Building An Intel Xeon E3 v5 "Skylake" Linux System

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 13 December 2015. Page 3 of 6. 19 Comments

When it comes to loading Linux on this new system, it was a smooth process with the exception of the Skylake graphics... As you'll know if you've read all of my articles on the topic, a Linux 4.3 kernel or later is really needed for best support. When booting Ubuntu 15.10 at first with its Linux 4.2 kernel, the display didn't light up. The workaround and more details on that are covered in my recent article: Xeon Skylake Users May Run Into Display Problems With Current Distributions.

Once working around the Intel WKS GT2 display issue, Ubuntu 15.10 easily installed to the system. I immediately upgraded to the Linux 4.4 Git kernel and was in great shape. From there, all of the key functionality has been working fine.

When it comes to hardware sensors, the coretemp driver was working fine for the Xeon E3 1245 v5 processor. For the motherboard voltage, temperature, and fan speeds, there was support there too once LM_Sensors loaded the nct6776 driver for the Supermicro X11SAE-M. While it's expected that server/workstation hardware plays well on Linux, sans the temporary graphics issue, it was great to see the system working out fine with this latest hardware down to the thermal sensors.

In the days ahead I will have many Linux performance benchmarks from this system, power efficiency results, and more when writing up my formal Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5 Linux review. However, in this article are some quick benchmarks for reference purposes. First up are some results comparing this Intel Xeon Skylake system to dozens of other systems running right now at Phoronix Media.

This Intel Skylake Xeon system is one of my fastest systems in the benchmarking lab now... Compared to mostly desktop and mobile hardware.

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