Linux Gaming, Qt Drama, New Hardware Kept Open-Source Enthusiasts Entertained This Month

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 30 April 2020 at 08:00 PM EDT. 9 Comments
During the course of April while much of the world was in lockdown, there were plenty of interesting happenings in the Linux/open-source and hardware space to keep enthusiasts interested while social distancing from the release of Linux 5.6 to the releases of Fedora 32 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, among other milestones.

Published on Phoronix during April were 274 original news articles and 24 Linux hardware reviews / featured benchmark articles, all published by your's truly. This comes during a time at which COVID-19 threatens the ability to continue operating Phoronix due to suffering ad-rates on top of the tightening caused for years by ad-block users. Only with your support by disabling ad-blockers when viewing this site, joining Phoronix Premium for an ad-free experience and other features, or via tips can this work continue strong towards the site's 16th birthday next month.

But on the brighter side, when it comes to all of the interesting news during April, the highlights included:

More Open-Source Participants Are Backing A Possible Fork Of Qt
This week's bombshell that future Qt releases might be restricted to paying customers for a period of twelve months has many open-source users and developers rightfully upset. Qt so far only provided a brief, generic statement but several individuals and projects are already expressing interest in a Qt fork should it come to it.

New Qt Releases Might Now Be Restricted To Paying Customers For 12 Months
With an apparent blame on the novel coronavirus, The Qt Company is said to be considering restricting new Qt releases to paying customers for a period of twelve months in an effort to boost their near-term finances.

Linus Torvalds Questions The Not So Glorious Driver For That Funky Looking RGB Mouse
Last month I noted a new Linux driver for a buggy and funky looking mouse. A special driver was created by a community developer due to not all the mice button working otherwise due to not abiding by HID specifications. Now that the driver was merged for Linux 5.7, Linus Torvalds had words to share on this open-source driver.

The Qt Company Provides A Brief Comment On Open-Source
Yesterday a KDE developer who serves on the board of the KDE Free Qt Foundation commented that The Qt Company is evaluating restricting new releases to paying customers for 12 months. That was said to be under consideration due to COVID19 / coronavirus impacting their finances and needing to boost short-term revenues. The Qt Company has now come out with an incredibly brief statement on the matter.

FAT File-System Driver For Linux Sees Patch To Run Multiple Times Faster
At the same time of Linux receiving a new exFAT driver, the Linux kernel is still seeing improvements to its classic FAT file-system code.

Rust-Written Redox OS Booting The 128-Thread AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
The Rust language focused Redox OS open-source operating system is now able to boot the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core/128-thread processor and run with full multi-threading capabilities.

ASUS Releases Graphics Card That Could Actually Be Great For Open-Source NVIDIA Fans
ASUS has released a new budget graphics card that could actually be great for those wanting to use the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver stack on Linux.

OpenJDK 15 To Have Better Out-Of-The-Box Performance
It turns out our recent OpenJDK 8 through OpenJDK 14 benchmarks caught some on Oracle's Java team by surprise. But they were able to replicate the outcome and as a result OpenJDK 15 will be seeing better out-of-the-box performance.

Debian Dropping A Number Of Old Linux Drivers Is Angering Vintage Hardware Users
More than a few Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days expressing outrage that Debian GNU/Linux is dropping a number of old hardware drivers.

System76 Lemur Pro Laptop Offers 14 Hour Battery Life, Coreboot Firmware For $1099+
After they were teasing the new Lemur Pro at the end of March, the Lemur Pro is now ready and formally announced by Linux PC vendor System76.

Fedora 32 Delayed From Releasing Next Week Due To Bugs
Hopefully it won't be like many Fedora releases in the past that were dragged out for weeks at a time due to blocker bugs (thankfully, recent Fedora releases have been tremendously better in that regard), but Fedora 32 will not be debuting next week as planned due to bugs.

Systemd-OOMD Continues Coming Together For Better Linux Out-Of-Memory Handling
Beyond the new systemd-homed functionality, another improvement to look forward to in the systemd space this calendar year is systemd-oomd materializing as its new out-of-memory daemon.

LOOPFS File-System Proposed For Linux
LOOPFS is the latest Linux kernel file-system proposal.

Firefox 75 Released With Flatpak Support, Wayland Improvements
Mozilla has released Firefox 75.0 as what is a big update for Linux users.

AMD Radeon Graphics Driver Amassing Improvements For Linux 5.8
While the Linux 5.7 merge window just ended on Sunday, with the DRM-Next cutoff for new material coming weeks prior to that, AMD developers working on their AMDGPU DRM kernel driver already have over 200 patches accumulated for the next cycle.

