Windows vs. Linux, 5.13 Kernel, FreeBSD 13, Other May Excitement

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 1 June 2021 at 07:17 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Over the past month on Phoronix there was a lot of excitement by readers around the in-development Linux 5.13 kernel, Mesa advancements, notable new software releases like dav1d and Zstd 1.5, new hardware benchmarking around Xeon Scalable Ice Lake and AMD's latest wares, and more.

During May on Phoronix were 213 original news articles and another 17 featured articles/reviews, written by your's truly. This is on the heels of Phoronix turning 17 years old later this week. If you wish to show your support consider joining Phoronix Premium as part of this week's special noted in the aforelinked article.

The most popular news during May 2021 on Phoronix included:

Linux 5.13 Reverts + Fixes The Problematic University of Minnesota Patches
One month ago the University of Minnesota was banned from contributing to the Linux kernel when it was revealed the university researchers were trying to intentionally submit bugs into the kernel via new patches as "hypocrite commits" as part of a questionable research paper. Linux kernel developers have finally finished reviewing all patches to address problematic merges to the kernel and also cleaning up / fixing their questionable patches.

Mumblings Of A "Big New" Open-Source GPU Driver Coming...
It's sounding like a vendor is readying to publish a "big" new open-source driver, likely a GPU driver, for the Linux kernel.

M1RACLES: Apple M1 Exposed To Covert Channel Vulnerability
Apple's shiny new in-house M1 Arm chip is the latest processor challenged by a security vulnerability. The "M1RACLES" vulnerability was made public today as a covert channel vulnerability by where a mysterious register could leak EL0 state.

Free Software Projects Defenestrate The Freenode IRC Network
Seemingly by the minute today there are more free software projects leaving the Freenode IRC network and moving to alternative IRC networks or other chat platforms.

The Story Of PipeWire & How It's Getting Ready To Handle Linux Audio + Video
For those interested in the story of PipeWire for handling Linux audio/video needs not only for the Linux desktop itself but coming to cars / infotainment systems and more, there is an interesting Red Hat interview going over the history and other topics pertaining to PipeWire.

New Spectre Variants Discovered By Exploiting Micro-op Caches
University of Virginia and University of California San Diego researchers have discovered multiple new variants of Spectre attacks that are not protected by existing Spectre mitigations and could yield both Intel and AMD CPUs leaking data via micro-op caches.

Zstd 1.5 Released With Big Performance Improvements
Zstd has already been enjoying phenomenal growth throughout the open-source software ecosystem thanks to its feature set and impressive performance, but can it get even better? Yes, with Zstd 1.5 that is out today there are some more mighty impressive performance improvements.

Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Now "100%-1000% Faster" For Many Scenarios
Mike Blumenkrantz working under contract for Valve on the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation continues making remarkable progress on this Mesa code.

FragAttacks: New Security Vulnerabilities Affecting WiFi Devices, 12 CVEs Issued
FragAttacks was made public on Tuesday as a set of new security vulnerabilities affecting WiFi devices. These are just not some driver-level bugs but rather three of the vulnerabilities are attributed as design flaws in the WiFi standard itself and in turn most devices on the market.

LibreOffice Adds A Command Popup / HUD, Inspired By Half-Decade Old Microsoft Office Feature
Adding to the changes building up for LibreOffice 7.2 ahead of its debut in August is a "Command Popup" or a heads-up display (HUD) of sorts for easily running LibreOffice commands.

OpenPrinting Now Developing Upstream CUPS, Apple Bows Out
Back in 2007 Apple effectively acquired the open-source CUPS project and in 2017 then decided to no longer develop CUPS under the GPL but instead the Apache 2.0 license for this widely-used Unix/macOS/Linux print server. But then at the end of 2019 the CUPS lead developer left Apple and following that public development of CUPS seemingly halted. Fortunately, now there is a happy next chapter to the CUPS printing story.

AV1 Decoder dav1d Lands 10-bit AVX2 Assembly For Big Speed-Up, Thanks Facebook + Netflix
For those making use of 10-bit AV1 content and using dav1d as the performant CPU-based decoder, the performance on modern Intel and AMD processors is about to be a heck of a lot better.

Quake II RTX Performance For AMD Radeon 6000 Series vs. NVIDIA On Linux
Last month with the Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 driver there was finally Vulkan ray-tracing support added to that proprietary Vulkan driver component, the first time that Vulkan ray-tracing has been available on Linux for any AMD Radeon 6000 series graphics card across the multiple driver options. Last month I posted some initial Vulkan ray-tracing AMD vs. NVIDIA Linux benchmarks while questions were raised how well the driver performs with NVIDIA's Quake II RTX port. Here are some initial benchmarks for those wondering.

AMD Publishes Initial Open-Source Linux Driver Code For "Beige Goby"
AMD has published initial open-source Linux graphics driver code for a new GPU dubbed Beige Goby.

LibreOffice Merges Initial Support For Compiling To WebAssembly
Merged into LibreOffice yesterday is initial support for an EmScripten-based cross-build and compiling to WebAssembly (WASM) for in-browser execution or potentially running on the desktop in a portable manner with the likes of Wasmer.

Linux Picks Up Fix For Latest "Confused Deputy" Weakness Going Back To 2.6.12 Kernel
Merged today to Linux 5.13 Git and marked for back-porting to stable series is a new "confused deputy" weakness and affects kernels going back to Linux 2.6.12 from 2005.

