Rust For Linux, -O3'ing The Kernel & Other Highlights From June
Before getting to the recap of the most popular featured articles/reviews and news for past month, here's the friendly reminder that if you enjoy the daily original content to please consider joining Phoronix Premium for ad-free viewing and multi-page articles on a single page. Or at the very least to disable your ad-blocker. Unfortunately times are still very difficult in the online publishing world and amid everything else happening in the world and unfortunately ad-block usage is still causing great harm to operations. PayPal tips are accepted as well for those interested. Your support is most appreciated to allow me to continue focusing on Linux hardware reviews, news, benchmarking, and all the other resources provided by Phoronix over the past 18 years.
The most popular featured articles for June included:
Python 3.11 Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Fantastic
Last month Python 3.11 Beta 1 was released as their first preview of this major update to the Python programming language. Besides new language features and other improvements, Python 3.11 performance is looking fantastic with very nice performance uplift over prior Python 3.x releases.
HP Dev One - A Great, Well Engineered AMD Ryzen Linux Laptop
Earlier this month marked the launch of the HP Dev One as an interesting collaboration between HP and System76 for a laptop optimized for Linux developers and running System76's Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS operating system. It's a very interesting laptop and well thought out for Linux use with an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U SoC and integrated Radeon graphics for satisfying the preferences of many Linux developers preferring a fully open-source driver stack. Thanks to the large scale manufacturing of HP, it's also a competitively-priced Linux laptop compared to many of the Linux laptops from smaller vendors that are based on Clevo or other white box laptop designs.
Benchmarking The Linux Kernel With An "-O3" Optimized Build
Stemming from last weeks Linux kernel patches suggesting an -O3 experimental option for all CPU architectures and Linus Torvalds rather quickly shooting it down, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Linux kernel performance when the kernel image is rebuilt with the -O3 optimization level rather than -O2.
The Performance Of Six Linux Distributions On The HP Dev One
As a follow-up to last week's HP Dev One review for the HP laptop that is pre-loaded with System76's Pop!_OS and optimized for a good Linux experience complete with Fwupd/LVFS support, here are benchmarks of the HP Dev One while trying out Arch Linux, Ubuntu 22.04, Fedora Workstation 36, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux in addition to the default Pop!_OS 22.04 installation.
SpaceX Starlink Internet Experience & Performance
Last year I signed up for SpaceX's Starlink satellite Internet service with hopes of using it to replace the Internet connection used for running Phoronix. After months of using Starlink and carrying out thousands of benchmarks, Starlink in the US midwest / Chicagoland area has proven reliable but the performance can be rather volatile still and it was frustrating at first waiting for some Starlink accessories to ship, but the self-service nature and simplicity of the setup were great.
Linux Full Disk Encryption Performance For The AMD Ryzen 7 PRO / HP Dev One
One of the great defaults when installing Pop!_OS or receiving a pre-loaded laptop/desktop from System76 or the new HP Dev One is that it encourages full-disk encryption and prominently shown during the install process. I highly recommend full-disk encryption especially for laptops. As it's been a few years since running benchmarks looking at the overhead of LUKS encryption, here are some benchmarks of Pop!_OS 22.04 on the HP Dev One with the full disk encryption enabled and then a fresh install without encryption.
Blender 3.2 Performance With AMD Radeon HIP vs. NVIDIA GeForce On Linux
This week's release of Blender 3.2 brings AMD GPU rendering support on Linux via AMD's HIP interface in conjunction with their ROCm compute stack. Eager to see the AMD GPU support on Linux finally arrive, I quickly began trying out this new Blender open-source 3D modeling software release while seeing how the AMD RDNA2 HIP performance compares to that of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 GPUs that have long enjoyed top-notch support under Blender.
