Netbook Performance: Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 15 July 2009. Page 7 of 7. 110 Comments

Ubuntu had better Fast Fourier Transform performance under Java than did OpenSolaris.

Monte Carlo in Java SciMark 2.0 was also in Ubuntu's favor by a noticeable lead.

While OpenSolaris 2009.06 started out performing much better than Ubuntu 9.04, due to the GPU tests being run, this was due to the bugged Intel graphics stack found in the Jaunty Jackalope. Once both Ubuntu and OpenSolaris are running with similar packages after this fallout from the invasive Intel Linux graphics work has settled, we should see nearly identical results. Beyond these graphics tests, however, as a whole Ubuntu 9.04 performed much better than OpenSolaris 2009.06 on this Atom-based Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook.

There were a few areas where OpenSolaris had pulled ahead (GnuPG, Sunflow), but in the rest of the disk, computational, and other real-world tests, the results were either tied or in favor of Ubuntu Linux. Beyond just the quantitative desktop performance of OpenSolaris and Ubuntu Linux, Ubuntu has other advantages on the netbook when it comes to the Ubuntu Netbook Remix and other optimizations for these small mobile devices. With OpenSolaris there are a few annoyances with the Caiman installer and a few other GUIs when running at the common 1024 x 600 resolution, etc.

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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