Linux 4.15, Distro Performance & Open-Source Radeon Excitement Ends November

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 30 November 2017 at 07:10 PM EST. 1 Comment
Ending out November were 301 original news articles and 32 featured articles/reviews with most of the excitement pertaining to the Linux 4.14 kernel release, early excitement around the Linux 4.15 kernel, Linux distribution performance, and the continued advancements of the open-source AMD driver.

333 original pieces of content on Phoronix is slightly above my usual average of delivering 10 per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year. Even with the US holidays, it's part of my hustle in continuing to push towards the continued success of Phoronix. Speaking of which, my only and final reminder about our Black Friday / cyber week holiday deal coming to a close on Phoronix Premium. Premium offers you ad-free access to the site, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits while allowing Phoronix to continue short of our main revenue stream of pay-per-impression ads.

Our holiday sale is set to close at end of day today. But if you were late in noticing this bargain or couldn't participate until now, fear not, as even if it goes into 1 December I will still honor the deal (or even any time shortly thereafter if you are hard pressed to otherwise contribute to Phoronix). So just click the aforelinked post for details on how to participate in this holiday support drive to allow Phoronix to continue working on Linux benchmarking, hardware reviews, etc. Thanks for your understanding and support this holiday season and as we approach the end of the 13th year of Phoronix.

With the necessary public service announcement out of the way, of the 300+ news articles this month the most-viewed stories included:

The Most Interesting Features Of The Linux 4.14 Kernel
If Linux 4.14 weren't an LTS release with so many changes, it would likely be released today with -rc7 having come last week, but due to the size of this new kernel, 4.14-rc8 will most likely be christened today followed by Linux 4.14 next weekend. Here's a reminder about some of the most technically interesting work in this new kernel update.

Linux 4.15 Is A Huge Update For Both AMD CPU & Radeon GPU Owners
Linux 4.15 is shaping up to be a massive kernel release and we are just half-way through its merge window period. But for AMD Linux users especially, the 4.15 kernel release is going to be rocking.

POWER9 Could Be A Game Changer For Cryptocurrency Mining
Forthcoming POWER9 processors could be a game changer for cryptocurrency mining based upon some preliminary performance data we have received.

Unity 7 Hoping To Become An Official Flavor For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
While Canonical abandoned their work on the Unity desktop environment in favor of the Unity-inspired customized GNOME Shell that debuted in Ubuntu 17.10, some within the community have remained interested in maintaining Unity 7 and even getting it into an official spin/flavor of Ubuntu.

Apple Will No Longer Be Developing CUPS Under The GPL
One decade after Apple bought out CUPS as the de facto printing system for Unix-like operating systems, they are changing the code license.

AMDGPU DC Code Lands For Linux 4.15 Kernel
Linus Torvalds has accepted the AMDGPU DC display code pull request for the Linux 4.15 kernel. AMD Linux users can now rejoice!

The Big Changes So Far For The Linux 4.15 Kernel - Half Million New Lines Of Code So Far
We are now through week one of two for the merge window of the Linux 4.15 kernel.

LibreOffice 6.0 Beta Available - Huge Open-Source Office Suite Update For 2018
Today the branching of LibreOffice 6.0 from Git master took place as well as tagging the first beta.

Intel Planning To End Legacy BIOS Support By 2020
Intel is planning to end "legacy BIOS" support in their new platforms by 2020 in requiring UEFI Class 3 or higher.

Report: Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU Not Using HBM2 Memory
While the Radeon RX Vega discrete graphics cards are making use of the ultra-fast HBM2 memory, it appears the newly-launched AMD "Raven Ridge" APU featuring Zen CPU cores and Vega graphics is not using HBM2 memory.

And the most-viewed featured articles/reviews were:

Which Linux Distribution Boots The Fastest? An 11-Way Linux Comparison
Following my recent tests of looking at the Ubuntu boot times from Linux 4.6 to 4.15 kernels, a request came in to look at the out-of-the-box boot performance on various Linux distributions. Here is a look at how the out-of-the-box Linux boot performance compares for 11 different distributions.

Intel Optane SSD 900P Offers Stunning Linux Performance
At the end of October Intel released the Optane 900P solid-state drive as their new ultra high-end performance SSD. Windows reviews have been positive, but what about using the Optane 900P on Linux? It's working well and delivers stunning NVMe SSD performance.

6-Way Enterprise Focused Linux Distribution Comparison With An Intel Core i9, Dual Xeon Gold Systems
Here's our latest Linux distribution comparison with this time looking at the out-of-the-box performance of six Linux distributions while running a range of enterprise/workstation-focused benchmarks while using two systems. One system is a high-end Core i9 7980XE desktop system and the other a Tyan 1U Xeon Scalable server with dual Xeon Gold 6138 processors.

Windows 10 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon Gaming Performance
As we end out November, here is a fresh look at the current Windows 10 Pro Fall Creator's Update versus Ubuntu 17.10 with the latest Linux 4.15 kernel and Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon graphics driver stack as we see how various games compete under Windows 10 and Linux with these latest AMD drivers on the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards.

DDR4 Memory Scaling & DDR4-3600 Testing With AMD Threadripper On Linux
For those that may be looking at purchasing an AMD Threadripper this holiday season, especially with the recent price drops, here are some fresh memory tests on the Threadripper 1950X while running Debian GNU/Linux.

Open-Source Win: RADV Trades Blows With AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan In F1 2017
Here are some of the most exciting RADV vs. AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan performance benchmarks we have seen to date... The AMDGPU-PRO official AMD Vulkan Linux driver does run with Feral's latest Linux game port, F1 2017, but the community-driven, open-source RADV Vulkan driver often outperforms it!

Linux 4.14 File-System Benchmarks: Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS
Our latest Linux file-system benchmarking is looking at the performance of the mainline Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS file-systems on the Linux 4.14 kernel compared to 4.13 and 4.12.

Linux File-System Benchmarks On The Intel Optane 900P SSD
Earlier this week I presented out initial Linux benchmarks of the Intel Optane 900P SSD with this 3D XPoint memory U.2 solid-state drive delivering incredible performance figures. Those tests were done with EXT4 while in this article are more tests with other mainline Linux file-systems and also testing some of the different mount options.

F1 2017 On Linux With 23 Graphics Cards, NVIDIA + AMDGPU-PRO + RADV
Following various F1 2017 Linux gaming benchmarks over the past few days since this game's Linux release this past Thursday with a port to Vulkan, here is a 23-way graphics card comparison for this formula one racing game while having coverage of the NVIDIA, AMDGPU-PRO, and RADV Vulkan drivers atop Ubuntu Linux.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, Takes On The Radeon RX Vega 64 Under Linux
Last week NVIDIA began shipping the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti graphics card as an offering at the $449 USD price point to undercut the Radeon RX Vega 56. Here are some benchmarks of the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti under Linux with the latest OpenGL/Vulkan drivers compared to Radeon RX Vega, the rest of the Pascal GPUs, and other graphics cards under a variety of different Linux gaming benchmarks with 12 cards in total being tested this round.

A lot more interesting content will be coming up on Phoronix in December as we close out 2017!
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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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