Latest Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source News & Benchmarks

GNOME Shell & Mutter Broke Their Good Faith With Ubuntu
GNOME Shell & Mutter Broke Their Good Faith With Ubuntu
6 Minutes Ago - GNOME - GNOME MicroRelease Exception - Add A Comment

GNOME Shell and Mutter had been covered by Ubuntu's GNOME MicroReleaseException "MRE" policy that allows for new point releases to ship rather easily as stable updates to existing Ubuntu Linux releases. But breaking the camel's back is GNOME 46.1 shipping explicit sync support. Due to landing a "significant new feature" into a point release, the GNOME Shell and Mutter are no longer covered by this exception.

22 May

Initial Windows NT Sync Driver Merged Into Linux 6.10 But Not Yet Complete
Initial Windows NT Sync Driver Merged Into Linux 6.10 But Not Yet Complete
22 May 08:07 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - NTSYNC Driver - Add A Comment

Greg Kroah-Hartman today sent in the char/misc updates for Linux 6.10 alongside the other areas of the kernel he oversees. Among the char/misc changes is adding the NTSYNC driver that exposes the /dev/ntsync character device for use by the likes of Wine and Valve's Steam Play (Proton). But for Linux 6.10 the driver is effectively "broken" as most of the feature patches have yet to be included.

Alpine Linux 3.20 Released With Initial 64-bit RISC-V Support
Alpine Linux 3.20 Released With Initial 64-bit RISC-V Support
22 May 09:02 AM EDT - Operating Systems - Alpine Linux 3.20 - 6 Comments

Alpine Linux 3.20 has been released as the newest feature release to this security-minded, lightweight Linux distribution that is popular for embedded and container use. Alpine Linux continues to set itself apart from others by making use of musl libc, Busybox, and other modifications in the name of security and small footprint.

21 May

ASRock Rack Releases BIOS Update For EPYC 4004 Support With AM5 Ryzen Boards
ASRock Rack Releases BIOS Update For EPYC 4004 Support With AM5 Ryzen Boards
21 May 01:30 PM EDT - AMD - ASRock Rack EPYC 4004 - 10 Comments

As a follow-up to this morning's AMD EPYC 4004 review and benchmarks, Supermicro, ASRock Rack, Giga Computing, Tyan, and others have announced new motherboards/servers for these entry-level EPYC servers. In addition with the likes of ASRock Rack they have already published BIOS updates enabling existing AM5 Ryzen server boards to officially support the EPYC 4004 series processors.

AMD EPYC 4004 Benchmarks: Outperforming Intel Xeon E-2400 With Performance, Efficiency & Value
AMD EPYC 4004 Benchmarks: Outperforming Intel Xeon E-2400 With Performance, Efficiency & Value
21 May 09:00 AM EDT - Processors - 19 Comments

Over the past several years we have seen AMD Ryzen processors being used for low-cost servers, budget web hosting platforms, game servers, and more. Since the Ryzen 5000 series we have seen the likes of ASRock Rack and Supermicro putting out interesting budget-friendly Ryzen servers and that has ramped up even more with AMD Ryzen 7000 series server performance being stellar thanks to AVX-512 and other improvements making it more practical for such workloads. AMD has now solidified its positioning for entry-level servers with the introduction of the EPYC 4004 series processors. The EPYC 4004 series is derived from the Ryzen 7000 series offerings to facilitate cost conscious server options and putting the Intel Xeon E-2400 series in the crosshairs. In this review is a look at the EPYC 4004 series along with benchmarks of nearly the entire EPYC 4004 product stack compared to Intel's current top-end Xeon E-2400 series processor, the Intel Xeon E-2488 Raptor Lake.

Linux 6.10 Adds eDP/DisplayPort Support For The Snapdragon X Elite
Linux 6.10 Adds eDP/DisplayPort Support For The Snapdragon X Elite
21 May 07:12 AM EDT - Arm - Linux 6.10 DisplayPort - 15 Comments

Qualcomm and their partners at Linaro have been busy working on the Linux support for the Snapdragon X Elite as the high-end Arm SoC beginning to roll-out for laptops. The latest Snapdragon X Elite upstreaming is Embedded DisplayPort and DisplayPort support for the Snapdragon X Elite.

F2FS With Linux 6.10 Delivers Better Performance On Zoned Storage
F2FS With Linux 6.10 Delivers Better Performance On Zoned Storage
21 May 06:58 AM EDT - Linux Storage - F2FS - 1 Comment

There's a lot of file-system activity going on for the Linux 6.10 merge window: Bcachefs safety improvements, better OCFS2 write performance, continued XFS online repair, and even a "mail-in merge request" from prison for ReiserFS. The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) has also seen some new feature work this cycle and has now been merged.

