Linux 4.9/4.10, Solaris Rumors, Graphics Driver News Ended Out 2016

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 2 January 2017 at 10:12 AM EST. Add A Comment
While we've already shared the most popular news and reviews on Phoronix for 2016, here's our usual monthly recap for those wondering what dominated the headlines in December. Of the 3,336 news articles on Phoronix in 2016, December yielded 323 original news articles and 32 featured articles/reviews for Linux enthusiasts.

As always with our monthly recaps comes the PSA that if you appreciate all of the work invested by your's truly into running Phoronix with fresh original content every day of the year, please consider joining Phoronix Premium (this week you can also go premium at a discounted rate, the sale details in this article), making a PayPal tip, or just viewing the site without any ad-blocker. Premium though gets you access to the ad-free site, multi-page articles on a single page, priority honoring of any feedback/requests, and other benefits. You can also stay up to date with our content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and RSS.

With that said, here were our ten most popular news articles on Phoronix for December 2016:

It Looks Like AMDGPU DC (DAL) Will Not Be Accepted In The Linux Kernel
While AMD developers have been working to improve their "DAL" (now known as "DC") display code for the better part of the past year and this code is needed for new hardware support as well as supporting HDMI/DP audio on existing AMDGPU-enabled hardware plus other features, it's still not going to be accepted to the mainline kernel in its current form.

Oracle Might Be Canning Solaris
Oracle might be pulling the plug on the Solaris operating system, at least according to some new rumors.

The Best Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel
With the Linux 4.9 kernel expected for release this coming weekend, here is a recap of some of the most interesting changes for this next big kernel release.

Linux 4.9 Kernel Officially Released
The Linux 4.9 kernel has been officially released.

Driver-Free Printing Comes To Ubuntu 17.04, AirPrint Support
With the latest "Zesty" development packages for Ubuntu 17.04, there is initial support for driver-less network printer support.

OpenSUSE Ends Support For Binary AMD Graphics Driver
Bruno Friedmann has announced the end to AMD proprietary driver fglrx support in openSUSE while also announcing they don't plan to support the hybrid proprietary AMDGPU-PRO stack either.

With Wine Git, You Can Run The D3D11 Blizzard Overwatch Game On Linux
Wine has long been working on its Direct3D 11 support, but it's not quite ready for major Windows games with the upcoming Wine 2.0 release. With some work that didn't make the cut for Wine 2.0, Blizzard's Overwatch game appears to be running well.

Ubuntu To Begin Making Use Of Swapfiles In Place Of SWAP Partitions
Ubuntu is going to begin making use of swapfiles in place of swap partitions on new (non-LVM) based installations.

Qualcomm Sampling 10nm 48-Core Server SoC
Qualcomm announced this morning they have begun sampling the world’s first 10nm server processor.

LibreOffice Announces "MUFFIN" User Interface
The Document Foundation today announced MUFFIN, a new user-interface concept for LibreOffice.

The most popular December 2016 featured articles / reviews:

The Perf-Per-Watt Of NVIDIA Fermi To Pascal, AMD R700 To Polaris With Newest Linux Drivers
Unless you want your graphics card to keep you warm this winter, here's a big comparison of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards under Linux looking at their performance-per-Watt using the latest OpenGL Linux drivers as of the end of 2016. A few days back I posted a 31-way GeForce/Radeon Linux comparison looking at the raw performance with each company's latest Linux drivers going back to the Fermi and R700 days while for this article is looking at the system power consumption and power efficiency for this mass assortment of GPUs.

31-Way NVIDIA GeForce / AMD Radeon Linux OpenGL Comparison - End-Of-Year 2016
Last week I published some fresh AMD Linux 4.9 + Mesa 13.1-dev benchmarks on many different AMD Radeon GPUs going all the way back to the Radeon HD 4800 series days. Today those numbers are being complemented by an extensive NVIDIA GeForce Fermi / Kepler / Maxwell / Pascal comparison to make up a 31-way NVIDIA/AMD Linux OpenGL performance comparison. If you are curious how the NVIDIA and AMD Linux performance is with the very latest drivers and going back several hardware generations, this holiday article is for you.

AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 vs. RadeonSI Git: Tomb Raider, Shadow of Mordor & More
A few days ago I shared some fresh AMDGPU+RadeonSI benchmarks of Tomb Raider, Shadow of Mordor, and some other Linux games that need to be benchmarked manually due to shortcomings with these games. That earlier article with the open-source numbers was reserved for just Phoronix Premium supporters while available now to the public are those results compared to the new AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 Linux driver.

Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro & Linux Don't Mix
Last month I shared that Linux tests of the 2016 MacBook Pro would be coming and now I've finally managed to complete a few, but I highly encourage you not to get the new MacBook Pro if you plan on using anything other than macOS as the experience is a wreck. This is one laptop I don't mind seeing returned!

AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 vs. Mesa 13.1-dev + Linux 4.9 Radeon OpenGL
For those curious how the latest open-source AMDGPU+RadeonSI driver code is comparing to yesterday's AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 release, here are some fresh OpenGL Linux driver benchmarks from a few AMD graphics cards.

AMDGPU-PRO vs. RadeonSI/RADV & NVIDIA's Linux Drivers To End 2016
Last week I published a 31-way Linux graphics card comparison with an assortment of both NVIDIA GeForce and Radeon graphics cards using the latest Linux drivers. I also published a variety of Vulkan benchmarks. In those tests the open-source Radeon driver stack was used given that's what AMD is endorsing these days for Linux gamers with AMDGPU-PRO not even working on all modern Linux distributions. But for those curious how AMDGPU-PRO compares to those big result data-sets, here are those -PRO results to share today.

EXT4, Btrfs, XFS & F2FS On Linux 4.6 Through 4.9
For those curious how various Linux file-systems have evolved since Linux 4.6, here are some fresh benchmarks of the Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS file-systems being tested on Linux 4.6 vs. 4.7 vs. 4.8 vs. 4.9 with a solid-state drive for looking at any performance changes.

GCC 6.2/7.0 vs. LLVM Clang 3.9/4.0 SVN Compiler Performance
Earlier this week I published some GCC 5.4 vs. GCC 6.2 vs. GCC 7.0 SVN development benchmarks with a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system. For those curious how the LLVM Clang compiler stack is comparing, here are some tests on the same system when running fresh benchmarks of LLVM Clang 3.9 as well as LLVM Clang 4.0 SVN.

Linux Distributions vs. BSDs With netperf & iperf3 Network Performance
With now having netperf in the Phoronix Test Suite as well as iperf3 for the latest open-source benchmarks in our automated cross-platform benchmarking framework, I couldn't help but to run some networking benchmarks on a system when trying out a few different Linux distributions and BSDs to see how the performance compares. The operating systems ran with these networking benchmarks included Debian 8.6, Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux 12020, CentOS 7, and Fedora 25. The BSDs tested for this comparison were FreeBSD 11.0 and DragonFlyBSD 4.6.1.

The New Features & Exciting Changes Of The Linux 4.10 Kernel
Linus Torvalds is expected to release the Linux 4.10-rc1 kernel this weekend ahead of Christmas and thereby marking the formal end of the 4.10 merge window, but with all of the major pull requests already submitted and Linus tending not to honor last-minute pull requests of big changes, here is our usual look at the exciting changes and new features you will be able to find with the Linux 4.10 kernel.
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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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