SiFive HiFive Unmatched RISC-V Developer Boards Begin Shipping
Announced last year was the HiFive Unmatched as the most compelling RISC-V development board to date. Following supply chain issues and everything else brought on by the pandemic, this very interesting RISC-V developer board is now shipping to customers.

Unreal Engine 5 Hits Early Access, Linux Still Supported
Epic Games today pushed Unreal Engine 5 out to early access. Like with UE4, Unreal Engine 5 continues offering native Linux support and allowing use of the Vulkan API.

FreeBSD Is Off To A Good 2021 Start With FreeBSD 13.0, PIE By Default, helloSystem
The FreeBSD project published their Q1 status report yesterday that outlines the progress they made over the past quarter on advancing this leading open-source BSD operating system.

Core Scheduling Looks Like It Will Be Ready For Linux 5.14 To Avoid Disabling SMT/HT
It looks like the years-long effort around CPU core scheduling that's been worked on by multiple vendors in light of CPU security vulnerabilities threatening SMT/HT security will see mainline later this summer with Linux 5.14.

And the mostp opular featured articles:

Windows 10 Build 21370 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 Linux On AMD Ryzen 5900X
Last month when carrying out tests of Windows 10 vs. Linux on the Intel Core i9 11900K "Rocket Lake" processor we were very surprised to see Windows 10 frankly performing so well compared to Ubuntu and picking up more wins than usual. That unexpectedly strong showing for Windows 10 might be due to Intel's P-State behavior with Rocket Lake or other power management tuning or there the lack of on Linux at this time. But it led me to wondering if the latest Windows 10 updates spelled out anything different on the AMD Ryzen side... So here are some benchmarks of the latest Microsoft Windows 10 against Ubuntu 21.04 on the same AMD Ryzen 9 5900X system.

Benchmarking AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Linux Performance With A $450 Lenovo Laptop
The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U with six cores / twelve threads within a Lenovo laptop at $449 USD is quite a steal. This is also my first time benchmarking the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U after waiting months on Ryzen 5000 series laptop availability. Here are some initial benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 5500U under Ubuntu 21.04 Linux against various other Intel/AMD laptops.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 On The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
Earlier this month were benchmarks looking at Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop to which Ubuntu came out roughly 8% faster than the Microsoft OS on average. But what about the difference for HEDT systems? Given the more radical performance difference we have seen in the past with Windows vs. Linux for Threadripper systems, here are some recently conducted benchmarks on that front with the 64-core Threadripper 3990X.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 - Windows vs. Linux GPU Compute Performance
Following the recent RTX 30 series Linux gaming benchmarks and RTX 30 compute comparison, I was curious how the Linux performance for the flagship GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card compares to the Windows 10 performance in various GPU compute workloads. Well, here are those benchmarks for those wondering about Vulkan / OpenCL / CUDA / OptiX compute performance between Windows and Linux with the very latest NVIDIA drivers.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 Ice Lake Linux Performance vs. AMD EPYC Milan, Cascade Lake
Last month Intel launched their 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake" processors for these 10nm server processors and SKUs up to 40 cores while boasting around a 20% IPC improvement overall and big reported improvements for AI workloads and more. Recently we received an Intel Ice Lake reference server with the dual Xeon Platinum 8380 processors so we can carry out our own performance tests. In this initial article is our first look at the Xeon Platinum 8380 Linux support in general and a number of performance benchmarks.

DragonFlyBSD 6.0 Is Performing Very Well Against Ubuntu Linux, FreeBSD 13.0
Earlier this month in our initial benchmarking of DragonFlyBSD 6.0 we found DragonFlyBSD 6.0 performing much better than DragonFlyBSD 5.8, but how does that put its performance up against FreeBSD 13.0 and Ubuntu Linux for reference? Here are such benchmarks in our latest benchmarking of DragonFlyBSD 6.0, FreeBSD 13.0 (with both GCC and Clang), and Ubuntu Linux.

GCC 11 vs. LLVM Clang 12 Compilers On The AMD EPYC 7763
For those wondering how the recent releases of the GCC 11 and LLVM 12 (Clang 12) open-source compilers are competing on AMD Zen 3, here are some recently conducted benchmarks looking at that showdown on an AMD EPYC 7763 1P server.

AMD Ryzen 5 5500U - Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 Linux Benchmarks
While yesterday was the Threadripper 3990X Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks, with recently picking up the $450 Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 with Ryzen 5 5500U, prior to wiping the Windows 10 preload I ran some benchmarks to see how that default Microsoft Windows 10 Home installation compared to a fresh install of Ubuntu 21.04 for maximizing the performance potential of this budget six core / twelve thread laptop.

DragonFlyBSD 6.0 Performance Is Looking Great - Initial Benchmarks
This week DragonFlyBSD 6.0 was released and while I have just begun in my benchmarks of this new DragonFlyBSD release, the numbers so far are quite compelling for this BSD compared to its prior release.

Clear Linux Offers Up Advantages For Ice Lake Xeon, CentOS Comes In Strong
Earlier this week when posting Ubuntu 20.04 LTS / 20.10 / 21.04 benchmarks on the new Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 "Ice Lake" server processors, one of the first questions that came up was about how well these new 10nm server CPUs perform with Intel's own Clear Linux distribution. While Clear Linux releases have become much less frequent and far less to communicate these days on new improvements/optimizations among other ongoing shifts with that Intel open-source project, it is still performing very strongly with 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable hardware. CentOS in these tests also had a strong showing with the increasing performance focus on that front.
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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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