Python 3.11 Is Much Faster, But Pyston & PyPy Still Show Advantages
There was much interest in the recent Python 3.11 beta benchmarks showing much performance uplift from this in-development version of Python compared to prior 3.x releases. While Python 3.11 performance is looking great and huge advantages compared to prior versions, there are also alternative Python implementations like PyPy and Pyston. Stemming from Phoronix reader requests, here are benchmarks showing how Python 3.11 beta performance compares to those alternative Python implementations.
Upgrading Ubuntu 22.04's Kernel & Mesa For Better AMD RDNA2 Performance
While Ubuntu 22.04 LTS was just released over one month ago, it is shipping on the Linux 5.15 kernel that was already two stable series behind at release time but chosen as the default due to its long-term support status. Ubuntu 22.04 also shipped with Mesa 22.0 as the latest stable version albeit the open-source OpenGL/Vulkan graphics drivers are quick to advance. So if you've been thinking about upgrading Mesa or the Linux kernel on your Ubuntu 22.04 system for better Linux gaming performance, here are some benchmarks looking at such performance impact for AMD RDNA2 / Radeon RX 6000 series graphics.
Java Benchmarks: OpenJDK 8 Through OpenJDK 19 EA, OpenJ9, GraalVM CE
Stemming from a recent reader request around seeing some fresh OpenJDK performance benchmarks, here are benchmarks of OpenJDK 9 through OpenJDK 18 plus the early access OpenJDK 19 builds. Additionally, OpenJ9 and GraalVM CE were tossed in as alternative implementations.
And the most popular news items for the month:
Linus Torvalds: Rust For The Kernel Could Possibly Be Merged For Linux 5.20
Speaking this morning at The Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit, Linus Torvalds talked up the possibilities of Rust within the Linux kernel and that it could be landing quite soon -- possibly even for the next kernel cycle.
Linus Torvalds Questions New "HTE" Subsystem Looking To Land In Linux 5.19
Being submitted as a new subsystem for the almost wrapped up Linux 5.19 merge window is the Hardware Timestamping Engine "HTE" code. Linus Torvalds though has yet to pull in this new code and has raised concerns around some elements of it.
Asahi Linux Celebrates First Triangle On The Apple M1 With Fully Open-Source Driver
While there has been progress with the Mesa code targeting Apple M1 to run basic tests like glmark2, that has traditionally been an effort running under macOS with its kernel driver. This week the Asahi Linux crew celebrated their first rendered triangle running with a fully open-source driver stack.
Linus Torvalds' Latest Commentary Against -O3'ing The Linux Kernel
This shouldn't be too surprising considering some of Linus Torvalds past commentary about compiler optimizations and bad experiences long ago with GCC, but Linus Torvalds is not interested in seeing a tunable Kconfig option for using the -O3 compiler optimization level for building the Linux kernel without substantial justification.
Experimental -O3 Optimizing The Linux Kernel For Better Performance Brought Up Again
A set of patches have been posted for making the "-O3" compiler optimization level more easily accessible when building the Linux kernel but still it's not recommended and some kernel developers do not even want to see it as a Kconfig option.
The Bizarre Case Of Zstd's Very Slow Performance On Arch Linux
Yesterday I posted benchmarks of six Linux distributions on the HP Dev One, the exciting new Linux laptop launched by HP in collaboration with System76 that is using their Pop!_OS distribution. From those benchmarks one of the bizarre findings was that the Zstd compression performance on Arch Linux simply sucked, but some interested developers dove in and found the rather bizarre culprit why their Zstd performance is so poor in relation to other Linux distributions on the same version.
Apple M1 Affected By "PACMAN" Hardware Vulnerability In Arm Pointer Authentication
MIT CSAIL today is lifting the embargo on a new hardware vulnerability affecting the Apple M1 SoCs (no word yet on exposure with the recently announced Apple M2) and dubbed the "PACMAN" attack.
GitLab Now The Main Development Platform For Wine
Earlier this year Wine began experimenting with GitLab to improve their development workflow for this open-source project that allows Windows games and applications to run on Linux. It's now been decided that the GitLab workflow is useful and will now be their path forward.
