Announcing PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 "Gernlinden"

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 July 2009. Page 2 of 5. 30 Comments

In creating PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 the core Linux packages are based upon Ubuntu. The Phoronix Test Suite will run on pretty much any Linux distribution (along with OpenSolaris, *BSD, and Mac OS X too), but since most of our hardware testing at is done on Ubuntu and since nearly all of the Phoronix Test Suite development work is done on Ubuntu-powered systems, this route was the natural choice. However, PTS Desktop Live is simply not an Ubuntu ISO with a few packages slapped into place for benchmarking. In fact, the difference will become increasingly clear over the releases of PTS Desktop Live in the coming quarters.

The 2009.3 Gernlinden release is based upon the unreleased Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" package set, which means we have pulled in the latest development snapshot of the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, GNOME 2.27, and other bleeding edge packages. With each release of PTS Desktop Live we will seek to provide the very latest in upstream packages to provide the best level of hardware support and features from the Linux desktop that remain relevant to us. In basing off Ubuntu Karmic, we stripped away almost every package that was irrelevant to the needs of the benchmarking experience with the Phoronix Test Suite. We did, however, choose to continue going with the GNOME desktop environment, albeit a much stripped down version. We also began stripping out hardware drivers and other software packages that were just to support older pieces of computer hardware. The size of the Ubuntu ISO went from nearly 700MB to well under 400MB once we were finished with pulling out all of these excess packages.

Once there was this slimmed down package set, the Phoronix Test Suite and its core dependencies (PHP CLI and optional dependencies like GD, etc) were added. With Phoronix Test Suite 2.0+ containing more than 100 test profiles, we simply cannot include every single test profile with all of its test files on PTS Desktop Live. Some of these test profiles also use non-free software, so with PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 we have taken about 50 of the leading test profiles and integrated them into this operating system. All of the tests distributed by PTS Desktop Live are free software. For those interested in tests not found on the PTS Desktop Live disc, all of the other test profiles are still accessible (just like running a normal Phoronix Test Suite installation) once adjusting the view options.

Among the profiles that can be found in the 2009.3 Gernlinden release include tests for 7-Zip compression, IOzone, Apache web serving, Bwfirt, C-Ray, POV-Ray, Crafty, FFmpeg, MPlayer, Ogg encoding, LAME MP3 encoding, OpenSSL, PostMark, OpenMP, GraphicsMagick, SQLite, and many more. When adding these 50+ test profiles and their needed external dependencies and test files to PTS Desktop Live, the size of the generated ISO increased to just over 1GB, which will be about the final size of PTS Desktop Live 2009.3. Future releases will be in this range as well from around 1GB to 1.5GB for the desktop edition. We are gearing PTS Desktop Live to be run off a DVD or USB device (i.e. a flash drive) and so this size is quite suitable.

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