NVIDIA's Open-Source Kernel Driver, Graviton3 & Fedora 36 Made For An Exciting May

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 31 May 2022 at 07:00 PM EDT. 1 Comment
Word of NVIDIA working on an open-source kernel driver with hopes of eventually being mainlined and being of better quality than Nouveau topped the Linux news for the past month. Plus the introduction of Amazon's new Graviton3 processors, the debut of Fedora 36 and SteamOS 3.2 among other distribution updates, and Linux 5.19 development getting underway all made for an interesting month of May.

During the past month were 258 original news articles and 17 featured articles / Linux hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark articles, all written by your's truly. This weekend on 5 June also marks 18 years since I started Phoronix.com. If you enjoy this daily flow of original Linux/open-source news, hardware reviews, and benchmarking be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and if you wish to help support the site further join Phoronix Premium or at the very least to please not use any ad-blockers on this site. Unfortunately with everything still going on in the world and the state of the ad industry and rampant ad-blocker use, operations remain challenging.

The most popular featured articles for May included:

NVIDIA Transitioning To Official, Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver
The day has finally come: NVIDIA IS PUBLISHING THEIR LINUX GPU KERNEL MODULES AS OPEN-SOURCE! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.

Intel's Clear Linux Outpacing Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Fedora 36 & Other H1'2022 Distros
Given the recent releases of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Fedora 36 among other recent OS updates, it's time for a fresh look at how various Linux distributions are performing. This Linux benchmarking bout is looking at the Xeon Platinum 8380 2P "Ice Lake" performance across Arch Linux, Debian, openSUSE, CentOS Stream, AlmaLinux, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Intel's Clear Linux.

Amazon Graviton3 vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance
Earlier this week AWS announced general availability on their new Arm Neoverse-V1 based processors, Graviton3. Right after that I posted some initial Graviton3 benchmarks against prior-generation Graviton2 for showing the very sizable generational improvement with Amazon's new in-house Arm server processors. Since then I have been carrying out a more robust set of around 100 benchmarks across the original Graviton instance, Graviton2, Graviton3, and then up again Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC competing instances. Here is that much larger collection of Graviton3 performance benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

The Initial Performance Of NVIDIA's R515 Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver
As outlined in yesterday's extensive article about NVIDIA's new open-source Linux kernel GPU driver, currently for consumer GeForce RTX GPUs the driver is considered of "alpha quality" while NVIDIA's initial focus has been on data center GPU support. In any event with having lots of Turing/Ampere GPUs around, I've been trying out this new open-source Linux kernel driver on the consumer GPUs. In particular, I've been curious about the performance of using this open-source kernel driver relative to the default, existing closed-source kernel driver. Here are some early benchmarks.

Intel AVX-512 A Big Win For... JSON Parsing Performance
In addition to the many HPC workloads and other scientific computing tasks where Intel's AVX-512 performance on their latest processor proves very beneficial, it also turns out AVX-512 can provide significant benefit to a much more mundane web server task: JSON parsing. The simdjson project that is focused on "parsing gigabytes of JSON per second" this week issued simdjson 2.0 and is headlined by an Intel-led contribution of AVX-512 support.

AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT Linux Gaming Performance
Last week AMD launched the Radeon RX 6650 XT / RX 6750 XT / RX 6950 XT models as RDNA2 refreshed for 2022 with higher clock speeds as an interim launch until RDNA3 graphics cards debut later in 2022. Up for Linux benchmarking today is a look at the Radeon RX 6750 XT open-source driver performance using an ASRock Challenger Pro Radeon RX 6750 XT 12GB.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Continues Showing Much Potential For 3D V-Cache In Technical Computing
As a follow-up to last week's AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Linux review, here are some additional Linux benchmarks of this first AMD Ryzen CPU with 3D V-Cache.

AMD Renoir Seeing Nice Uplift Moving From Ubuntu 20.04 To 22.04 LTS
With my Ubuntu 22.04 LTS benchmarking thus far it's been focused on shiny and exciting high-end hardware, the latest flagship desktop processors, and interesting old hardware comparisons. But what about Ubuntu 22.04 LTS performance on recent but mature hardware platforms? For this round of testing I am looking at the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS versus Ubuntu 22.04 LTS performance on AMD Ryzen and Intel Core industrial PCs from OnLogic. Especially in the case of AMD Ryzen "Renoir" there is still more performance being squeezed out of this new Ubuntu long-term support release.

Pop!_OS 22.04 Benchmarks On The Threadripper-Powered System76 Thelio Major
At the end of April was the release of System76's Pop!_OS 22.04 based on Ubuntu 22.04 but with a variety of improvements from numerous graphical/desktop enhancements down to other changes like their scheduler work and more. For those currently on Pop!_OS 21.10 and wondering about the performance implications, here are some benchmarks showing the performance difference on the same hardware.

Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Looking Quite Good & Shining With Mesa 22.1
Recently I carried out some tests looking at the performance of Zink for OpenGL implemented atop the Vulkan API in a generic manner that works across drivers. With the state of Mesa 22.1, all of Zink's recent improvements are paying off and here is a quick look at where the performance stands against using the RadeonSI OpenGL driver.

And the most popular news of the month:

Fedora 36 Is A Terrific Release Especially For Linux Enthusiasts, Power Users
Fedora 36 is releasing this morning as what is yet another release in recent times of being a very robust and bleeding-edge yet stable and reliable Linux distribution. I've already been running Fedora Workstation 36 and Fedora Server 36 snapshots on various systems in my benchmarking lab and this release has proven to be quite solid while adding new features and polish on top of the excellent Fedora 35.

