Apple Using Rust, exFAT, Ryzen Laptops, Ubuntu 20.04 Advances + Other Hits From March

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 31 March 2020 at 08:47 PM EDT. 7 Comments
During the month of March on Phoronix were 277 original news articles written by your's truly along with another 20 featured benchmark articles / Linux hardware reviews. Here is a look back at what is exciting Linux/open-source enthusiasts with so many hardware and software happenings.

Below is a look at the most popular featured articles/reviews followed by the most popular news items for the month of March. If you appreciate the original content on Phoronix each and every day of the year, please consider showing your support. In June is set to turn 16 years old but with ad-blockers the work is only made more difficult especially now with the coronavirus pandemic hurting ad sales. My wife was laid off from her work already as an additional burden while I continue to do 100+ hour weeks between Phoronix content and benchmarking. If you are able to show your support consider doing so via joining Phoronix Premium for enjoying the site ad-free and other benefits or also PayPal tips are accepted. Thanks for showing your support for those able or at least sharing our work on Twitter and Facebook.

Windows 10 Outperforming Linux On A ~$5000 Laptop, Ubuntu Beating Clear Linux
We are used to seeing tier-one Linux distributions outperforming Microsoft Windows on hardware ranging from $199 laptops to HEDT and server processors and everything in between. Thus it came as a large surprise to us when finding Windows 10 outperforming multiple Linux distributions on a new Intel laptop. Not only was Windows 10 leading, but the performance paradigm shifted that Ubuntu was even outperforming Clear Linux, which normally is the fastest of Linux distributions out-of-the-box.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS A Nice Upgrade For AMD Ryzen Owners From 18.04 LTS
Particularly for those on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or derivative distributions based on the current long-term support base, moving to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS due out next month will yield some nice improvements particularly for those on newer platforms like the AMD Ryzen 3000 series. Here are some benchmarks at how the Ryzen 9 3900X performance is looking between Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Ubuntu 19.10, and the current Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development snapshot.

The Brutal Performance Impact From Mitigating The LVI Vulnerability
On Tuesday the Load Value Injection (LVI) attack was disclosed by Intel and security researchers as a new class of transient-execution attacks and could lead to injecting data into a victim program and in turn stealing data, including from within SGX enclaves. While Intel has publicly stated they don't believe the LVI attack to be practical, one of their open-source compiler wizards did go ahead and add mitigation options to the GNU Assembler as part of the GCC toolchain. Here are benchmarks showing the performance impact of enabling those new LVI mitigation options and the significant impact they can cause on run-time performance in real-world workloads.

20-Way GPU Gaming Comparison With March 2020 Linux Drivers
Given the continuously evolving state of the open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers in particular, here are fresh AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux gaming benchmarks with the latest Linux graphics drivers as we begin March 2020. Besides the latest NVIDIA 440.64 Linux driver, on the Radeon side was Mesa 20.1-devel paired with the Linux 5.5.5 kernel and also having the RADV ACO back-end enabled.

F2FS vs. EXT4 File-System Performance With Intel's Clear Linux
Intel's performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution recently added support for using F2FS as the root file-system so we were curious to run some benchmarks on it for how it stacks up against EXT4.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. Clear Linux On The Intel Core i9 9900KS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
While we have been seeing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS offer better performance with newer hardware platforms, how does the performance compare to Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks on both AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and Intel Core i9 9900KS systems.

Ubuntu 18.04 vs. 20.04 LTS Performance Preview With Intel Xeon Scalable
There is less than one month to go until the official release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" but we've already begun experimenting with it for weeks across a variety of platforms. For the most part we have found Ubuntu 20.04 slated to offer some nice performance improvements, especially if upgrading from the existing LTS series, Ubuntu 18.04. In this article are our initial benchmarks looking at the Intel Xeon Scalable from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to the current 20.04 near-final state.

Ubuntu 18.04/19.10/20.04 vs. Debian 10/Testing Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen
While Ubuntu is based on Debian, for those wondering how the performance of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is looking not only compared to the previous 19.10 and 18.04.4 LTS releases but also Debian 10.3 stable and Debian Testing, here are some benchmark results on an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X system.

Intel Core i9 10980XE: FreeBSD 12.1 vs. GhostBSD 12.02 vs. DragonFlyBSD vs. Ubuntu Linux Benchmarks
Given the release earlier this month of DragonFlyBSD 5.8 along with the recent debut of the FreeBSD-based desktop-focused GhostBSD 20.02, here are benchmarks looking at their performance up against FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE as well as the current state of Ubuntu 20.04. Tests were done both with the LLVM Clang and GCC compilers.

Basemark GPU 1.2 Brings Linux Support - Wins For NVIDIA, Woes For Mesa
Last week Basemark launched their Basemark GPU 1.2 benchmark that now includes Linux support alongside all other major supported desktop and mobile operating systems. We've been testing out this Linux version with OpenGL and Vulkan support on both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce hardware.

The most popular news for March 2020 on Phoronix:

Even Apple Is Interested In Migrating Their C Code To Rust
Even Apple is on the bandwagon of transitioning select C code-bases of theirs over to Rust as well as expanding the code they are writing in Rust.

