Phoronix Test Suite 1.4.0 "Orkdal" Beta 1
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 23 October 2008 at 07:50 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Following a series of three alpha releases in the Orkdal series, I am pleased to announced the release of the first beta release for Phoronix Test Suite 1.4. There are quite a few changes between Orkdal Alpha 3 and Orkdal Beta 1, but any fallout will be minimal. There is still over a month until Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 will be officially released, but pts-core appears to be in great shape as it stands today. Beta 1 consists of improved hardware detection, support for OpenSolaris 2008.11, enhanced test management, and plenty of other changes.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 has been supported since Phoronix Test Suite 1.2, but with the forthcoming 2008.11 release there are a few changes that cause issues with the Phoronix Test Suite. This beta release has been reworked accordingly so that it should run properly on both OpenSolaris 2008.05 and 2008.11. Enhanced hardware detection is also supported through reading information supplied by Sun's Device Driver Utility. The micro-timer framework introduced in Orkdal also had to be tweaked slightly in order to support the OpenSolaris PHP binary. All test profiles have also been updated to reflect whether the test is compatible with the OpenSolaris Operating System. To see which tests are supported on your platform, run phoronix-test-suite list-tests. The list-suites argument will also auto-update depending upon the tests that are supported.

This release also has more improvements for hardware detection. When it comes to graphics cards, there's a few more tweaks that should cause the open-source (ATI and Intel) drivers to be better recognized in some situations. The Phoronix Test Suite is now capable of reading DMI/SMBIOS using dmidecode when /dev/mem is readable. The DMI information is used to supply the system memory speed, capacity, and bank information when reporting the system components.

Starting with Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 Beta 1, when a test is installed the motherboard, processor, operating system, and compiler version are tracked. Subsequently when running a test if any of those tracked hardware/software components are changed it will force the re-installation of that test. In particular this will ensure that tests being built from source-code will use available build capabilities to the system and prevent users from forcing in "third party" binaries.

Some of the other work in this release includes code cleaning, various function optimizations, the ability for tests to append a "test note" when saving the test results, completing the Cascading Test Profile (CTP) implementation, support for reading the hard drive model on Mac OS X (the Linux hard drive model reading support was added in Alpha 3), graph rendering adjustments, and PTS module improvements. A number of test profiles and suites have also been updated. Additionally, a test suite named "nevada" has been added to reflect the main OpenSolaris tests (Nevada is Sun's codename for the next-generation of Solaris). New on the test side of things is the bork test profile, which represents the Java-powered Bork File Encryption program.

The source-code to Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 "Orkdal" Beta 1 can be downloaded here. The 1.4.0 Alpha 3 to 1.4.0 Beta 1 change-log can be read on the mailing list.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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