Rust Code Updated For The Linux Kernel - Networking & Async Support Started
Making for an exciting Saturday morning, Miguel Ojeda has posted the latest patch series plumbing Rust language support into the Linux kernel. The "Rust for the Linux kernel" patches are now up to their sixth version for adding the necessary infrastructure for this second, optional language to the kernel plus continuing to add more sample code / basic functionality for showing off use of this memory-safety-focused language for kernel purposes.

Ubuntu 22.10 Switching To PipeWire For Linux Audio Handling
An early change made this week to Ubuntu 22.10 in its early development state is replacing the PulseAudio sound server with PipeWire.

Steam On Linux Gaming Usage Grew In April
Valve just published the updated Steam Hardware/Software Survey results for April 2022 providing a look at the Linux marketshare for April among other interesting metrics.

System76 Releases v1.1 Scheduler For Optimizing Linux Desktop/Laptop Responsiveness
System76 has released a new version of the System76-Scheduler, it's Rust-written CPU scheduler designed to improve desktop responsiveness on their Pop!_OS Linux distribution.

HP Preparing An AMD-Powered Linux Laptop Powered By Pop!_OS
To date Pop!_OS has been System76's own Ubuntu derivative pre-loaded onto their various laptops and desktops. Rather interestingly, HP is preparing to launch a new laptop that will make use of Pop!_OS.

Fedora Linux 36 Being Released Next Week
After being delayed a few weeks from their original release target, Fedora 36 is now primed for release next week Tuesday.

Linux To Introduce The Ability To Set The Hostname Before Userspace Starts
While the hostname on Linux systems is widely relied upon for different applications, setting the hostname is usually left up to user-space by the init system at boot. However, should any user-space processes try to read the system hostname prior to it being set, it could lead to unintended results. So now finally in 2022 there is a kernel parameter working its way upstream with "hostname=" should you want to ensure the hostname is set before user-space is started.

Linux 5.19 Will Be Super Exciting For Intel Customers, Many Other Features Expected
Unless Linus Torvalds has reservations today about the changes to land in the kernel this past week and decides to issue an extra RC, Linux 5.18 is expected to be christened as stable today and that in turn will mark the start of the Linux 5.19 merge window. Based on the "-next" activity, here is a look at the many changes expected to be merged for Linux 5.19.

SteamOS 3.2 Released With More Improvements For The Steam Deck
Valve this evening published SteamOS 3.2 as the newest version of their Arch Linux based operating system for the Steam Deck and currently running unofficially by passionate Linux gamers on other hardware too.

Arch Linux Temporarily Steps Back From WirePlumber After Snafu
Earlier this week Arch Linux set the WirePlumber package to replace PipeWire-Media-Session. WirePlumber is the modern, feature-rich session manager for PipeWire and much better off than the reference PipeWire-Media-Session manager that is effectively unmaintained. But Arch Linux developers are now calling this premature and have reverted the change.

Rust For The Linux Kernel Updated, Uutils As Rust Version Of Coreutils Updated Too
While not marked as a pull request yet for mainlining to the kernel, Miguel Ojeda this morning sent out an updated set of patches adding in the Rust programming language support for the Linux kernel. Separately, a new version of Uutils was released this weekend as the Rust language implementation of GNU Coreutils.

Systemd 251 Released With systemd-sysupdate Introduced, Many Other Additions
Systemd 251 is officially out this Saturday as the first feature update to this Linux init system for 2022.

Mozilla Firefox 100 Now Available With Various Improvements
Mozilla has joined Google Chrome in the three digit version world with Firefox 100 being available this morning.

Linux 5.19 Finally Removes Obsolete x86 a.out Support
Way back in 2019 the Linux kernel deprecated a.out support given that it was superseded by ELF, which itself has already been supported for over two decades going back to Linux 1.x kernels. With Linux 5.19, the obsolete 32-bit x86 a.out support is finally being removed for good from the kernel.

Linux 5.19 To Help With Reporting A Connected Device's Physical Location
Being added to the Linux kernel's driver core code is sysfs support for reporting a physical location of a device on the connected system/server. In particular for large systems and servers with many connected devices and where there may be multiple devices of the same type/model, this physical relative location reporting to user-space should make it easier to distinguish.

Intel Has A Solution For Hot Linux Laptops Draining The Battery While Trying To Sleep
For those with Intel laptop models that are quick to run hot and happen to find your laptop battery quickly being drained even when it should be in a deep sleep state, a solution is in the works for the Linux kernel that ultimately stems from S0ix failing due to the PCH overheating.

AMD Graphics Driver Surpassing 4 Million Lines Of Code In Linux 5.19, NVIDIA Opens Up At 1 Million
Given the NVIDIA open-source kernel driver code announcement from yesterday and also the Linux 5.19 merge window coming up soon with a host of AMDGPU/AMDKFD kernel driver improvements and starting to prepare support for RDNA3, it's time for some fun with numbers around driver sizes.

Apple M1 NVMe Support Slated For Linux 5.19
The latest Apple M1 excitement on Linux for the mainline kernel is the NVMe driver is slated for introduction in the upcoming Linux 5.19 merge window.

VirtualBox On Linux Affected By Security Vulnerability Leaking Host Data To Guests
Security researcher Jason Donenfeld who is known for leading the development of the WireGuard open-source software has outlined a new security vulnerability affecting the Oracle VM VirtualBox software.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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