DragonFlyBSD's Kernel Optimizations Are Paying Off - 3 BSDs & 5 Linux OS Benchmarks On Threadripper

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 31 May 2019 at 11:16 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 12 Comments.

DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has been working on a big VM rework in the name of performance and other kernel improvements recently. Here is a look at how those DragonFlyBSD 5.5-DEVELOPMENT improvements are paying off compared to DragonFlyBSD 5.4 as well as FreeBSD 12 and five Linux distribution releases. With Dillon using an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system, we used that too for this round of BSD vs. Linux performance benchmarks.

The work by Dillon on the VM overhaul and other changes (including more HAMMER2 file-system work) will ultimately culminate with the DragonFlyBSD 5.6 release (well, unless he opts for DragonFlyBSD 6.0 or so). These are benchmarks of the latest DragonFlyBSD 5.5-DEVELOPMENT daily ISO as of this week benchmarked across DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3 stable, FreeBSD 12.0, Ubuntu 19.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, Debian 9.9, Debian Buster, and CentOS 7 1810 as a wide variety of reference points both from newer and older Linux distributions. (As for no Clear Linux reference point for a speedy reference point, it currently has a regression with AMD + Samsung NVMe SSD support on some hardware, including this box, prohibiting the drive from coming up due to a presumed power management issue that is still being resolved.)

With Matthew Dillon doing much of his development on an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system after he last year proclaimed the greatness of these AMD HEDT CPUs, for this round of testing I also used a Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX with 32 cores / 64 threads. Tests of other AMD/Intel hardware with DragonFlyBSD will come as the next stable release is near and all of the kernel work has settled down. For now it's mostly entertaining our own curiosity how well these DragonFlyBSD optimizations are paying off and how it's increasing the competition against FreeBSD 12 and Linux distributions.

The same system/hardware was obviously used throughout all of the testing and each operating system was cleanly installed and running using the default packages/settings on each OS. All of these BSD and Linux benchmarks were carried out using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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