Announcing PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 "Gernlinden"

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 July 2009. Page 3 of 5. 30 Comments

We are also limiting PTS Desktop Live to being a Linux distribution that is just run in a "live" environment and in fact, we do not even provide an installer to give the user an option of installing it to a hard drive or other persistent means of storage. This decision was made to continue to set this standard for making test results comparable between systems running the same release of the PTS Desktop Live. We want to avoid having users install PTS Desktop Live to their hard drive and then installing additional packages, making configuration modifications, and leaving other cruft on the system that could affect the test results.

Likewise, we have stripped out the update manager from PTS Desktop Live and will not be forcing down updates to a given release, in order to maintain a precise package set for a given release, for ensuring results are comparable. Granted, a user could re-master PTS Desktop Live with a different set of packages or manually upgrade some packages, but if you boot the official PTS Desktop Live and simply run the benchmark(s), we will have isolated out these common software differences when performing a comparison.

With all of these changes, PTS Desktop Live by no means is meant to be a desktop Linux distribution. PTS Desktop Live is designed solely to carry out Linux benchmarking under the Phoronix Test Suite and that is it. There is no word processing, music player, game playing, or other activities to engage in with this Phoronix OS.

With the 2009.3 Gernlinden release the system requirements are basically just a 64-bit CPU with at least 2GB of RAM and ideally a modern graphics card that has an open-source graphics stack. PTS Desktop Live right now will boot with systems that offer only 1GB of RAM, but you will be limited in the number of tests that can be run. Even 2GB can be limiting for running the Phoronix Test Suite in a live environment, but it is doable. An Internet connection is also highly recommended for Phoronix Global integration. There is also Phoromatic integration for enterprise users.

Future releases of PTS Desktop Live will have more demanding hardware requirements. Besides offering this standardized platform for carrying out Linux benchmarks, we also want to experiment with how fast we can accelerate Linux. We are already working on stripping out drivers for older (as in greater than ~36 months old) hardware and making other changes to tune the software to focus on just the latest hardware on the market. If you are running "older" hardware and want to use the Phoronix Test Suite, just continue using it on your distribution of choice. A lot more in the way of these performance optimizations and further separating from Ubuntu will be noticeable in PTS Desktop Live 2009.4 and the releases to come in 2010.

There are also some other plans and hopes for PTS Desktop Live, but we will wait to share those on a later date. Now onto the 2009.3 release itself...

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