One of the most common questions that gets brought up with regard to the Phoronix Test Suite is whether support for Microsoft Windows will ultimately come to our open-source benchmarking platform. After all, even on Windows there really is no public software readily available (as far as we know) that is quite like what we have designed with an extensible test profile architecture/framework, support for uploading of any tests to a central repository (Phoronix Global), full automation of the testing process, remote test management (Phoromatic), etc. In future releases there will be several more unique capabilities that further distinguish the Phoronix Test Suite. The short answer is that Windows support for the Phoronix Test Suite could come.
Our news coverage this week at Phoronix started out by reporting on the X Server 1.7.1 RC2 release, which ended up going gold on Friday after a few days of testing. This X.Org work was followed by the first X Server 1.8 snapshot, and an October 2010 release target for X.Org 7.6.
Generally with each major Phoronix Test Suite release there are three alpha and three beta releases prior to going gold, but for Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 "Bardu" this has been extended to four alpha releases. Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Alpha 4 carries a fair amount of changes -- in fact, nearly every test profile has received an update to take advantage of new pts-core features. This new development release also carries a few optimizations, regression fixes, Phodevi improvements, and faster XML parsing.
Beyond the other work that has already gone into Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 (codenamed "Bardu") like improved stats support and a horde of extra features, there is the start of OpenCL (Open Computing Language) testing support.
The third alpha release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 "Bardu" is now available for those interested in benchmarking their Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X systems. It's been just two weeks since Bardu Alpha 2, but there's a fair amount of changes within this new development release. First and foremost, there are some new statistical features within pts-core for providing statistical significance in benchmark results (read that article for more details). Additionally, there is now HTTP proxy support built into the Phoronix Test Suite for those wishing to use Phoronix Global but require the use of a proxy. To setup the proxy support for the Phoronix Test Suite, run phoronix-test-suite network-setup.
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Intel hosted their developer conference this week in San Francisco (Intel Developer Forum) where several new announcements were made, with Linux being involved in some of these announcements. It was revealed that Dell will begin shipping Ubuntu Moblin Netbook Remix on one of their Atom-powered netbooks, Moblin 2.0 was released, and there was a snapshot of Moblin 2.1 was released. This week we also showed off some new Lynnfield Linux benchmarks that Intel had sent over to us using the Phoronix Test Suite.
For those of you following the developments of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 (codenamed "Bardu"), some new benchmarking features were pushed into its Git tree this week. The latest Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 code now has better FreeBSD 8.0 compatibility and support for network proxies with network communication, but larger than that is new support for ensuring test results are statistically significant.
This week at Phoronix the news coverage was a bit less than normal since your's truly is currently at Oktoberfest 2009 in Munich, but there were still many important news happenings.
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For those interested in playing with the latest code for the Phoronix Test Suite that's currently known as "Bardu" and will ultimately be ratified as Phoronix Test Suite 2.2, a new alpha release is available. Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Bardu Alpha 2 carries a number of new improvements, bug fixes, and a new test profile over the initial alpha one release that made it out late last month. Besides many underlying enhancements and fixes, pts-core in this new test release adds support for the following two commands: change-results-display-order and rename-identifier-in-result-file, which are pretty self explanatory options. Phodevi also has a hard drive reporting fix for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
This week at Phoronix a number of the stories we cover pertained to Gallium3D, the Linux graphics stack in general, and more Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks. In the Gallium3D world we covered news about work on bringing this driver architecture to the Haiku OS and interestingly X-Video and EXA coming to Gallium3D. Also worth noting this week when it comes to the Linux graphics stack is Mesa slowly picking up OpenGL 3 features, Mesa 7.5.1 bringing bug fixes, the X.Org 7.5 code-base being frozen, and the first X Server 1.7 snapshot finally arriving. NVIDIA this week brought VDPAU improvements and fan speed support to its proprietary driver. We also started asking questions for a Q&A with NVIDIA about Linux.
This week at Phoronix most of the new content was related to new software releases, enhancements to the Linux desktop, and Linux gaming. In fact, it was a particularly great week in the free software world with all of the happenings.
Just in time for our extensive benchmarking of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" operating system tomorrow, we have christened the first alpha release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 (codenamed "Bardu"). Laid out a few days ago were some of the Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 features that are already implemented like the ability to recover from test runs (when the system crashes or fails), support for different command-line interfaces, anonymous usage reporting / statistics, and a number of new test profiles.
Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 was released earlier this month along with PTS Desktop Live, our own Linux OS designed to run in a live environment and specifically for carrying out hardware benchmarks. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" brought forward many new features, over 100 test profiles, and plenty of other highlights. We are already encouraging other review sites to use this software. However, the excitement doesn't end with 2.0 Sandtorg. Significant work is already underway in the next release, which is Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 and goes under the codename of Bardu.
