Phoronix Test Suite 1.6.0 "Tydal" Alpha 3

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 11 December 2008 at 09:05 AM EST. 7 Comments
It's time for another new development release of the Phoronix Test Suite. We're announcing the availability of Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 "Tydal" Alpha 3. This third alpha release is possibly the last build before entering the beta stage and preparing for a final release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.6.0 in the first quarter of 2009.

The biggest change in Phoronix Test Suite 1.6.0 Alpha 3 is now the capability to specify multiple arguments when using the install, force-install, run, and benchmark commands. It's possible to run a command like phoronix-test-suite benchmark encode-ogg openssl, which would install and then benchmark both the Ogg encoding and OpenSSL tests and archive the results in the same saved results file. Users can specify as many tests as they would like and you can even specify multiple suites and Phoronix Global IDs or use any combination of them. This is a feature that has long been sought after by users, and it's finally here.

The results viewer for the Phoronix Test Suite has picked up an overview chart / table that's displayed at the top. This XSL-driven table shows the results from all tests and all runs in a very concise manner. From there, the user can click on one of the results to immediately jump to that graph for a more detailed analysis.

Two new commands worth noting in this release are default-run and default-benchmark, which is similar to the run and benchmark commands, respectively, but instead will create a "virtual suite" out of the specified test(s). An optional DefaultEntry XML tag has been added to the test specification that allows sane defaults to be specified within the test file and then dynamically turned into a suite. If the DefaultEntry tag isn't set, the options to use (if relevant to the test) will be automatically determined by pts-core. Most users though won't need to become familiar with these commands with the current test and suite options already being sufficient in most test environments.

The third alpha release for Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 "Tydal" adds in two new test profiles: prey and jxrendermark. JXRenderMark is a new test developed by Clemens Eisserer that does quite a nice job at testing out the X Render extension and the underlying driver. The test profile covering Prey is for the retail game as its demo doesn't allow running in a timed-demo mode.

A number of regression fixes and other technical improvements. Affecting users are a few option names have been changed, so be sure to check-out the included documentation for the latest commands. In an earlier alpha support for reading the desktop environment was added in this release there should be improved Xfce desktop detection. For those interested in the PTS suites, this release adds in a basic file-system test suite (named filesystem). Of technical note in this release is eliminating the use of statically coding all Phoronix Test Suite commands into the shell interface, but now most of that is dynamically driven.

Download the latest release of the Phoronix Test Suite @ //

Below is the full change-log between Tydal Alpha 2 and Alpha 3.

P.S. We intend to introduce OpenCL (Open Computing Language) tests in the Phoronix Test Suite as soon as the first hardware is supported by Linux or Mac OS X. If you or your company is interested in contributing any OpenCL tests, please let us know! We look forward to making available OpenCL benchmarks and there are other companies also interested.

Phoronix Test Suite 1.6.0 Alpha 3
December 11, 2008

- pts-core: Cut down on use of pts_exit() command due to the new option architecture, instead use returns appropriately
- pts-core: Various PHP notice fixes
- pts-core: Fix fatal error in list-installed-tests option
- pts-core: Disable SCTP until the new version is working
- pts-core: Fix regression that disabled benchmarking against Phoronix Global by simply supplying the global ID
- pts-core: Fix regression in clone command that didn't download the XML from Phoronix Global
- pts-core: Add pts-functions_io.php and pts-functions_global.php
- pts-core: Add pts_load_function_set() for loading functions within PTS options
- pts-core: Rename various options
- pts-core: Shorten phoronix-test-suite text
- pts-core: Add XSL-powered results overview chart to PTS Results Viewer
- pts-core: Improve reporting of Xfce in sw_desktop_environment()
- pts-core: Eliminate need to statically code options and arguments in phoronix-test-suite, but handle most of it dynamically
- pts-core: Allow multiple tests/suites/identifiers to be passed using the install (and force-install) option
- pts-core: Allow multiple tests/suites/identifiers to be passed using the run and benchmark options
- pts-core: Add pts_result_file object
- pts-core: Add DefaultEntry tag to XML test specification for specifying defaults mode
- pts-core: Switch IS_BATCH_MODE from using defines to PTS assignment functions
- pts-core: Add and implement default-run and default-benchmark options
- pts-core: Add auto-disks and auto-disk-partitions to automatic population of test profile menus from identifiers
- pts-core: Add initial functions needed for virtual suite support
- pts-core: Don't report "6.00 PG" in motherboard string
- pts-core: Improve detection of CPU processor temperature
- pts: Remove bonnie test profile until clarifications made
- pts: Add filesystem test suite
- pts: Add jxrendermark as new X Render benchmark test profile
- pts: Add prey retail game client test profile
- system_monitor: Update sensors every 9 seconds
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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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