Latest Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source News & Benchmarks

17 May

Ubuntu 24.10 To See More Polishing, NVIDIA Wayland By Default & New Welcome Wizard
Ubuntu 24.10 To See More Polishing, NVIDIA Wayland By Default & New Welcome Wizard
17 May 10:00 AM EDT - Ubuntu - Ubuntu 24.10 Features - 28 Comments

Oliver Smith who is serving as the Interim Engineering Director for the Ubuntu Desktop team at Canonical has shared some roadmap plans around Ubuntu 24.10. With this being the first post-LTS release following last month's Ubuntu 24.04 Long Term Support, they are more free to innovate this cycle and they have a lot of great plans for enhancing the Linux desktop experience.

Linux 6.10 Improves Performance For Opening Unencrypted Files
Linux 6.10 Improves Performance For Opening Unencrypted Files
17 May 08:37 AM EDT - Linux Storage - FSCRYPT - 3 Comments

FSCRYPT is the file-system encryption framework within the Linux kernel for supporting optional encryption on file-systems like EXT4, F2FS, and others. With Linux 6.10 an optimization is coming for enhancing the performance of opening files on file-systems supporting FSCRYPT-based encryption but when the files are unencrypted.

Intel Readies Xeon Phi Removal For GCC 15
Intel Readies Xeon Phi Removal For GCC 15
17 May 06:32 AM EDT - Intel - Dropping Xeon Phi - 21 Comments

For the GCC 14 compiler release is the deprecation of the Xeon Phi targets. With Intel Knights Landing and Knights Mill being end-of-life at Intel, they are working to do away with the GNU Compiler Collection support. A patch has been posted to drop the Xeon Phi ISAs with GCC 15.

16 May

AMD Ryzen 5 8400F vs. Intel Core i5 14400F: 230+ Benchmarks For Sub-$200 CPU Performance
AMD Ryzen 5 8400F vs. Intel Core i5 14400F: 230+ Benchmarks For Sub-$200 CPU Performance
16 May 06:36 PM EDT - Processors - 14 Comments

This week AMD announced the Ryzen 5 8400F and Ryzen 7 8700F processors as new Zen 4 budget CPU contenders lacking any integrated graphics. While part of the Ryzen 8000 series, the 8400F also lacks the Ryzen AI support found in the higher-end SKUs. The Ryzen 5 8400F offers 6 cores / 12 threads, a 4.2GHz base clock and 4.7GHz boost clock, and a 65 Watt TDP while retailing for $169~189 USD. Here are some initial benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 5 8400F in putting it up against 230+ benchmarks under Linux while also monitoring the CPU power consumption and comparing it to Intel's closest contender as the Core i5 1440F that retails for just under $200.

Germany's Sovereign Tech Fund Now Supporting FFmpeg
Germany's Sovereign Tech Fund Now Supporting FFmpeg
16 May 03:29 PM EDT - Multimedia - Money For FFmpeg - 107 Comments

Following Germany's Sovereign Tech Fund providing significant funding for GNOME, Rust Coreutils, PHP, a systemd bug bounty, and numerous other free software projects, the FFmpeg multimedia library is the latest beneficiary to this funding from the Germany government.

AMD & Supermicro Collaborating On Open-Source Firmware With The OSFF
AMD & Supermicro Collaborating On Open-Source Firmware With The OSFF
16 May 12:25 PM EDT - AMD - AMD & Supermicro - 4 Comments

As more positive indications around AMD's OpenSIL effort for open-source CPU silicon initialization to eventually replace AGESA, both AMD and Supermicro are now collaborating with the Open-Source Firmware Foundation. Supermicro has also publicly shown off a platform with OpenSIL+Coreboot and is said to be exploring OpenBMC for future hardware.

Intel Habana Labs & Xe Linux Driver Maintainer Steps Down
Intel Habana Labs & Xe Linux Driver Maintainer Steps Down
16 May 06:54 AM EDT - Intel - Intel Habana Labs + Xe Maintainer - 1 Comment

Coming as a surprise, longtime Linux developer Oded Gabbay announced he's left Intel / Habana Labs and is therefore stepping down from the maintainer role of the Linux kernel drivers for the Intel Xe DRM driver and more notably the Habana Labs accelerator driver that he's maintained from the start.

Intel IPU6 Driver Being Upstreamed In Linux 6.10
Intel IPU6 Driver Being Upstreamed In Linux 6.10
16 May 06:23 AM EDT - Intel - Intel Image Processing Unit IPU6 - 4 Comments

Intel's Image Processing Unit (IPU) IP has been a cause for concern in recent years as the lack of proper upstream open-source driver support has led Linux users running into troubles making use of MIPI camera sensors on modern laptops. Finally with Linux 6.10 the Intel IPU6 driver is being upstreamed into the media subsystem.

