Linux NTFS, Ryzen 7 5800X3D, Mesa 22.1 & Other April Open-Source Excitement
While an exciting month in the open-source/Linux world, unfortunately, the state of the ad industry and rampant usage of ad-blockers by readers continues to make things a struggle on the operating side (and the lack of IHVs/ISVs particularly interested in advertising on the Linux desktop side). If you enjoy the daily, original content on Phoronix each and every day please refrain from ad-block usage or go the route of ad-free Phoronix Premium. Or PayPal tips are also accepted and appreciated. Follow the flow of daily Linux content on Twitter and Facebook. With those friendly reminders said, let's move on to the most exciting content from April.
The most popular Linux hardware reviews / featured content for the month included:
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D On Linux: Not For Gaming, But Very Exciting For Other Workloads
Last week AMD began shipping the much anticipated Ryzen 7 5800X3D as their first 3D V-Cache consumer CPU and their claims to be "the world's fastest PC gaming processor" in being able to outperform even the Core i9 12900K / 12900KS for Windows gaming. We weren't seeded by AMD for this launch, leading us to anticipate that it's not too good for Linux gaming / not their target market. But after the great success I've had with AMD Milan-X performance on Linux, I was very eager to try out this consumer CPU with the 3D-stacked L3 cache and ended up purchasing a 5800X3D. Indeed the Ryzen 7 5800X3D turned out to be disappointing for Linux gaming performance but the 5800X3D was very interesting for a range of other technical workloads and making me very excited for future Ryzen CPUs with 3D V-Cache.
Mesa 22.1-rc1 AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance vs. NVIDIA
With Mesa 22.1 having been branched and working its way towards release in early to mid May, it's a good time to deliver some fresh Linux gaming benchmarks on the latest GPU drivers. In this article are some reference benchmark results of various AMD Radeon graphics cards on Mesa 22.1-rc1 as of branching paired with Linux 5.17 and then benchmarked against NVIDIA's latest driver and various GeForce RTX GPUs.
AMD Ryzen 5 5500 Linux Performance
AMD on Monday began shipping the Ryzen 5 5500 as a ~$159 USD processor in the Zen 3 family. The Ryzen 5 5500 offers 6 cores / 12 threads with a 65 Watt TDP rating in making for a fairly robust offering for its low price point. I've had the Ryzen 5 5500 in the lab the past few days and in this article are some initial benchmarks seeing how this mid-range processor performs.
Intel Alder Lake Users On Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Will Want To Switch To A Newer Kernel
Next week's Ubuntu 22.04 LTS "Jammy Jellyfish" is using Linux 5.15 by default given that the kernel is also a "Long Term Support" release. While it makes sense in theory, in practice with Linux 5.16 having been out as stable since January and Linux 5.17 out for several weeks already there is a lot of hardware improvements past the v5.15 that haven't been back-ported or otherwise picked up by Ubuntu Jammy's kernel build. The main pain point this presents is for those using the latest-generation Intel "Alder Lake" processors with a mix of performance and power efficiency cores. My testing of Alder Lake this week on the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS build still shows that its 5.15-based experience being less than desirable with measurable -- often very significant -- improvements if using v5.16 or later.
AMD P-State vs. ACPI CPUFreq Testing With Ryzen Laptops On Linux 5.17
One of the most prominent features of Linux 5.17 for end-users was the introduction of the AMD P-State driver that is designed to deliver better energy efficiency than the generic ACPI CPUFreq frequency scaling driver relied on by AMD Ryzen processors up to this point. For those wondering how the performance and efficiency currently compare for Ryzen laptops, here are some benchmarks recently carried out on Linux 5.17 for both drivers and testing both the Schedutil and Performance governors.
Running AMD EPYC 7773X Milan-X With Linux 5.18's Performance Improvements
As previously talked about on Phoronix with the in-development Linux 5.18 kernel there is a change to the Linux kernel scheduler around the NUMA imbalance handling when spanning multiple LLCs as is the case with AMD Zen CPUs. Already I've carried out benchmarks looking at some of the areas where AMD EPYC CPUs are enjoying speed-ups on Linux 5.18. Since benchmarking the AMD EPYC 7773X with its hefty 1.5GB of L3 cache for 2P servers via AMD 3D V-Cache, I've been curious to try this forthcoming kernel on that Milan-X configuration. Here are such benchmarks looking at the AMD EPYC 7773X 2P performance on Ubuntu 22.04 with its default Linux 5.15 kernel against Linux 5.17 stable and then the 5.18 development kernel.
