Tracking Trends In Linux Software / Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 31 May 2010 at 04:28 PM EDT. 1 Comment
A month ago we began reporting some Linux hardware statistics from those Phoronix Test Suite users that utilize Phoronix Global for uploading their test results publicly so that they can share their benchmark scores with others and make it very easy for their friends or colleagues to compare their performance numbers via the Internet. In an effort to better track such hardware / software statistical information of the installed Linux base (as well as for other operating systems where the Phoronix Test Suite is supported), we are rolling out a new feature to expand upon this information.

Phoronix Test Suite 2.6.1 will be released in less than one week as the point release for "Lyngen", which was released this month. Beyond carrying a number of bug-fixes, Phoronix Test Suite 2.6.1 has support so that the user can optionally report their installed software/hardware. The information is reported upon the user agreeing to submit such information to Phoronix Global and then again anytime the tracked hardware/software changes. This support can now be found in the Phoronix Test Suite Git code for anyone wishing to try out this feature prior to the Lyngen 2.6.1 release.

As we have hinted at on a few occasions before, with the release of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 by year's end, there will be a very radical overhaul to the Phoronix Global web-interface. Beyond many new features related to the testing side, all of this anonymous software/hardware data will be freely available. This will allow anyone to look at what hardware is most commonly installed on Linux or a given operating system, how the proportions of common hardware/software has changed over a defined time period, etc. There will also be support for viewing such details by certain search criteria such as the most common hardware or drivers being used by a given Linux distribution or hardware class. This information will all be independent upon the normal result uploads to the traditional Phoronix Global area.

For those curious or concerned about what hardware/software information is optionally being tracked, below is a sample of the information from the current Lyngen 2.6.1 code.
global_reported_hw:
cpu: Intel Core CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz
cpu_count: 4
cpu_speed: 2670
chipset: Intel Core DMI
motherboard: ECS P55H-A v1.0
gpu: ATI Radeon HD 4770 [RV740]

global_reported_sw:
os: Ubuntu 10.04
os_architecture: x86_64
display_server: X.Org Server 1.7.6
display_driver: radeon
desktop: GNOME
compiler: GCC 4.4.3
file_system: ext4
screen_resolution: 1920x1200

Once enough information is collected, this should provide some fairly interesting statistics and also serve as a nice complement to our annual Linux Graphics Survey. We welcome your feedback on this feature within our forums.
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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