For those that missed it, there was quite a bit happening this week in the Linux world when it comes to graphics drivers. The KMS page-flipping ioctl is ready for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, KMS and GEM comes to the Neo FreeRunner, and the Assembly shader rework was merged into the mainline Mesa tree was among the open-source driver news. Also taking place this past week was the release of AMD Catalyst 9.8, which finally brought support for the Linux 2.6.29 and 2.6.30 kernels, but continues to lack real public support for XvBA. X.Org 7.5 was also supposed to be released, but to no surprise that did not happen.
This week at Phoronix we published two articles that had benchmarks that generated quite a bit of interest and feedback: The Cost of SELinux, Audit, and Kernel Debugging and Arch Linux 2009.8 Benchmarks. The test results in these two articles were, of course, powered by the Phoronix Test Suite, for which we had additional news about this week. We had published an open letter to tech review web-sites challenging them to embrace Linux-based benchmarking. We also sought suggestions and feedback for a big OS benchmarking comparison we are about to set out on next month with Ubuntu, Mac OS X 10.6, FreeBSD 8.0, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, and others.
Next month at Phoronix we intend to conduct a large benchmarking comparison of a few different operating systems. Right now we are looking at Ubuntu, Mac OS X (we will be waiting for 10.6 "Snow Leopard"), NetBSD, PC-BSD, OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD. We may throw in some others too. If there's any (non-Windows) OS you would like to see thrown into the mix, let us know in the forums. Each OS will be tested on the same system in their stock configuration, etc. With each operating system we will be carrying out a large number of tests.
This week at Phoronix began by learning that Compiz is now running on ATI R600/700 GPUs when using the latest open-source Mesa / DRM stack. Owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards are now just a step away from finding "out of the box" open-source 3D acceleration support. On that same day there was also the release of the OpenGL 3.2 specification, but that didn't come as a surprise.
Last week a detailed guide to Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 was published and it was mentioned that this major update to our testing/benchmarking software would be released in less than two weeks. This afternoon we are formally announcing that Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" will be released on the 4th of August. Tomorrow we will also be announcing PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 (codenamed "Gernlinden") and this new Linux distribution will also be released next Tuesday.
Before you head on over to our latest articles or news stories to read about the Intel Celeron E1400, the features of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, or to request a beta key for a new Linux game, we have a few reminders we would like to get across before the weekend.
The official release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" will come in early August, but being released today is what will likely be the final development snapshot for this testing software that is updated quarterly. New in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Beta 3 are a few fixes throughout pts and pts-core, new functionality when it comes to performance reference system comparisons, and improvements to the BSD support (in particular, DragonFlyBSD). When it comes to the test profiles, Unigine Sanctuary, Unigine Tropics, and vDrift have all been updated against their latest stable releases. External dependencies have also been updated for OpenSuSE and Mandriva. Lastly, a test profile (named: supertuxkart) has been introduced for the SuperTuxKart racing game.
If your wife has been upset with how much time you spend on our forums, that you subscribe to Phoronix Premium, or that you always occupy her computer by running the Phoronix Test Suite on it, fear no more! Just send her over to the newest web property that's managed by Phoronix Media, Foodstruments. Foodstruments is a portmanteau for "Food Instruments" and this is a site that features cooking gadget reviews, inexpensive cooking tools, and other products for the home and kitchen. Right now there's just over two dozen reviews up there now but plenty more are on the way along with involvement from key companies in the food industry.
Almost a month after the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Beta 1, the second beta release for Sandtorg is now available. With being less than a month away from the final release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, this second beta serves largely to address bugs and other outstanding issues, but there are also a few new additions too.
Yours truly will be departing this week for Europe, so for the next two weeks our Linux news may be slightly slower than normal (read: just not within-a-few-minutes-of-an-announcement speed), but there are already a number of interesting articles in the publishing queue during this time.
The first beta release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" has been made available by Phoronix Media. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 introduces an official GTK2 user-interface, over 100 test profiles, many new test suites, and a variety of new features. Being launched in conjunction with the official release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Q3'2009 is also going to be Phoromatic and PTS Linux Live, a Linux distribution designed entirely for hardware testing and performance profiling with the latest and greatest PCs. Introduced in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Beta 1 are a number of fixes, new test profiles, and new test suites.
It has only been one week since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Alpha 2, but we happen to be ahead of schedule on the third (and possibly the final) alpha release for 2.0 Sandtorg. In the past eight days there has actually been a very large number of changes to the Phoronix Test Suite, both to pts-core and the included test profiles and suites.
Next week marks the five-year anniversary of the creation of Phoronix and also signals one year since Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 was released. With those celebrations ahead, the second alpha release for Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 "Sandtorg" has been released. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Alpha 2 drives the test profile count up even higher, introduces several new pts-core features, and has other enhancements throughout.
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