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Mir, ARM & Valve Excite Linux Users This Month

Valve

Published on 31 March 2013 03:01 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve
4 Comments

March 2013 was another interesting month for Linux users. The Mir Display Server, ARM on Linux advancements, and Valve's continued Linux game play continued to excite readers.

This month on Phoronix at the time of publishing there were 242 original news articles and 11 multi-page featured articles. The number of news postings and articles is down from February when there was FOSDEM plus advertising campaigns on the site were more lucrative... Phoronix.com is almost entirely ad-driven so please view this site without AdBlock or other cruft. And/or please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium for ad-free viewing as well as viewing multi-page articles on a single-page.

I painstakingly produce 99% of the content on Phoronix by myself to provide Linux enthusiasts, hardware fans, and those gaming on Linux with all of the latest and relevant information to them. PayPal tips / donations are also greatly appreciated! Flattr is also fine.

For the coverage on Phoronix.com for March 2013, the most prominent articles included:

Ubuntu Announces Mir, A X.Org/Wayland Replacement
Canonical has lift the lid on Mir, it's name for the display server they are designing in-house. Mir will replace the X.Org Server on Ubuntu and it's not based upon Wayland or any other existing display server project.

Linus Torvalds Is Back To Using GNOME 3 Desktop
The Linux desktop choices of Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, tends to pique people's interest. Linus has now shared he's switched back to using the GNOME 3.x desktop.

Valve Reveals More Steam Linux Distribution Details
Valve's hardware/software survey for Steam that shows details about their user-base, is now showing a lot more Linux distribution details.

Linux Gamers Make Up ~2% Of Valve's Steam Users
With the start of a new month, Valve's popular hardware survey has been updated with the latest software/hardware stats about their millions of customers.

A Note To Canonical: "Don't Piss On Wayland"
In addition to X.Org and Wayland developers criticizing Canonical on Google+ about the Mir display server, there was a colorful discussion about this new open-source project on the Wayland IRC channel.

Upstream X/Wayland Developers Bash Canonical, Mir
Canonical's decision to develop Mir, their own display server not derived from X11 or Wayland, hit many as a big surprise today. Canonical previously committed to Wayland in a future Ubuntu release but now it turns out that for months they have secretly been rolling their own solution behind closed doors.

Enlightenment's Terminal Brings In Fancy Features
Terminology 0.3 has been released, which is the Enlightenment project's own terminal emulator built atop EFL (Enlightenment Foundation Library) components. Terminology is written from scratch and with its v0.3 release it boasts some truly original and innovative features for this terminal emulator. There's embedded support for previewing videos/images and other new inline capabilities.

Building & Running The Ubuntu Mir Display Server
The latest coverage of today's surprise announcement of Canonical developing Mir, their own display server for Ubuntu, is information on building and running the Mir display server with the code they open-sourced today. There's also a Phoronix video showcasing the (sad) state of the Mir client demo.

The most prominent featured articles this month included:

Why Wayland & Weston Were Forked
Last week, Wayland/Weston was forked by a long-time contributor, Scott Moreau. The fork of the Wayland/Weston display server ended up becoming known as Northfield/Norwood, following disagreements within the Wayland development camp. Scott Moreau was ultimately banned from the Wayland mailing list and IRC channel, so he's written an exclusive, independent article for Phoronix to explain his actions and why he felt a fork of the Wayland display server protocol and the reference Weston compositor were necessary.

Windows 8 Outperforming Ubuntu Linux With Intel OpenGL Graphics
In our benchmarks of Microsoft Windows 8, we have found that Intel's Windows OpenGL driver is generally superior to that of their open-source Linux graphics driver. Some progress has been made, but in today's testing of an ASUS Ultrabook bearing an Ivy Bridge processor, Linux has a ways to go for some games in matching the Windows binary performance and features.

HDD & SSD File-System Benchmarks On Linux 3.9 Kernel
For those curious where the common Linux file-systems stand performance-wise for the Linux 3.9 kernel, here are benchmarks from a solid-state drive and hard drive when comparing the EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and F2FS file-systems from this yet-to-be-released Linux kernel.

KDE & Xfce Don't Lead To Performance Wins Over Windows 8
When publishing the OpenGL performance results yesterday showing Windows 8 generally leading with a performance advantage over Ubuntu Linux, there was the usual large portion of the Linux community in disbelief. For proving a point, here are now results showing the Windows 8 Intel OpenGL performance compared to Ubuntu Linux when testing the KDE and Xfce desktops.

Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 7
Last month I delivered extensive benchmarks of Ubuntu Linux on the Google Nexus 10 using the recently released Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview. In that article were benchmarks from the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (Cortex-A15) tablet against a range of ARM Cortex and Intel/AMD x86 systems. This article builds upon those earlier Ubuntu Linux x86/ARM results by now adding in the results from Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 plus more comparison processors have been tossed into the mix as well. This article offers Ubuntu Linux performance results for a dozen different Intel, AMD, and ARM systems. The ARM SoCs represented are from Texas Instruments OMAP, NVIDIA Tegra, and ARM Exynos families.

ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU
Up for review today is the ASUS Radeon HD 7850 1GB DirectCU graphics card. This "Windows 8 Ready" AMD Radeon graphics card is being benchmarked under Ubuntu Linux and compared to an assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.

F2FS Results Mixed Against Microsoft's exFAT On Linux
In the benchmarking that has happened since the release of the Linux 3.8 kernel, there's been many tests that occurred of Samsung's Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS). With that testing has also come many requests to compare the performance of this file-system designed for flash storage devices to Microsoft's exFAT file-system as well as NTFS. In this article are those benchmark results.

USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0 Flash Drives On Linux
With the current Linux USB stack and file-systems, do USB 3.0 flash drives provide much of a performance gain over USB 2.0 flash drives? In this article are some brief benchmarks from USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Corsair Flash Voyagers.

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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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