The past few weeks I've been putting the Lenovo ThinkPad P14s Gen 4 AMD mobile workstation through its paces that is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U SoC. Besides uncovering one BIOS issue that is in the process of being resolved, this latest-generation AMD-powered laptop that features 64GB of LPDDR5X memory, 1TB NVMe SSD, and integrated Radeon graphics with 2.8K OLED display has been working out well on modern Linux distributions. Here's a look at this AMD Zen 4 laptop running on Linux and plenty of performance benchmarks for this laptop.
For a year and a half now Pensando has been working on enabling their Elba SoC support for the mainline Linux kernel - a process that coincidentally began just days after AMD announced it was acquiring Pensando. Over the past 18 months the AMD-Pensando Elba SoC enablement work has now been through 16 rounds of code review but still isn't over the finish line yet but some of the initial enablement code might finally land with Linux 6.7.
The first of three parts for MSG_ZEROCOPY preparations for the VirtIO-Vsock driver have been queued into net-next ahead of planned introduction in the Linux 6.7 kernel as another means of achieving greater performance within virtual machines.
Intel's open-source software engineers are known for many great performance optimizations to the Linux kernel. Over the years Intel has contributed countless performance optimizations to the kernel and related Linux components that have made significant improvements not only for Intel hardware but x86_64 as a whole and at times CPU architecture independent improvements. One of their newest performance optimizing patch series is around Per-CPU Pageset (PCP) high auto-tuning.
Announced last year at the Intel Vision conference was the Habana Labs Gaudi2 and Greco AI hardware. Since then we've seen a lot of Linux kernel driver work happen for enabling the Gaudi2 second-generation training and inference AI processor while there hasn't been anything real in the way for Greco, which was the successor to the Goya AI processor. Now references to Habana Labs Greco are being removed from the driver.
Qt 6.6 is nearing release for this open-source and cross-platform toolkit while out this morning is the release candidate.
A major update to OCRmyPDF is now available, the open-source project that can work on scanned PDFs and other PDF documents to add an optical character recognition (OCR) text layer to files for allowing them to be searched or copy-pasted. OCRmyPDF makes it a breeze in dealing with scanned PDF text files and now with OCRmyPDF v15 is even better.
Queued up into the Btrfs file-system driver's "for-next" branch ahead of the Linux 6.7 cycle is the Temp-FSID (Same-FSID) feature that is being pursued for use by Valve's Steam Deck game console. The functionality is to overcome a limitation of allowing Btrfs to mount two different devices holding the same file-system image and therefore the same file-system ID.
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Since announcing the Advanced Performance Extensions (APX) and AVX10 back in July, Intel's open-source compiler engineers have been busy preparing the GCC and LLVM/Clang compiler toolchains for these major CPU extensions to be found with future Intel processors.
Last month the Downfall CPU security vulnerability was disclosed that impacts various AVX/AVX-512 workloads. Now that there's been a few weeks for the Linux kernel code to settle around the mitigation and the latest Intel CPU microcode becoming more broadly available, here is a fresh look at the performance impact of the Downfall mitigation on affected AVX workloads.
Ahead of the formal announcement on Tuesday, Mozilla today uploaded the Firefox 118.0 release binaries as the latest monthly update for this cross-platform web browser.
The PipeWire audio and video streams solution for the Linux desktop is planning its big version "1.0" release for later in the year.
If you are particularly annoyed by a bug or missing feature with the KDE desktop, there's a new and easier means of advertising your interest in sponsoring work to get a bug or feature addressed. Similarly for experienced KDE developers a more centralized means of finding sponsored work opportunities.
The much-delayed Mesa 23.2 will try to make it out this week with Mesa 23.2-rc4 having been issued on Sunday.
GNOME 45 released last week and while it has many interesting desktop improvements, a feature still not found upstream is the Canonical-led work on dynamic triple buffering for Mutter.
With roughly just about one month to go until the stable release, Linux 6.6-rc3 was released today as the newest test release of Linux 6.6.
With the Linux 6.7 kernel this winter there is a new feature coming to Intel's QuickAssist Technology (QAT) device driver that will allow more efficient use with QAT Gen4 hardware such as the latest-generation Intel Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors.
The AMD Platform Management Framework (PMF) Linux driver is preparing to support a new but potentially controversial feature that's seen little public information so far: the Smart PC Solutions Builder.