Firewire IEEE-1394 Support Continues To Be Improved With The Linux 6.10 Kernel
Firewire IEEE-1394 Support Continues To Be Improved With The Linux 6.10 Kernel
16 May 06:16 AM EDT - Hardware - Linux 6.10 + Firewire - 5 Comments

While most of you have not thought about or used Firewire (IEEE-1394) in years, there still are some legacy digital video cameras and some professional audio devices relying on the interface. Last year saw a new Firewire maintainer step-up for the Linux kernel after the code had fallen dormant. The plans by that new maintainer, Takashi Sakamoto, are to maintain Linux's Firewire support through 2029. He's continuing to do a good job with the upcoming Linux 6.10 kernel bringing the latest batch of Firewire enhancements.

Linus Torvalds On Dogfooding The Linux Kernel
Linus Torvalds On Dogfooding The Linux Kernel
16 May 06:02 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Yes He Does - 22 Comments

Besides Linus Torvalds examining various elements of code he's merging and build testing it on his AMD Ryzen Threadripper workstation and now also testing more on ARM64 with Ampere Altra, he does these days still believe in "dogfooding" and is in fact running the leading-edge Linux kernel code even during the merge window.

15 May

Mesa 24.1-rc4 Backports NVK DRM Format Modifiers Support
Mesa 24.1-rc4 Backports NVK DRM Format Modifiers Support
15 May 04:35 PM EDT - Mesa - Mesa 24.1-rc4 - 4 Comments

The Mesa 24.1 stable release is nearing while out today is the fourth weekly release candidate. While the Intel and AMD Radeon graphics driver changes typically dominate new Mesa releases, Mesa 24.1-rc4 is headlined by a big change for the NVK open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver.

Intel TDX For Confidential VMs Causing Concern Among Fedora & Open-Source Advocates
Intel TDX For Confidential VMs Causing Concern Among Fedora & Open-Source Advocates
15 May 12:58 PM EDT - Intel - Intel TDX + Binary Blobs - 16 Comments

One of the capabilities of newer Intel Xeon Scalable processors is support for Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) as a way of providing for confidential virtual machines. Intel TDX allows for "isolation, confidentiality, and integrity at the VM level" which is good from the security perspective but the dependence on signed binaries is causing mixed feelings within the Fedora camp at the broader open-source community.

The NTSYNC Driver For Wine/Proton Is "Broken" For Linux 6.10
The NTSYNC Driver For Wine/Proton Is "Broken" For Linux 6.10
15 May 12:18 PM EDT - Linux Gaming - NTSYNC BROKEN - 17 Comments

While Linux 6.10 is poised to merge the initial NTSYNC driver for a Windows NT Synchronization Primitive driver that can help with faster Windows gaming performance under Wine/Proton (Steam Play), the driver isn't complete. The initial patches have been in Greg Kroah-Hartman's char-misc-next branch for several weeks to expose the NTSYNC character device, it isn't the entire patch series. Greg has now marked the driver as "broken" for Linux 6.10.

ZLUDA Has Been Seeing New Activity For CUDA On AMD GPUs
ZLUDA Has Been Seeing New Activity For CUDA On AMD GPUs
15 May 10:28 AM EDT - Radeon - Still Going - 26 Comments

Back in February I wrote about AMD having quietly funded the effort for a drop-in CUDA implementation for AMD GPUs built atop the ROCm library. This was an incarnation of ZLUDA that originally began as a CUDA implementation for Intel GPUs using oneAPI Level Zero. While AMD discontinued funding ZLUDA development earlier this year, this CUDA implementation for AMD GPUs is continuing to see some new code activity.

Sound Support For Intel Battlemage In Linux 6.10
Sound Support For Intel Battlemage In Linux 6.10
15 May 06:08 AM EDT - Intel - Intel Battlemage - 1 Comment

Along with the various Intel Xe2 driver changes that are ongoing for the Intel Linux graphics driver stack, over in the sound subsystem the in-development Linux 6.10 kernel is bringing HDMI audio support for upcoming Intel Battlemage graphics cards.

14 May

systemd 256-rc2 Released With A Few More Features
14 May 08:33 PM EDT - systemd - systemd 256 - 50 Comments

The first release candidate of systemd 256 came just under one month ago with new features like run0 as the new sudo alternative, a new "systemd-vpick" binary, importctl as another new tool, Zboot kernel support with systemd ukify, systemd-homed improvements, and much more. Systemd 256-rc2 is out this evening with a few more features and other fixes collected over the past several weeks.

Linus Torvalds Is Doing More ARM64 Linux Testing Now That He Has A More Powerful System
14 May 08:29 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Ampere Altra - 26 Comments

Linux kernel and Git creator Linus Torvalds is known for his current use of an AMD Ryzen Threadripper workstation as his main system after years of using Intel hardware. The past few years he's also been doing more ARM64 testing now that he has an Apple MacBook using Apple Silicon that serves as a nice travel device and for routinely compiling new ARM64 Linux kernel builds. More recently, his ARM64 Linux testing has increased now that he has a more powerful AArch64 system to complement his collection of routine gear.

