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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Dominated March

Phoronix

Published on 31 March 2014 10:41 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix
8 Comments

Here's a look back at the most popular Linux and open-source content on Phoronix in March.

Written this month on Phoronix were 310 original news stories (an average of ten per day, seven days per week, 99% of which were written by myself) and 35 full-length, featured articles/reviews (more than one per day, everyday). These trends are pretty much becoming common with single-handedly writing 10+ news stories every day of the year and at least one major article / Linux hardware review / benchmark article each and everyday. I'm fully committed to the advancement of Linux hardware support and Linux drivers, with Phoronix now being in its tenth year. This is a commitment that's back to taking 80~100+ hour work weeks when also counting the work done on open-source benchmarking software via the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org. If you appreciate all of this tireless work please disable AdBlock when viewing Phoronix, subscribe to Phoronix Premium for ad-free browsing and to view multi-page articles on a single page, and/or consider a PayPal tip. Also follow Phoronix on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

With that said, the most popular news items on Phoronix for March 2014 included:

Replicant Developers Find Backdoor In Android Samsung Galaxy Devices
Developers working on Replicant OS, a free and open-source spin of Google's Android operating system, have claimed to uncover a backdoor into the device's file-system for several Samsung Galaxy mobile devices using the stock Android image.

OS X Is No Longer On My Main System, But I Already Have Regrets
With my upgrade to a new Intel Haswell ultrabook from ASUS, I am no longer relying upon an Apple Retina MacBook Pro and thus no OS X... I also switched from Unity to Xfce with my Linux environment. However, so far it hasn't been a totally positive experience.

Valve's Gabe Newell Makes New Linux Comments
Valve's Gabe Newell did a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" where several Linux questions were posed.

Canonical Posts New Unity 8 Mir Compositor Demo Video
Canonical developer Daniel d'Andrada has posted a new video showing off Unity 8 as a Mir compositor.

My New Linux Ultrabook: The ASUS Zenbook UX301LA-DH71T
The ASUS Zenbook UX301LA-DH71T is a Haswell-based Intel ultrabook that I have found to be quite interesting and will be carrying out a large number of Linux tests (and Windows 8.1 vs. Linux benchmarks) from this laptop that sports Intel Iris Graphics 5100, dual SSDs, and other impressive features.

NVIDIA's Tegra K1 Is Wonderfully Powerful, Efficient
During the Game Developer's Conference this week I had some hands-on time with a NVIDIA Tegra K1 device.

Linux 3.15 Should Suspend & Resume Much Faster
The Linux 3.15 kernel will feature a large number of ACPI and power management updates when its merge window opens in the days ahead.

Valve Open-Sources Their Direct3D To OpenGL Translation Layer
With Valve's Source Engine originally just targeting Direct3D, when initially porting their games to Linux and OS X they relied upon a hand-made Direct3D to OpenGL translation layer. In potentially assisting other game developers, Valve Software has now opened up this graphics translation layer.

Unity 7 Is Now My Desktop, Wins Over Xfce On HiDPI
In continuation of my OS X Is No Longer On My Main System, But I Already Have Regrets article from earlier in the week, I have now found more comfort in using Unity 7 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for the ASUS Zenbook Haswell ultrabook, but the HiDPI experience with Ubuntu's Unity is still far from perfect.

Trying The Unity 8 Desktop Session On Ubuntu 14.04
Besides running benchmarks this weekend on the ASUS UX301LA with Linux and Windows, I've also been running some desktop environment tests of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

The most popular articles included:

The Performance Impact Of Linux Disk Encryption On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
For any Linux laptop users or those concerned about their data's safety on production systems, I highly recommend utilizing disk encryption for safeguarding the data. However, what's the performance impact like these days? In this article with the current development snapshot of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a modern Intel ultrabook we're looking at the impact (including CPU utilization) of using an eCryptfs-based home directory encryption and LUKS-based full-disk encryption on Ubuntu Linux.

AMD Is Exploring A Very Interesting, More-Open Linux Driver Strategy
This week I was out at the Game Developer's Conference not with a focus on games but to learn about some changes they AMD currently pursuing for their Linux driver model. If this new Linux driver model goes through, the Catalyst Linux driver will be more open, but it's not without some risk. Read more in this Phoronix exclusive story.

AMD Radeon: Windows Catalyst vs. Linux Gallium3D vs. Linux Catalyst
Our latest Windows vs. Linux benchmarks on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS are of three different AMD Radeon graphics cards from three different generations as we test the performance of Microsoft Windows 8.1 against Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, when using both the AMD Catalyst proprietary driver and the open-source R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers.

Radeon Open-Source Performance Over Three Years, Compared To Catalyst
Yesterday on Phoronix I published results showing the Radeon Gallium3D performance getting close to Catalyst for the Radeon HD 5000 series and newer GPUs that are supported by the mainline Catalyst driver. On the open-source side the hardware is supported by the R600 and RadeonSI (for the GCN hardware) Gallium3D drivers. Yesterday's results showed that on Ubuntu 14.04 for many OpenGL workloads the R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers were now ~80% the speed of the proprietary Catalyst driver in many instances. While this is a great feat, how does it stand for older generations of AMD Radeon hardware? In this article are Radeon HD 4870 benchmarks looking at the performance of the open-source AMD Linux driver over three years of Ubuntu Linux releases and compared to the legacy Catalyst driver from 2011.

Ubuntu Now Runs Well On The MacBook Air, Beats OS X In Graphics
While last year I wrote how running Ubuntu is messy on the 2013 MacBook Air, when trying out Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on the Intel Haswell-based MacBook Air with HD Graphics 5000, it's a very different story. Not only is Ubuntu Linux now running on the MacBook Air without show-stopping issues, but its OpenGL performance can even beat Mac OS X 10.9.2.

Radeon Gallium3D Performance Gets Close To Catalyst On Ubuntu 14.04
With the open-source graphics driver stack found in the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Mesa 10.1 + Linux 3.13), the performance of the community-developed Radeon Gallium3D driver is now close to that of the official AMD Catalyst driver for recent generations of Radeon graphics cards. In several OpenGL tests the "RadeonSI" driver can even run 80% the speed of AMD's official Catalyst Linux driver.

Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid Benchmarked Against Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
If you're curious how Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is running against upstream Debian, given that SteamOS is Debian-based and Gabe Newell runs Debian, here's some fresh benchmarks comparing several flavors of Debian against Ubuntu 14.04 in its current development state.

30-Way Graphics Card Comparison On Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS
After this week already seeing how the open-source graphics drivers supplied by Ubuntu 14.04 LTS allow Radeon Gallium3D to run at ~80% of the Catalyst Linux driver and how open-source graphics still struggle with older hardware, our latest testing of the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS development version that will be released next month leads us to benchmarking 30 different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards under this popular desktop Linux distribution.

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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