One of the new features merged for the Linux 6.6 kernel was multi-grained timestamps for the VFS layer and wiring it up for the EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and Tmpfs file-systems. This alternative though to coarse-grained timestamps ended up exposing some problems and this week ahead of Linux 6.6-rc3, the feature has been stripped entirely from the kernel.
While Intel divested its storage business and Intel Optane was sadly discontinued, one of the interesting open-source software projects from its storage efforts has been DAOS, the Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage engine. Version 2.4 of the DAOS software-defined object store designed for high-speed storage was released this past week.
Rui Ueyama published today a new version of Mold, the open-source high speed linker that has easily outpaced the common linkers from the GNU and LLVM projects. Mold 2.2 continues work on its performance quest, expanding its multiple CPU architectures supported, and other new work.
Mike Blumenkrantz, who is part of Valve's stellar Linux graphics driver team, has managed another impressive feat of further optimizing the Mesa Vulkan driver code that benefits multiple drivers / hardware vendors.
Cairo 1.18 was released today as the first major stable release to this 2D graphics library in five years. This vector-based graphics library is widely-used for a variety of purposes from GNOME's GTK toolkit to other apps making use of Cairo for targeting different back-ends from PDFs to OpenGL contexts. Mozilla Firefox, WebKit, Mono, and many other open-source projects are notable users of Cairo.
Archinstall 2.6.1 was released today as the newest version of this Arch Linux text-based OS installer, ahead of next month's October Arch Linux ISO refresh.
Prominent GNOME developer Christian Hergert announced he created a new terminal emulator that is twice as fast as the closest GPU-based renderer he's found yet so far on Linux, which was Alacritty. Unfortunately though he currently doesn't have any plans to develop this experimental speedy terminal emulator any further.
With Meteor Lake comes the introduction of the Versatile Processing Unit (VPU) that is now marketed by Intel as the Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Recent versions of the Linux kernel have the "IVPU" accelerator driver to support Meteor Lake's VPU/NPU while now a patch is pending to extend that support for next-generation Arrow Lake processors.
The Wayland Color Management protocol has been years in the making and is needed for a client to specify the color space and HDR metadata of a surface. This color management protocol is ultimately needed for getting high dynamic range (HDR) support working out well within Wayland environments. This week an initial merge request was opened for implementing the draft color management protocol with the Weston reference compositor.
With Plasma 6.0 aiming for an early February release, more of the KDE developer attention is turning to bug fixing.
While VKD3D-Proton continues to be the downstream used by Valve's Steam Play (Proton) and receiving a bulk of the Windows D3D12 gaming optimizations, Wine's upstream VKD3D project continues to evolve for mapping the Direct3D 12 API atop Vulkan. Released on Thursday was VKD3D 1.9 as the newest feature update.
AMD used to release new AMDVLK Vulkan driver updates on a near weekly basis for Linux users but that has slowed down for a while. We are approaching the end of Q3 and now AMDVLK 2023.Q3.2 has been published as their first new open-source driver release since early August.
This shouldn't come as any surprise to any longtime Phoronix readers and dedicated open-source/Linux enthusiasts, but Valve with their work on the Steam Deck and SteamOS have been lifting the open-source ecosystem as a whole. A talk this week at the Linux Foundation Europe's Open-Source Summit highlighted some of the great and ongoing contributions by Valve and their partners.
Intel engineers have published their Compoute Runtime 23.30.26918.9 that provides their open-source Level Zero and OpenCL support for use on Windows and Linux platforms with Intel integrated/discrete graphics hardware.
The beta images of the Ubuntu 23.10 "Mantic Minotaur" release are now available for testing ahead of the planned official release in October.
Cloud Hypervisor 35 was released on Thursday for this open-source, Rust-based VMM that was originally started by Intel software engineers before evolving into a multi-vendor initiative for secure and cloud focused workloads.
AMD's GPUOpen team today released a number of updated components for graphics application/engine developers.
Amid all the recent chatter around Bcachefs working its way toward mainline and all the ongoing improvements to existing Linux file-systems, you may have forgotten about Puzzlefs as the new file-system aiming to be an optimal solution for containers and with a kernel driver written in the Rust programming language.
Over the summer the AMDGPU compiler back-end in upstream LLVM began with new targets for GFX1150 and GFX1151 which given all things known are likely the "RDNA3 Refresh" APUs. That work started out light with not much in the way of different code paths from the existing GFX11 support but we're beginning to see some new instructions added for the RDNA3 refresh graphics processors.
The CentOS board has approved the creation of a CentOS Integration Special Interest Group (SIG) to assist those building products and services atop Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or in particular its upstream, CentOS Stream.