dual-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A15 processor. The tablet with its 16GB of flash storage, 2GB of RAM, and Mali T604 graphics on the SoC has been running great and benchmarks will be published this coming week. The performance is comparable to the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook that bears the same Exynos 5 Dual SoC and is competitive with other x86/ARM hardware.

The Nexus 7, meanwhile, has been a mess. Even after days of attempted benchmarking, I don't have one completed full test run of my arsenal of open-source Linux benchmarks running on all these different platforms. It's been a hell of a mess running with Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. There's been lock-ups and connectivity issues when dealing with the Google Nexus 7 running the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview last week.

The Google Nexus 7 and NVIDIA's reference Tegra 3 Cardhu Tablet.

This came as a bit of a surprise since the Nexus 10 has been running wonderfully. The Nexus 7 is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC. I've meanwhile been able to run all of the same open-source benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite on the Tegra 3 Cardhu Tablet from NVIDIA that serves as their reference/development platform for this ARM System-on-a-Chip. These same tests in the same run-order and other settings have also had no problems running on an OMAP4460 PandaBoard ES and other x86/ARM platforms. All of these platforms were also running Ubuntu 13.04 packages.

Simply put, the Nexus 7 with Ubuntu continues to fail while other hardware is working wonderfully. It's not a problem with the Tegra 3 SoC since Ubuntu runs fine from the reference Cardhu tablet and that also boasts a mere 1GB of system memory.

Over the next few days the results of Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 10 should be published and compared to other x86 and ARM systems. As far as when the Nexus 7 Ubuntu benchmarks are published, well, that's unknown at this point. Stay tuned to @MichaelLarabel on Twitter for any Ubuntu Nexus updates.

For those hoping to see Google Nexus 4 benchmarks from Ubuntu with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, see the details in this article.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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