A 10-Way Linux Distribution Battle To Kick Off 2016

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 12 January 2016 at 10:00 AM EST. Page 1 of 6. 26 Comments.

As our first multi-way Linux distribution comparison of 2016, I took ten different modern Linux distribution releases and benchmarked them on the same Intel Haswell system. Being benchmarked were various releases of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Debian, Clear Linux, Fedora, Antergos, and CentOS.

The system used for this latest Linux distribution benchmarking was with an Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 processor, 16GB of DDR3-1600MHz memory, Gigabyte H81M-S1 motherboard, and 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD.

As usual for allowing maximum reproducibility and fair comparison, each distribution was cleanly installed on the system one at a time and the distribution's default settings/packages were used, including their default file-system preferences, CPU scaling driver/governor decisions, compiler configuration and flags, etc.

The distributions tested were:

Antergos 2015.12 - The latest rolling release of this Arch-based Linux distribution with the Linux 4.3 kernel, GCC 5.3, and an EXT4 file-system.

CentOS 7 1511 - The RHEL7-derived distribution with the Linux 3.10 kernel, GCC 4.8.5, and an XFS file-system by default.

Clear Linux 5700 - The latest release of Intel's relatively new Linux distribution. Clear Linux 5700 was using the Linux 4.3 kernel, GCC 5.3.0, and the EXT4 file-system.

Debian Linux 8.2 - The latest Debian stable release with the Linux 3.16 kernel, GCC 4.9.2, and an EXT4 file-system.

Debian Stretch/Testing - The Linux 4.3 kernel, GCC 5.3.1, and an EXT4 file-system.

Fedora 23 - Fedora 23 currently has the Linux 4.2 kernel, GCC 5.3.1, and an EXT4 file-system.

OpenSUSE Linux 42.1 - The Linux 4.1 kernel, GCC 4.8.5, and an XFS file-system was in use for the default location of the Phoronix Test Suite.

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed - OpenSUSE's rolling release with Linux 4.3, GCC 5.1, and an XFS file-system.

Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS - The Linux 3.19 kernel, GCC 4.8.4, and EXT4.

Ubuntu 15.10 - The Linux 4.2 kernel, GCC 5.2.1, and EXT4.

Those are the key components at play for this round of Linux benchmarking to start 2016. Again, each distribution was cleanly installed and left in a default environment for comparison purposes -- under the assumption each of the distribution vendors makes the best decision over defaults for its users. All of the benchmarks were done in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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