Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 "Selbu" Alpha 1
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 16 February 2009 at 04:17 PM EST. Add A Comment
With about a month having passed since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 "Tydal", the first alpha development release to its successor is now available. Phoronix Test Suite 1.8 "Selbu" will focus on a number of underlying improvements and further polishing from where Tydal was left off. There will also be quite a bit of preparatory work for Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. Selbu is expected for release in the second quarter of 2009.

So what's there worth checking out in Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1? Well, quite a bit of random new features scattered throughout. One of the features that has been sought after by a number of users is the ability to merge many test results (more than two) simultaneously. That, for example, is now possible. The test result merging code has been rewritten so it's now possible to run "phoronix-test-suite merge-results test1 test2 test3 test4" and the results will be merged cleanly and efficiently. This new code is also being used to power a revised version of Phoronix Global for facilitating real-time result merging/comparisons from the web browser. The module framework for pts-core in Selbu has become a lot more powerful, but that isn't exposed much to the user at this time but certainly will be the case with Phoronix Test Suite 2.0.

The OpenSolaris code paths have received a number of enhancements for the first Selbu alpha release. On OpenSolaris there is now support for monitoring the CPU usage, improved multi-CPU detection, Sun Studio compiler detection, and various other improvements. In addition to Sun Studio compiler recognition, Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1 is able to detect an installed LLVM compiler.

For those writing test profiles, Selbu Alpha 1 now makes it possible to monitor the CPU or memory usage during testing and then to report that (its average, minimum, maximum, or delta) as the result. This is done through the new $SYSTEM_MONITOR_START and $SYSTEM_MONITOR_STOP variables exported to test profile scripts. For more information on the capabilities and how-to, check out this forum thread.

Beyond those pts-core changes plus many other fixes and new features, a few test profiles have also received updates. One Phoronix Test Suite change that may interest some users is that ~/.phoronix-test-suite/user-config.xml is now associated with an XSL style-sheet that explains each of the user-configurable options. XSL style-sheets have also been added for the PTS external dependency files, test profiles, and test suites. These XSL style-sheets cleanly show some basic information from these XML files in the web-browser. Another user request has been fulfilled with the pts_Graph component of the Phoronix Test Suite now rendering an arrow on the bar graphs indicating which direction is preferred.

In the mailing list announcement for Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1 is the full change-log. Download the latest stable or development release of the GPLv3-based Phoronix Test Suite at

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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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