AMD Radeon RX 6400 On Linux
Last week AMD quietly launched the Radeon RX 6400 series as the new low-end RDNA2 graphics. With Radeon RX 6400 there are finally low-profile, single-slot PCIe RDNA2 graphics cards whether they be for 2U servers, mini ITX builds, or other interesting use-cases. Up for testing today is an XFX Radeon RX 6400 4GB low-profile graphics card for Linux benchmarking.
AMD AOCC Performance On EPYC 7773X Milan-X Against GCC, Clang Compilers
Last month with the AMD EPYC 7773X Linux benchmarks and Milan-X in the Azure cloud I showed the impressive capabilities of AMD's new Milan-X processors with 768MB of L3 cache per socket (1.5GB cache per 2P server!) for a range of workloads. All of that initial benchmarking as usual was done using the default GCC system compiler across all tested AMD/Intel processors. Of course, there also exists AMD's Optimizing C/C++ Compiler (AOCC) as a downstream of LLVM/Clang with various Zen optimization patches applied. Curious about the AOCC impact for Milan-X, here are some benchmarks looking at the EPYC 7773X 2P performance across AOCC, GCC, and LLVM Clang.
Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 "Ice Lake" Linux Performance One Year After Launch
This week marks one year since Intel formally introduced their Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake" processors led by the flagship Xeon Platinum 8380. Given the occasion, here are benchmarks looking at the Linux performance at-launch across CentOS, Clear Linux, and Ubuntu and then again against those latest Linux distributions in their current state now for seeing how the Linux performance has evolved over the past year.
Noctua NH-D12L Dual Tower CPU Cooler - 120mm-Class Cooling For 4U Server Cases
With the dozens of 4U rackmount enclosures used at Phoronix, when it comes to the high-end desktop systems the Noctua NH-U9 series has been the go-to choice for CPU cooling. The Noctua NH-U9 series has been capable of cooling HEDT systems even with Threadripper / EPYC processors using the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 while fitting within 4U height requirements. For the Noctua NH-U9 series and other 4U compatible heatsinks they've tended to be limited to 80~92mm cooling fans due to height requirements. Noctua though recently introduced the NH-D12L as offering a dual tower CPU heatsink design capable of fitting 120mm fans and has been the focus of our recent testing.
And the most viewed open-source/Linux news for the past month:
New NVIDIA Open-Source Linux Kernel Graphics Driver Appears
Appearing with NVIDIA's latest Linux4Tegra code drop is a new open-source kernel graphics driver not previously published. This driver isn't based on the existing Nouveau driver but rather appears to be derived from their internal driver code-base with some copyright references going back to 90's.
Linus Torvalds Comments On The NTFS Linux Driver Situation
As written about earlier this week, concerns have been raised over the "new" NTFS Linux driver that it's effectively unmaintained already less than one year after being mainlined. Linus Torvalds has since commented on the matter and opens up the door for other developers to maintain it.
Concerns Raised Over The "New" NTFS Linux Driver That Merged Last Year
Back in 2020 file-system driver provider Paragon Software announced they wanted to upstream their NTFS driver into the Linux kernel. This driver was previously a proprietary, commercial offering from the company but given the state of NTFS these days they wanted to upstream this driver with full read/write support and other features not found within the existing NTFS driver. Finally last year after going through many rounds of review, the new driver was merged into Linux 5.15. Sadly, less than one year later, concerns have been raised that the driver is already effectively orphaned and not being maintained.
Oracle Releases Solaris 11.4 "CBE" Free For Open-Source Developers / Non-Production Use
Oracle has begun making a new version of Solaris 11.4 available for free/open-source developers and for non-production personal use. Oracle Solaris 11.4 "CBE" was announced to little fanfare last month for what many open-source OS enthusiasts will likely argue is too little, too late.
Updated AMD Zen 1 Through Zen 3 CPU Microcode Published
On Friday AMD published new CPU microcode files for both Family 17h and Family 19h for Zen 1/2/3 processors. At the moment there isn't any public insight into the changes with this updated microcode but it may be significant.
ReactOS "Open-Source Windows" Manages To Run Some Battlefield Games
ReactOS as the open-source operating system project striving for binary compatibility with Windows applications/games/drivers has made much progress over the past two decades but in some areas still lacking like still working on SMP/multi-core support and other functionality. To some surprise, some of the older Battlefield games are at least now in a playable state on ReactOS.
