Quickly & Easily Running Benchmarks On Docker With "phoronix/pts"

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 24 August 2018 at 06:52 AM EDT. Page 1 of 1. 18 Comments.

Making the Phoronix Test Suite even easier to use for container benchmarking, on Docker Hub now is the phoronix/pts image for easily carrying out Docker tests with a fully-standardized, performance-optimized user-space stack with many of the popular test profiles pre-seeded on the disk and is ready to begin benchmarking out-of-the-box.

Going back almost a decade was the "PTS Desktop Live" Linux live USB/DVD distribution with the focus on providing a standardized software stack and making it effortless to begin carrying out Linux benchmarks by having the Phoronix Test Suite running out-of-the-box and pre-seeded with the files and dependencies needed for the most popular benchmarks while making it easier to compare against third-party systems thanks to the standardized software stack. There seems to be renewed interest in such a offering again while in moving back towards this what is now available for testing is finally an official Phoronix Test Suite image for Docker. The focus of this Docker image -- at least for now, available as phoronix/pts -- is to make it incredibly quick and easy for firing off benchmarks under Docker.

In years past we have recommended going with Ubuntu or the Linux container image of your choice and then just installing the Phoronix Test Suite, with it being quick and easy to deploy PTS on most Linux distributions. But with the phoronix/pts image is an integrated solution that also bundles in the most popular test files, dependencies, and boots into the Phoronix Test Suite text shell that has been in the works the past few releases (phoronix-test-suite shell, for those deploying it manually) and is in good shape with the soon-to-be-released Phoronix Test Suite 8.2.

From the Phoronix Test Suite text user-interface shell are various helpers displayed for those not used to working from a CLI interface, Readline-based command completion, prominent displaying of the detected software/hardware information, and other minor features to ease the text-based benchmarking process for new users while still being effective for advanced Phoronix Test Suite users.

There is also the phoronix-test-suite interactive mode that's accessible for a more guided experience.

The full capabilities of the Phoronix Test Suite are available from this Docker image.

Including the ability for seeing detected system sensors in real-time and more.

Underneath the Phoronix Test Suite in this Docker image is Clear Linux. Given that it consistently performs the best on x86_64 hardware across the wide range of systems we routinely test, its vast collection of performance-optimized bundles (packages) satisfying the needs of the benchmark tests, and it being very easy to craft custom container images using Clear's utilities, it was an obvious choice as the basis for crafting this image.

So beyond the many different Docker benchmarking possibilities and use-cases, given the optimized Clear stack, you can easily use this phoronix/pts image for quickly comparing the performance of your bare metal system to these container-ized results and you may be surprised by the performance optimization potential. Granted, the user-space Clear optimizations are only part of their equation for yielding the greatest performance as they also invest significantly in their tuned Linux kernel build.

If you want to try out this Docker image for some benchmarks, it's as easy as running docker run -it phoronix/pts. Consider the current image as an alpha~beta. It will be updated frequently as the rough edges are addressed and other usability work still being addressed. Look for this phoronix/pts image to get in shape in time for the official Phoronix Test Suite 8.2.0 release in the next few weeks; so be on the look out for the polished release soon but if you try it out now be sure to provide your feedback to us for improvement.

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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.