Linux Graphics, RX 480 & Other July Excitement; Did You Notice Something Different?

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 31 July 2016 at 09:11 PM EDT. 15 Comments
As usual, there was a lot of exciting Linux graphics news and benchmarks done, Linux gaming advancements, and other prominent open-source news covered on Phoronix.

For July 2016 on Phoronix there were 246 original news articles and 6 featured articles... Huh?!? You might ask if being a faithful Phoronix reader... Yes, slightly less than normal on the news count with usually writing around 10 original news posts per day, 7 days per week, but far below average when it comes to featured articles/reviews (traditionally aiming for 20~30 of those per month).

Long story short, our main ad network partner this month was delivering pittance for ads... Among the worst ad performance I've seen in the past number of years. As a result, it was very hard to stay motivated on writing the larger articles and benchmarks with no real increase in Phoronix Premium users to offset those losses. Thus feeling a bit burned out and decided to work a bit less then for July, get more reasonable sleep, etc, but August should be much more solid. Of course, you can do your part by joining Phoronix Premium, making a PayPal tip, or at least viewing the site without an ad-blocker.

Anyhow, of the 246 original news items on Phoronix this month, the most popular Linux/open-source work included:

Video & Input Driver ABIs Will Change Again For X.Org Server 1.19
A few days ago the X.Org video and input driver ABI versions were bumped again following some breaks in the interface.

Opera Developer Update Lands RSS Reader, Chromecast Capability
For those still using the cross-platform Opera web browser, a new developer build is available today that provides new features.

FreeType 2.7 Bringing DirectWrite/ClearType-Like Rendering -- Much Better Looking Fonts On Linux
FreeType 2.7.0 will be shipping with the v40 TrueType instructions interpreter enabled by default. This interpreter is going to "finally brings DirectWrite/ClearType-like rendering to the screen, or 'subpixel hinting' as some FreeType code calls it."

Radeon RX 480: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMDGPU-PRO - Interesting CPU/Power Difference
With the 12-page AMD Radeon RX 480 review under Ubuntu Linux, tests were carried out both with the AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver and the pure open-source driver via the Linux 4.7 kernel and RadeonSI Gallium3D Mesa 12.1-dev. In this article are more tests of just the RX 480 when comparing the two Linux driver options for this first AMD Polaris card to make it to market. The CPU usage and power consumption difference are particularly interesting if you have been debating between these two drivers.

Overlord Is Being Released For Linux Tomorrow
Just one day after Virtual Programming released a new teaser video for Overlord on Linux, the OSX/Linux game porting company announced their release date for the game that is coming to Linux and Mac, the better part of a decade after the Windows release.

Commercial EXT4 File-System Driver For Windows Updated (ExtFS)
For those wishing to access EXT-based file-systems from Windows, Paragon Software Group has announced a new version of their ExtFS software for Windows with better support for EXT4 file-systems.

GNOME's Mutter Sees Big Rework, Striving For Multi-DPI Rendering
A ton of patches hit GNOME's Mutter this morning by Jonas Ã…dahl as he's been working towards multi DPI rendering and other improvements by drawing monitor contents to individual frame-buffers.

Ubuntu's Unity Desktop Can Now Run Natively On Windows
It's possible to run the Unity desktop with Compiz window manager atop Windows 10.

New Details Emerge About Debian Founder Ian Murdock's Death
At the end of last year was the untimely passing of Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian who went on to work for Sun Microsystems during the Project Indiana days and then was employed by Docker. Details of Ian's passing have remained quite scarce besides it being reported as a suicide following a sporadic Twitter rant just before his death. New details have now come to light.

Skype Claims "Exciting" Linux News Next Week
It's been a while since Microsoft-owned Skype last did a serious update to their Linux client, but it looks like that could be changing...
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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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