Linux 5.12 Corruption, GNOME 40, AMD Milan, Rust In Linux-Next Made For An Exciting March

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 April 2021 at 02:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
There was a lot to get excited about over the course of the past month when it comes to our open-source and Linux area of focus.

During the course of March on Phoronix were 252 original news articles and another 14 featured Linux hardware reviews or multi-page benchmark articles, all of which were written by your's truly. It was an exciting month with Linux 5.12 off to a great start, the successful AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" series launch, GNOME 40 made its debut on the desktop, Fedora 34 and Ubuntu 21.04 have been on their final lap ahead of release, and much more to cover.

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When it comes to the original news over the past month on Phoronix, the highlights include:

Btrfs Will Finally "Strongly Discourage" You When Creating RAID5 / RAID6 Arrays
For a number of years it has been known that the Btrfs RAID5 and RAID6 code is potentially unsafe and not nearly as mature as the native RAID support found in this Linux file-system for other levels. Finally now we are seeing the Btrfs user-space programs warn the user when attempting to create such Btrfs native RAID 5/6 configurations.

Google Publishes "Leaky.Page" Showing Spectre In Action Within Web Browsers
Google has published their proof-of-concept code showing the practicality of Spectre exploits within modern web browsers' JavaScript engines. The code is out there and you can even try it for yourself on the web-site.

GNOME 40 Introducing Headless Native Backend, Virtual Monitors
Another feature tacked onto the big GNOME 40 desktop update is a headless native back-end for Mutter and the ability to easily create virtual monitors.

Chrome 89 vs. Firefox 86 Performance Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen + Ubuntu Linux
Given this week's launch of Chrome 89 and the recent Firefox 86 debut, here are some quick benchmarks for those curious about the current performance when using Ubuntu Linux with a AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Radeon graphics.

Arch Linux Looking To Employ LTO By Default, Possibly Raise x86-64 Requirements
Arch Linux developers are considering some default enhancements to their Linux distribution that would increase the out-of-the-box performance.

GNOME 40 Released With Many Improvements
The big GNOME 40 desktop update is now available.

Wine's Project Leader Has Given A Blessing To The Wayland Effort
Published last month was an updated but still experimental version of the native Wayland support for Wine after that code was originally published last year. One of the lingering questions has been around the prospects of mainlining this Wayland driver in Wine while last week the longtime Wine project leader, Alexandre Julliard, provided some clarity on the matter.

NVIDIA 470 Linux Driver Series To Be "Even More Wayland-Friendly"
The next major NVIDIA driver series, the 470 release series, is slated to be "even more Wayland-friendly" but what all that encompasses remains to be seen.

Initial Support For The Rust Language Lands In Linux-Next
For a long while now Linux kernel developers have discusses the prospects of optionally allowing the Rust language to be used for new device drivers within the Linux kernel areas and other areas within the kernel for this language that prides itself on safety and performance. As the first baby step towards that dream, initial Rust support appeared this week in the Linux-Next tree.

Google Proposes Multi-Generational LRU For Linux To Yield Much Better Performance
Google engineer Yu Zhao sent out patches proposing a "multigenerational LRU" implementation for the Linux kernel's least recently used (LRU) handling for memory page replacement.

Qt 5.15.3 LTS Released With 200+ Bug Fixes, But Only For Commercial Customers
Qt 5.15.3 is out today with nearly 250 fixes as the latest point release for this last Qt5 long-term support series. However, as reported previously, new Qt 5.15 LTS point releases are restricted to The Qt Company's commercial customers.

Microsoft Security Researcher Proposes Unprivileged Chroot For Linux
Security researcher and Microsoft engineer Mickaël Salaün is proposing unprivileged chroot support for the Linux kernel.

"git clone" Hit By Vulnerability That Could Lead To Code Execution
Disclosed today is CVE-2021-21300 as a security vulnerability affecting git clone that could lead to specially crafted repositories being able to execute code during the Git clone process.

Arch Linux Developers Discuss Idea Of Providing An x86-64-v3 Port
While recently Arch Linux developers and stakeholders were discussing the possibility of raising the x86-64 base requirements for this Linux distribution to the "x86-64-v2" micro-architecture feature level that roughly correlates to Intel Nehalem and newer, now the discussion has shifted to keeping the same x86-64 base level while potentially offering a "x86-64-v3" port for those with newer Intel/AMD CPUs.

That Linux 5.12 Severe Data Corruption Bug Hits Intel CI Systems - Issue Caused By Swap File
Last week I issued a warning of possible data loss on the early Linux 5.12 kernel code that was reliably leaving my test systems severely corrupted. Intel's internal graphics test systems it turns out have now been bitten by this issue in encountering this significant file-system corruption and as such they've been quick to jump on the issue - there's now an idea what's causing the nasty issue and a workaround by reverting select patches.

System76 Introduces Thelio Mira Computers - Powered By AMD Ryzen 5000 Series
System76 today introduced the Thelio Mira as their nwest desktop computer offering that is sized between the Thelio and Thelio Major while still packing quite a bit of compute potential.