FreeRDP 2.0 Released With Flatpak Support, RAP v2 Support, Font Smoothing By Default
Three years after the FreeRDP 2.0 release candidates began, version 2.0 of this Free Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) implementation is finally available. FreeRDP remains one of the leading RDP remote desktop solutions for Linux users and is finally ready to lead with its shiny new release.

GNOME's Mutter Lands Fullscreen Unredirect Support For Wayland
A big change was just merged today for the in-development GNOME 3.38 that will benefit Wayland gamers and others.

Seven Changes We've Been Waiting On That You Will Not Find In Linux 5.7
There are many new and exciting features of Linux 5.7 but also some material that didn't make the cut this window that we are now hoping will see mainline status for Linux 5.8 or another kernel this year.

KWinFT: KDE's KWin Forked To Focus On Better Wayland Support, Modern Technologies
Longtime KDE developer and former Blue Systems engineer, Roman Gilg, has announced his forking of KDE's KWin window manager / compositor and the subsequent first release of this new KWinFT project.

And the most viewed- featured articles/reviews:

Ubuntu 20.04 Gaming Performance Across Desktops, X.Org vs. Wayland
Last month we provided some early benchmarks looking at the Ubuntu 20.04 X.Org vs. Wayland gaming performance under GNOME 3.36, but now that Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been officially released, here is a look at the AMD Radeon Linux gaming performance across a wide variety of desktops on both X.Org and Wayland where supported.

X.Org vs. Wayland Browser Performance With Firefox + Chrome
Given the release of Firefox 75 with Wayland improvements and also Firefox 76 now being in beta with even more work on the Wayland front, here are some web browser benchmarks under Wayland and the X.Org Server session with GNOME Shell 3.36 on Ubuntu 20.04. Additionally, Google Chrome benchmarks on Wayland and X.Org were also carried out.

The Desktop CPU Security Mitigation Impact On Ubuntu 20.04
With Ubuntu 20.04 due for release next week, here is a look at how the various CPU vulnerability mitigations compare on that latest Linux software stack when comparing the out-of-the-box mitigations for Spectre, Meltdown, and friends, compared to booting with "mitigations=off" for disabling those mitigations. The desktop tests were done with Intel and AMD processors for reference.

Fedora 32 vs. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Engaged In Some Healthy Competition Over Performance
After showing yesterday how the performance has changed from Fedora 31 to Fedora 32, you may be wondering about how Fedora 32 -- which is due to be released next week -- stacks up against the brand new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release. Here are the results from dozens of benchmarks and with some areas seeing some clear performance differences.

AMD EPYC 7F52 Linux Performance - AMD 7FX2 CPUs Further Increasing The Fight Against Intel Xeon
AMD today is announcing three new EPYC 7002 "Rome" SKUs in the form of the 7F32, 7F52, and 7F72 processors. The AMD 7F52 processors we have been recently testing and offers some impressive performance potential as while it's a 16-core / 32-thread part it offers an impressive 256MB L3 cache (16MB per core). Here are our initial Linux benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 7F52 in 1P and 2P configurations up against various AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors.

X-Plane 11 Flight Simulator With Vulkan Performing Very Well On Linux - NVIDIA/AMD OpenGL vs. Vulkan Benchmarks
Last week the X-Plane 11.50 beta was released with its long awaited Vulkan renderer to complement its mature OpenGL rendering code. Since then we've been busy benchmarking with 23 different graphics cards of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce line-ups while running Ubuntu Linux and comparing the OpenGL vs. Vulkan rendering performance for this realistic flight simulator.

Intel Xeon Gold 5220R + Xeon Gold 6226R Linux Performance
At the end of February Intel launched the Xeon Scalable "Cascade Lake Refresh" processors with a number of more aggressively priced SKUs with different core counts and clock speeds compared to the original Cascade Lake CPUs launched last year. Intel recently sent over the Xeon Gold 5220R and Xeon Gold 6226R processors and we've begun our Linux benchmarks of them. In this article is our initial look at their performance using a near-final build of Ubuntu 20.04 and seeing how the performance stacks up in raw performance and performance-per-dollar against the AMD EPYC competition.

Initial Benchmarks Of Fedora 32 Linux Performance
Fedora 32 isn't making it out this week due to last minute blocker bugs but should hopefully surface next week. In any case, here are some initial benchmarks looking at the performance of Fedora 32 in its effectively final state compared to Fedora 31 for seeing how the performance has shifted with its plethora of updates.

Linux 5.7 Delivering Some Gaming Performance Gains For AMD Radeon Navi GPUs
For those using AMD Radeon "Navi" GPUs, the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel is delivering some minor performance improvements compared to prior kernels.

Linux 5.6 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks: None, Kyber, BFQ, MQ-Deadline
While some Linux distributions are still using MQ-Deadline or Kyber by default for NVMe SSD storage, using no I/O scheduler still tends to perform the best overall for this speedy storage medium.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week