Hangover 9.9 Adds Support For Using The NTSYNC Driver
Hangover 9.9 Adds Support For Using The NTSYNC Driver
21 May 06:51 AM EDT - WINE - Hangover 9.9 - 7 Comments

André Zwing continues hacking on the Hangover project as a means of running Windows applications on AArch64 Linux by leveraging Wine and pairing it with emulators like QEMU, FEX, or Box64. Besides the initial AArch64/ARM64 focus, Hangover can be important for bring Windows game/application on Linux support eventually to other architectures like POWER and RISC-V.

20 May

RFC Patches Posted For Rust-Written NVIDIA "Nova" GPU Driver
RFC Patches Posted For Rust-Written NVIDIA "Nova" GPU Driver
20 May 03:37 PM EDT - Nouveau - Nova GPU Kernel Driver - 34 Comments

Red Hat engineers have been developing Nova as a new, Rust-written open-source NVIDIA kernel graphics driver as the eventual successor to the Nouveau kernel driver and is designed around NVIDIA's GPU System Processor (GSP) thus making the driver relevant for RTX 20 / Turing GPUs and newer. Today they posted a request for comments (RFC) patch series of the Nova driver and Rust DRM abstractions.

Many x86 Laptop Improvements In Linux 6.10 Plus Acer ARM Laptop
Many x86 Laptop Improvements In Linux 6.10 Plus Acer ARM Laptop
20 May 01:58 PM EDT - Hardware - x86 Platform Drivers - 11 Comments

The x86 platform driver updates have been merged for the ongoing Linux 6.10 merge window. The platform-drivers-x86 changes continue to primarily revolve around x86 Intel/AMD laptops but also some other desktop/platform drivers. Now in Linux 6.10 there is also a new "ARM64" sub-section of the platform drivers.

Farewell Intel Xeon Phi: Support Removed In The GCC 15 Compiler
Farewell Intel Xeon Phi: Support Removed In The GCC 15 Compiler
20 May 09:40 AM EDT - Intel - GCC 15 Drops Xeon Phi - 4 Comments

Last week I wrote about Intel aiming to remove Xeon Phi support in GCC 15 with the products being end-of-life and deprecated in GCC 14. While some openly wondered whether the open-source community would allow it given the Xeon Phi accelerators were available to buy just a few years ago and at some very low prices going back years so some potentially finding use still out of them especially during this AI boom (and still readily available to buy used for around ~$50 USD), today the Intel Xeon Phi support was indeed removed.

AMDGPU ISP Firmware Upstreamed In linux-firmware.git
AMDGPU ISP Firmware Upstreamed In linux-firmware.git
20 May 08:36 AM EDT - Radeon - Image Signal Processing - 10 Comments

It was just earlier this month that AMD Linux kernel graphics driver patches appeared for introducing a new ISP hardware block for Image Signal Processing with new AMD APUs. Already the AMDGPU ISP firmware has appeared in linux-firmware.git indicating that this "ISP" block may be coming in hardware quite soon if not already quietly found within some products.

19 May

Cloudflare Praises Golang PGO For Significant CPU Savings
19 May 06:47 AM EDT - Programming - Profile Guided Optimizations - 28 Comments

Released over a year ago was Golang 1.20 with support for Profile Guided Optimizations (PGO) and has since been improved with Go 1.21 for 2~7% faster Go binaries thanks to this optimization approach also found with other compilers. The engineers at Cloudflare have put out a blog post this week praising Go's PGO support and the CPU savings they are seeing as a result.

EXT4 In Linux 6.10 Adds FS_IOC_GETFSSYSFSPATH Support
19 May 06:36 AM EDT - Linux Storage - EXT4 + Linux 6.10 - 1 Comment

While EROFS is seeing Zstd support and Bcachefs is seeing performance optimizations with the in-development Linux 6.10 kernel, over on the mature EXT4 file-system side the changes are mostly small. There are some minor changes, more folio conversion work, and also adding support for the FS_IOC_GETFSSYSFSPATH ioctl that has been seeing some standardization and adoption by the common Linux file-systems.

Linux 6.10 Scheduler Changes Bring More Refinements
19 May 06:04 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Kernel Scheduler - 7 Comments

Alongside all of the other pull requests by Ingo Molnar submitted at the start of the week during the opening of the Linux 6.10 merge window were the scheduler updates. As usual, the kernel scheduler work continues to see various tweaks and refinements to enhance its behavior.

18 May

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