Apple M1 Patches For The Linux Kernel Sent Out A Third Time
Hector Martin, who has been working on the crowd-funded effort to bring Linux up on the Apple M1 SoC and the modern Apple devices using that in-house silicon, has sent out the third iteration of his kernel patches.

Linux 5.10.20 Released - Fixes The Erroneous Record-Breaking AMD Clock Frequencies
Recent kernel point releases have reported erroneous maximum frequencies on AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 CPUs in the area of 6GHz+ while now with the latest stable releases that is being fixed.

NVIDIA 470 Series Driver Looks Like It Will Bring OpenCL 3.0 Support
We are already quite eager for NVIDIA's 470 series Linux driver due to Wayland / DMA-BUF improvements coming to this next major feature release for their proprietary driver stack. Making it all the more exciting is it looks like the NVIDIA 470 series driver will have OpenCL 3.0 support.

Upstream 7-Zip Adds Preliminary Linux Support
While there has been 7-Zip file support on Linux via the p7zip project, the upstream 7-Zip 21.01 Alpha release has finally introduced native Linux support.

And the most popular featured articles:

AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" Linux Benchmarks - Superb Performance
It's been one and a half years already since the EPYC 7002 "Rome" processors launched. It's hard to think it's been that long due not only to the pandemic but the incredible performance of these Zen 2 server processors. The EPYC 7002 series continues to largely outperform Intel's Xeon Scalable processors and while Ice Lake is coming soon, for now AMD is expanding their lead with today's EPYC 7003 "Milan" processor launch. We have begun our testing of AMD EPYC Milan processors in recent weeks under Linux and have preliminary performance figures to share today as well as more information on these next-gen server/HPC processors.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Linux Performance
At the start of March AMD announced the Radeon RX 6700 XT as their new RDNA2 graphics card starting out at $479 USD. Tomorrow the RX 6700 XT is going on sale while today marks the embargo lift on reviews. We have been testing the Radeon RX 6700 XT over the past two weeks and have up our initial Linux support experience and gaming benchmark results to share.

Updated Portal 2 Vulkan Rendering Code Yielding Great Radeon Results
Valve on Monday rolled out a new Portal 2 build that improves its new Vulkan renderer support. For those interested here are some fresh benchmarks of Portal 2 with OpenGL and Vulkan on the open-source AMD Radeon Linux drivers.

Intel Core i5 11600K + Core i9 11900K Linux Performance Across ~400 Benchmarks
Today's the day that we can finally talk about the performance of Intel's "Rocket Lake" processors under Linux. The past several weeks we have been extensively testing the Core i5 11600K and Core i9 11900K processors under Linux. Here is a look at the very exciting Gen12 Xe Graphics performance out of these new desktop CPUs, the Linux gaming performance, and then over 300 other benchmarks looking at the CPU/system performance of the i5-11600K / i9-11900K processors against the prior generation Comet Lake parts and the AMD Ryzen 5000 series competition.

Open-Source Radeon Driver Performance Against NVIDIA Linux Gaming For March 2021
Recently working on some fresh tests using the latest NVIDIA proprietary driver stack against the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver code in its newest form, here are some fresh benchmarks for this latest round of Linux OpenGL/Vulkan gaming tests.

GCC 10 vs. GCC 11 Compiler Performance On The Threadripper 3990X
With GCC 11 stable likely to be released next month, here is the latest in our compiler testing against the current GCC 10 stable release. This round of tests was carried out on a System76 Thelio Major with Ryzen Threadripper 3990X HEDT processor.

Samsung 980 NVMe SSD Linux Performance
Earlier this month Samsung announced the 980 (non-PRO) NVMe solid-state driver offering a combination of speed and affordability for consumers. Many Linux readers have been curious about this Samsung 980 DRAM-less SSD so here are some initial benchmarks of it. Overall, it's been working out well under Linux.

AMD AOCC 3.0 Is Here To Help Squeeze A Bit Extra Performance Out Of Zen 3
This week alongside the EPYC 7003 series launch was the introduction of AOCC 3.0 as AMD's Zen-optimized LLVM/Clang downstream. We have started putting this updated compiler through its paces to see what it means for AMD Zen 3 performance.

AMD AOCC 3.0 Compiler Performance With The EPYC 75F3 - Making Fast Even Faster
Launched last week with the AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors was the AOCC 3.0 code compiler as AMD's downstream of LLVM Clang with various patches now catering to optimized for Zen 3. Last week some preliminary benchmarks of AOCC 3.0 on the Ryzen 9 5950X were carried out to good results. Since then I have begun putting AOCC 3.0 through its paces on a AMD EPYC 7003 series server to overall great results.

Radeon RX 6800 Series Seeing Some Small Gains With Linux 5.12
When it comes to the AMDGPU kernel driver changes in Linux 5.12 for modern open-source AMD Radeon graphics, most notable is RDNA2 OverDrive overclocking support now being available as well as AMDGPU FreeSync over HDMI (pre-HDMI 2.1). But from initial testing the new in-development kernel is showing mostly subtle performance improvements for the Radeon RX 6800 series over Linux 5.11.

Here's to an equally interesting April!
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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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