Framework 13 AMD Laptop Seeing Experimental Coreboot Port
14 May 04:12 PM EDT - Hardware - Framework 13 AMD - 15 Comments

The Framework Laptops are some great systems with their upgradeable/modular design, friendly Linux support, both Intel and AMD options, the latest models making use of an open-source embedded controller, and nice build quality. The Framework Laptops have proven very popular with Linux/open-source enthusiasts but one of the recurring critiques has been the lack of Coreboot firmware support for these laptops as an alternative (or outright replacement) to the proprietary BIOS/firmware. As a promising avenue for the future, there is experimental work being done on getting Coreboot up and running with the Framework 13 laptop powered by the AMD Ryzen 7040 series.

Benchmarking The First RISC-V Cloud Server: Scaleway EM-RV1 Performance
14 May 12:23 PM EDT - Processors - 20 Comments

Scaleway by way of their Scaleway Labs group recently launched the Elastic Metal RV1 (EM-RV1) as the world's first RISC-V servers available in the cloud. These RISC-V cloud servers are built around the T-Head 1520 SoC and are an interesting way to explore the RISC-V architecture and/or otherwise make use of RISC-V for CI/CD deployments or other testing purposes. In this article are some benchmarks showing the RISC-V EM-RV1 performance against Intel and AMD x86_64 Linux.

Microsoft Engineer Ports EXT2 File-System Driver To Rust
14 May 10:30 AM EDT - Linux Storage - Rust + EXT2 + Microsoft - 49 Comments

Back in late 2023 were Rust abstractions for the Linux kernel's Virtual File-System (VFS) code. Those patches by Microsoft engineer Wedson Almeida Filho have now seen a second iteration posted... In addition to various improvements to the Rust VFS bindings, the new patches bring a work-in-progress EXT2 Rust file-system driver.

Debian Releases APT 2.9.3 With New Package Solver
14 May 09:58 AM EDT - Debian - solver3 - 21 Comments

Debian's APT packaging tool is working its way toward the big APT 3.0 release. The APT 2.9 development series is underway and debuting last month was APT's new (CLI) user interface with a columnar display, colored text, and other improvements for this widely-used tool on Debian-based environments. APT 2.9.3 is out today as the newest development release and new to this version is a new package solver.

13 May

Rust 1.78 Upgrade For Linux 6.10, Dropping In-Tree "alloc" Fork To Save ~10k Lines
13 May 02:55 PM EDT - Programming - Rust Upgrade - 13 Comments

There's another Rust upgrade coming for the Linux 6.10 kernel to bump the Rust version baseline required for building the Rust in-tree kernel components. This raising of the baseline will continue until a suitable minimum version is achieved where official Rust compiler "just works" well with the Rust'ed kernel bits. The Rust upgrade in Linux 6.10 also does away with its in-tree "alloc" fork for big code savings and simplifying maintenance.

Linux 6.10 Makes AES-XTS Disk/File Encryption Much Faster For Modern Intel/AMD CPUs
13 May 11:15 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Faster AES-XTS Crypto - 14 Comments

The work written about one month ago on Phoronix for much faster AES-XTS on modern Intel/AMD CPUs for speeding up disk and file encryption by as much as 155% with AMD Zen 4 CPUs has been submitted for Linux 6.10! As expected, this work providing new AES-XTS implementations for modern x86_64 processors is going into Linux 6.10 as part of the crypto subsystem updates.

SUSE Working On Upstream Linux Kernel Support For Booting The Raspberry Pi 5
13 May 11:03 AM EDT - Raspberry Pi - Minimal Boot Support - 11 Comments

While the Raspberry Pi 5 debuted last September already, sadly the mainline Linux kernel still lacks support for booting this popular single board computer... The support on Raspberry Pi OS and other downstream distributions/kernels is good, but the mainline kernel support for the Raspberry Pi SBCs remains a sore spot for this popular ARM single board computer. SUSE engineers have been working on implementing minimal boot support for the Raspberry Pi 5 that will hopefully make it to the mainline kernel.

Linux Foundation Launches The High Performance Software Foundation
13 May 06:40 AM EDT - Free Software - High Performance Software Foundation - 16 Comments

Back at Supercomputing 23, the Linux Foundation announced their intent on forming the High Performance Software Foundation for helping to advance open-source software for high performance computing (HPC). The Linux Foundation is now using ISC 24 this week in Hamburg, Germany for announcing that the High Performance Software Foundation has launched.

Arch Linux Powered CachyOS Adds Bcachefs Installer Support
13 May 01:00 AM EDT - Arch Linux - CachyOS + Bcachefs - 21 Comments

Arch Linux derived CachyOS is known for its aggressive performance optimizations and running well on modern hardware. It's also leading when it comes to adopting other new Linux/open-source features. With this weekend's May 2024 ISO update, CachyOS has rolled out initial support for installing to a root file-system based on Bcachefs.

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