NVIDIA Publishes Signed Ampere Firmware To Finally Allow Accelerated Open-Source Support
Days after new open-source kernel driver code appeared in a Tegra code drop, NVIDIA happens today to have published signed firmware images for their RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics processors for finally allowing open-source driver support to proceed for these latest-generation GPUs.
Fedora Project Leader Calls Out NVIDIA Over Their Proprietary Linux Drivers
Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller took to Twitter on Sunday with a long series of tweets of his personal opinion going after NVIDIA's proprietary driver stack and encouraging the company to be more like Intel and AMD with regards to open-source driver support.
Sony Contributes ~73%+ Performance Improvement For exFAT Linux Driver
The exFAT file-system driver for the Linux kernel continues maturing nicely with new features, fixes, and performance improvements. The latest Linux exFAT driver improvement worth mentioning is a significant performance improvement from a Sony engineer.
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Changes Default For NVIDIA Driver Back To Using X.Org Rather Than Wayland
While back in March Ubuntu 22.04 "Jammy Jellyfish" changed the default behavior for NVIDIA's driver to use Wayland inline with Intel and Radeon graphics having used the GNOME Wayland session rather than X.Org for the past few releases, this change was reverted at the last-minute. With a launch-day SRU, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is defaulting to using the GNOME X.Org session rather than Wayland when running the proprietary NVIDIA driver.
Fedora Planning To Introduce Major Package Management Changes Next Year
While during these crazy times it feels like Fedora transitioned from Yum to DNF yesterday, it's already been a half-decade since the DNF package manager has been the default on Fedora. Next year with Fedora 38 they are looking at further evolving package management by way of MicroDNF.
Google Chrome/Chromium Experimenting With A Qt Back-End
Public code reviews started this week on Qt platform support for Google's Chromium open-source browser code.
Debian To Consider Changing How It Treats Closed-Source Firmware
While most Linux distributions will include linux-firmware.git firmware files as the collection of firmware/microcode binaries needed by various mainline Linux kernel drivers, Debian does not. While the kernel drivers are open-source, the firmware files tend to be binary-only/closed-source, but these days are increasingly necessary for any level of functional support. Thus Debian is left in the awkward position of either providing poor hardware support and users left wondering what's going on or to make some improvements to better deal with today's world of firmware necessities.
NVIDIA Posts Open-Source DRM Kernel Driver For NVDLA
NVIDIA has posted 13k lines of new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) kernel driver code for review for supporting their NVDLA IP block.
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Ready With Mesa 22.0, Early Intel Arc Graphics Enabled & Amber Added
At the end of March Ubuntu 22.04 "Jammy Jellyfish" successfully transitioned from the former Mesa 21.3 series to Mesa 22.0 as the current stable series for these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers. There are also a few changes to mention with Ubuntu 22.04's Mesa support this LTS cycle.
Fedora 37 Looks To Deprecate Legacy BIOS Support
For the Fedora 37 release later this year the developers are looking at deprecating legacy BIOS support and making UEFI a requirement for x86_64 systems.
AMD Patch To Use MWAIT Instead Of HALT For Certain Cases Yield A ~21% Improvement
As a Linux kernel change for benefiting AMD CPUs going back to Zen 1 and for matching behavior Intel has had in place since the Core 2 times, AMD submitted a patch for having the Linux kernel use the MWAIT instruction instead of HALT for when the system isn't using the CPU idle driver either for C-states being disabled by the BIOS or the driver not part of the kernel build. In turn this can lead to around a 21% improvement in exit latency on affected systems.
Fedora 37 Considering Removal Of Legacy X.Org Drivers
Adding to the interesting changes being worked on for Fedora 37 due out later this year is the removal of legacy X.Org drivers. Fedora is looking at removing the legacy graphics driver paths that are incompatible with running Wayland.
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Release Candidate Images For Last Minute Testing
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS "Jammy Jellyfish" is set to be officially released this Thursday while available today are the hopefully-final release candidate images.
Rust GCC Code Generator "rustc_codegen_gcc" Can Now Bootstrap Rustc
A huge milestone has been reached in the rustc_codegen_gcc effort that aims to offer a GCC-based Rust compiler alternative to the LLVM-based official Rust compiler.