Vulkan, BUS1, SuperTux, Raspberry Pi Zero & Other Popular December Topics

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 1 January 2016 at 08:23 AM EST. Add A Comment
For those recovered from the New Year, here's a look at the most popular Linux/open-source topics that appeared on Phoronix in December.

December was a very busy month with all our year-end articles and more. With working through the holidays, I managed to put out 25 featured articles/reviews and 287 original news articles, which is on average with the other Phoronix content of 2015. Of all those articles and news items, the most popular content on Phoronix for December included:

SuperTux Sees Its First Stable Release In A Decade
2005 was the last year SuperTux saw a stable release, but arriving this weekend just in time for Christmas is SuperTux v0.4.

BUS1: A New Linux Kernel IPC Bus Being Made By Systemd Developers
While KDBUS has yet to be mainlined as it was sent back to the drawing board, at least some of the systemd developers are working on a new kernel bus implementation called BUS1.

It Doesn't Look Like Ubuntu Reached Its Goal Of 200 Million Users This Year
Four years ago at UDS Budapest was a lofty goal laid out by Mark Shuttleworth: 200 million users in four years.

Debian APT Performance Is Becoming Much Better For Incremental Updates
If using APT with PDiff enabled for package diffs to do incremental updates, the latest code should now be much faster.

Wine 1.8 Released With 13,000+ Changes
As a nice Christmas present for those dependent upon running Windows games/applications on Linux, Wine 1.8 was officially released just moments ago!

Apple's Swift Is Now Open-Source, Development Snapshots For Ubuntu
We've been waiting since this summer for Apple to open-source their Swift programming language and provide Linux support. This week they've done their initial release and stuck to their word.

Khronos Confirms No Vulkan For This Year + Some Exclusive Phoronix Details
My article this morning about Vulkan Looks All But Confirmed For 2016 Launch turned out to be spot-on and there will be no Vulkan API release in 2015.

The Toshiba Carrizo-Powered Laptop Is Screaming, Literally
Since writing a few days ago about buying an AMD Carrizo-powered laptop for Linux benchmarking, many Phoronix readers have been asking how it's going in testing out this Toshiba Satellite L55D-C5269 laptop. Well, very unpleasant so far.

Garry Newman On The Future Of Their Linux Game Ports
Garry Newman, the developer behind the Garry's Mod and Rust games along with other titles in development, has made some fresh comments this week about the outlook for their games on Linux.

I've Been Running GNOME Wayland On My Primary Dev System: It's Been Going Great
For roughly the past week on my primary development box I've been running Fedora 23 using the GNOME Wayland desktop.

The most popular featured articles were:

Performance-Per-Watt & How The Raspberry Pi 2 + Pi Zero Compare To Old NetBurst CPUs
After starting to run some Raspberry Pi Zero benchmarks this weekend, I'm back today with more benchmarks. In this article is also an interesting comparison showing the performance of the Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 2 against old "Northwood" Pentium 4 and Celeron processors from the Socket 478 NetBurst days. The many results in this article also include power consumption and performance-per-Watt metrics for this $5 ARM single board computer.

Benchmarks Of The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero
For those curious about the performance of the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, here are some benchmarks I've just finished up for this low-end, low-power ARM development board compared to other ARM, MIPS, and x86 hardware.

OS X El Capitan vs. Fedora vs. Ubuntu vs. Antergos Benchmarks
Building off the OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" vs. Fedora 23 Linux results from earlier this week, here are benchmark results that add in Ubuntu 15.10 as well as the Arch-based Antergos Linux distribution.

Proprietary vs. Linux Git, Mesa 11.2-devel, DRI3 For R600g/RadeonSI
Following this week's OpenGL 4.1 R600g benchmarking with that newly-enabled OpenGL 4 support, I set out to run a larger hardware comparison on both the R600g and RadeonSI drivers as part of our year-end 2015 Linux benchmarking. In this article are tests of seven AMD Radeon graphics cards tested on the proprietary driver compared to the latest open-source driver stack -- with extra steps of enabling DRI3 rendering and also using the latest AMDGPU PowerPlay code.

How Intel Laptop Performance & Efficiency Evolved From Nehalem To Broadwell
Last week I published a 7-way Linux laptop comparison with processors ranging from Sandy Bridge to Broadwell. Out of interest from readers in an even larger comparison, I've re-tested a Nehlaem-based "Clarksfield" laptop as well as a "Westmere" laptop to show how the raw performance and performance-per-Watt compare to the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell devices.

Intel Broadwell Laptop OpenGL Performance: Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux
With having a new Intel Broadwell laptop for testing that came pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows 10 x64, I couldn't resist the opportunity to run some comparison benchmarks against Ubuntu Linux. The Intel HD Graphics 5500 were tested under Windows 10 and then under Ubuntu 15.10 -- both in a stock configuration and then switching over to the Linux 4.4 kernel with Mesa 11.2 Git.

Building An Intel Xeon E3 v5 "Skylake" Linux System
Now that Xeon Skylake processors are becoming easier to find at major Internet retailers along with supported motherboards, here are the parts I used for assembling an Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5 Skylake system if you are interested in doing a similar Linux workstation build. While my complete Xeon E3 1245 v5 Linux review will come shortly, enclosed are also some initial Ubuntu benchmarks as well.

New AMD GPU Performance To Be Boosted By Linux 4.5; How It Compares To The Binary Blob
Last week I posted some AMD proprietary vs. open-source AMD Linux driver benchmarks using the very latest code. Left out of that earlier comparison was the R9 Fury series with Fiji GPU as well as newer graphics cards using the Tonga GPU. These graphics cards are supported by the AMDGPU DRM driver rather than the long-standing Radeon DRM driver. As I've been mentioning a lot this week, Linux 4.5 will bring the PowerPlay power management / re-clocking support to AMDGPU. In this article are showing benchmarks of the Fiji and Tonga GPUs under Linux 4.4 and Linux 4.5 DRM-Next along with the Catalyst 15.9 driver as shipped by Ubuntu 15.10.

NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux Performance For GRID Autosport
In the hours since Feral Interactive released the Linux version of GRID Autosport today, I've been trying out this racing game on a variety of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards atop Ubuntu Linux. Here are my initial results for GRID Autosport under Linux with seven different graphics cards.

7-Way Linux Laptop Comparison From Sandy Bridge To Broadwell
For those curious about how Intel's laptop/ultrabook CPUs have evolved over the past few generations and whether it's worthwhile upgrading from one generation to the next, here's a fresh Linux laptop comparison with seven different laptops being tested on Ubuntu 15.10 x86_64 and comparing these laptops from Sandy Bridge to Broadwell on a variety of workloads while also doing some performance-per-Watt measurements.
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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

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