Arch Linux Hits Top Linux Spot Over Ubuntu In May's Steam Survey
The Steam Survey results are in for May 2022 and while it shows Linux slightly down on a percentage basis, it shows a new top-spot for the most popular Linux distribution unseating Ubuntu LTS.
Blender 3.2 Debuts With AMD GPU Linux Rendering Support
Blender 3.2 is releasing this morning as the newest version of this open-source, cross-platform 3D modeling and animation software package. Blender 3.2 finally adds AMD GPU-accelerated rendering support on Linux and many other refinements.
macOS 13 Adding Ability To Use Rosetta In ARM Linux VMs For Speedy x86_64 Linux Binaries
In addition to announcing the M2 SoC, Apple used its WWDC keynote to also announce macOS 13 "Ventura". One of the interesting technical changes with macOS 13 is the ability to use Apple's Rosetta software for speedy execution of Linux x86_64 binaries running on ARM Linux VMs from Apple Silicon.
Ubuntu Deciding How To Tame Their systemd-oomd Killing Experience
One of the many changes with the recent Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release was enabling systemd-oomd by default as the out-of-memory daemon that can kill processes when under memory pressure. Unfortunately, for some users this has led to a poor desktop experience with finding their applications being unexpectedly killed. Ubuntu developers are now discussing how to improve this OOMD handling.
Ubuntu Working To Provide Good Support For The VisionFive Low-Cost RISC-V Board
In recent weeks Ubuntu developers have been working on bringing up and improving support for the Starfive VisionFive, which is one of the most promising "low-cost" RISC-V single board computers to date. Hopefully for Ubuntu 22.10 we'll be seeing good support for this sub-$180 RISC-V computer.
Meta's Transparent Memory Offloading Saves Them 20~32% Of Memory Per Linux Server
Meta's engineering team today published an interesting blog post about Transparent Memory Offloading (TMO) as a new Linux kernel feature they developed that is already used in production on Facebook/Meta servers. Within Meta's data centers this TMO functionality is saving 20~32% memory per server across their millions of servers.
With A Few Lines Of Code, AMD's Nice Performance Optimization For Linux 5.20
A patch from AMD to further tune the Linux kernel's scheduler around NUMA imbalancing has been queued up and slated for introduction in Linux 5.20. For some workloads this scheduler tuning can help out significantly for AMD Zen-based systems and even on Intel Xeon servers has the possibility of helping too.
PipeWire 0.3.52 Released To Continue Enhancing Linux Audio/Video Streams
PipeWire 0.3.52 was released today as the newest version of this open-source server for handling audio/video streams on the Linux desktop and increasingly being used now as a replacement for PulseAudio.
System76 & HP Formally Launch The HP Dev One AMD Ryzen Laptop With Pop!_OS Linux
Last month System76 and HP began teasing an HP developer laptop with AMD Ryzen SoC and running Pop!_OS while today that HP Dev One laptop has formally launched.
Akamai Warns Of "Panchan" Linux Botnet That Leverages Golang Concurrency, Systemd
Akamai Security Research today is lifting the public embargo on "Panchan", a new peer-to-peer botnet they are warning customers about that has been breaching Linux servers since March.
Linux 5.20 To Support Async Buffered Writes For XFS + IO_uring For Big Performance Boost
Adding to the list of features slowly building up that will be destined for the Linux 5.20 cycle, Jens Axboe has queued up the support for async buffered writes with XFS when using IO_uring can deliver some significant performance advantages.
Ubuntu Developers Have An Idea For Handling The Over-Eager Systemd OOMD App Killing
With the recent release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS it is shipping systemd-oomd by default on their desktop for trying to better handle low-memory / out-of-memory situations. However, in real-world use systemd-oomd is too easily killing user-space applications like Firefox and Chrome when approaching memory pressure. This is a poor Ubuntu 22.04 user experience but the developers now have an idea for their approach to addressing this solution.