Firefox 75 On Wayland Now To Have Full WebGL, Working VA-API Acceleration
Firefox 75 due to be released next month should finally have its native Wayland support in good order.

Linux Kernel's Floppy Disk Code Is Seeing Improvements In 2020
While many would argue it's past due for the Linux kernel's floppy disk code to be gutted from the mainline code-base, instead it's seeing improvements in 2020 ahead of the Linux 5.7 kernel... The same kernel where Intel stabilized Tiger Lake graphics, AMD preparing Zen 3 support, a new exFAT driver, and a multitude of other modern improvements is also now seeing floppy work.

The New Microsoft exFAT File-System Driver Is Set To Land With Linux 5.7
Linux 5.4 brought a preliminary Microsoft exFAT file-system driver after Microsoft made the exFAT specification public and encouraged the support for Linux. But with the Linux 5.7 kernel this spring, a new exFAT file-system driver is going to land that is a much improved version of the earlier code.

It's Official But Sad: TrueOS Is Over As Once The Best Desktop BSD OS
It's been on life support for a while but to much sadness, TrueOS indeed is no longer being maintained as the once very promising downstream of FreeBSD that for a while offered arguably the best out-of-the-box BSD desktop experience.

Acer Is Launching In Germany What Could Be A Great AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Linux Laptop
For those that have been looking out for an AMD Linux laptop powered by a Ryzen 4000 series processor, Acer is set to launch a new laptop at least in Germany that could be quite appealing to Linux users.

Former Linux Developer Hans Reiser To Remain Locked Up
Hard to believe that former Linux developer Hans Reiser was already eligible for parole, but it was denied this month. The former developer responsible for creating the once-promising ReiserFS and Reiser4 file-systems will remain locked up for at least three more years.

RHEL9 Likely To Drop Older x86_64 CPUs, Fedora Can Better Prepare With "Enterprise Linux Next"
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 will likely see support for older x86_64 CPUs eliminated to focus on more modern x86_64 Intel/AMD families. With that, Red Hat developers working on Fedora have been working on an "Enterprise Linux Next" proposal to not only vet such x86_64 build changes but also to provide a feedback workflow for other changes.

Linux 5.7 Netfilter To See AVX2 Optimizations For Big Performance Boost - Can Be Up To ~420%
Linux 5.7's Netfilter framework is set to see better performance on modern Intel and AMD systems thanks to AVX2 optimizations.

WSL2 Reaching General Availability In Windows 10 v2004
Microsoft announced in their forthcoming Windows 10 Version 2004 update that Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) will be entering general availability status.

Benchmarks Of Firefox 74 + Firefox 75 Beta On Linux
With the release of Firefox 74.0 yesterday and that also pushing Firefox 75.0 to beta, here are some fresh benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux of Firefox 73 vs. 74 vs. 75 Beta, both out-of-the-box and when force enabling WebRender.

AMD Is Hiring Another Lead Linux Kernel Developer To Work On Their Graphics Driver
Should you be experienced in upstream Linux kernel development, AMD is hiring a lead Linux kernel developer.

Thermal Pressure On Tap For Linux 5.7 So The Scheduler Can Be Aware Of Overheating CPUs
Going back about two years has been work by Linaro on "thermal pressure" support for the scheduler so that it can make better task placement decisions among CPU cores when any of the core(s) are being restricted by running too hot. That work is now set to finally land this spring with the Linux 5.7 kernel.

LoadLibrary: Support For Loading Windows DLLs On Linux
A Google researcher has been developing "LoadLibrary" as a means of being able to load Windows Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) that in turn can be used by native Linux code.

APT 2.0 Released For Debian Package Management
Over the past year Debian developers have been working towards APT 2.0 while now it is officially released for the advanced package tool on Debian, Ubuntu, and other DEB-based platforms.

IBM To Transition Their z/OS, POWER + AIX Compilers To Being LLVM/Clang-Based
IBM last week made the bold announce that they will be transitioning to LLVM/Clang-based compilers across their hardware portfolio for C, C++, and Fortran compilation.

FreeNAS + TrueNAS Unifying Into TrueNAS 12.0 CORE/Enterprise
BSD-focused vendor iXsystems has developed FreeNAS as their community-oriented NAS operating system while TrueNAS is what they ship on their storage solutions. FreeNAS and TrueNAS have been derived largely from the same code-base. Moving forward to TrueNAS 12.0 later this year, iXsystems is unifying FreeNAS and TrueNAS.

Steam For Linux Beta Finally Fixes Post-Login Annoyance
Valve has finally fixed an annoying bit about logging into the Steam client from the Linux desktop in recent months.

Systemd 245 Released - First Version Including Systemd-Homed
Systemd 245 RC2 was released just earlier this week while now it has been succeeded by the stable release of systemd 245.

Red Hat Pushing DNF 5 Into Development For Improving The Package Manager
The Yum successor DNF on Fedora and Red Hat Linux distributions (among other select RPM distributions) is soon embarking on its fifth major iteration.
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About The Author
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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