Lenvik Gets An Alpha Release

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 2 December 2009. Page 1 of 1. 5 Comments

Only two weeks have passed since the launch of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2, but it is already time to push out the first alpha release for Phoronix Test Suite 2.4! Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 (codenamed "Lenvik") Alpha 1 is what is running on our kernel test farm that launched yesterday and there is already a great deal of changes to be found in this release. In fact, the patch already between 2.2 Bardu and 2.4 Lenvik Alpha 1 is nearly 24,000 lines of code! There is some code reorganization, but a lot of new code has been introduced. Here is some of what can be found already in this development release.

Image Quality Comparisons: See this Phoronix article that details how Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 cannot only compare frame-rates for games and other OpenGL tests, but now the visual graphics quality too!

Support For Optware & Palm webOS: The Phoronix Test Suite now properly supports Optware and Palm’s webOS operating system. External dependencies can automatically be installed through Optware and webOS should be supported both with tests and full hardware/software detection in the Phodevi library. With Palm webOS this is also the first official testing that we have done with ARM hardware through our automated testing/benchmarking platform. We hope to support additional mobile phone platforms in the future for assisting new vendors in carrying out automated tests.

Enhanced OpenSolaris, FreeBSD Support: The support for FreeBSD and OpenSolaris continues to improve within Phodevi and the Phoronix Test Suite. Lenvik now automatically detects if there is Linux binary compatibility support loaded when running FreeBSD to automatically enable the supported Linux test profiles. There is also improved NVIDIA driver detection and support when glxinfo is not installed, better hard disk drive recognition, support monitoring the system's battery power consumption rate can now be found on OpenSolaris and *BSD (it's been long supported on Linux), CPU usage monitoring support on *BSD, and motherboard chipset vendor detection on OpenSolaris. Alpha 1 has been well tested now against FreeBSD 8.0 and OpenSolaris 2010.03 b127.

Initial Windows Support: The Windows support is not yet production ready, but what can be found in this release is the initial Windows BAT launcher, a few changes in pts-core to begin facilitating Windows support, and then the initial hardware/software support in the Phodevi library. Running phoronix-test-suite system-info with Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Alpha 1 on Windows should yield most of the installed software and hardware, but there will be much more to play with in forthcoming releases.

Phodevi Improvements: Besides the Phodevi changes that took place to support webOS, Windows 7, and the FreeBSD/OpenSolaris improvements, plenty of other work has also gone into the Phoronix Device Interface. There is now support for reading the system temperature through the thermal sysfs interface (instead of just the ACPI interface) on Linux, a system.iowait sensor has been added for monitoring the system's iowait as a percentage, disk-speed.read and disk-speed.write system sensors have been added for monitoring the disk's read and write speeds on Linux, and support for reading the current screen resolution from the kernel DRM when using a KMS driver (rather than relying solely on xrandr). Phodevi's memory consumption has also been reduced to an even smaller footprint in Lenvik.

New Options: The following options can be found in Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 -- dump-core-storage, dump-phodevi-smart-cache, export-profile-package, import-profile-package, and debug-install. Information regarding these new features can be found in the included Phoronix Test Suite documentation.

Module Architecture: The Phoronix Test Suite module architecture has been revised significantly when it comes to its internal design, but there should be forwards and backwards compatibility in place for existing PTS modules, except for any PTS SH modules that may be out there, as the SH modules support has been dropped. Two new modules have also been added that are named embedded and scp_result_pusher. The embedded module is designed to provide some convenient commands when running the Phoronix Test Suite on mobile phones and other embedded devices. The scp_result_pusher module can be configured to automatically push test results to a remote location over SCP/SSH, as an alternative to using Phoromatic or other means of remotely archiving results.

System Monitor Results: Thanks to the module architecture improvements, now results when using the system_monitor module (i.e. when running MONITOR=all phoronix-test-suite benchmark video-encoding to chart all system sensor values during the testing process), those results are saved within the test's result file itself. This allows the system monitor results to now be compared and merged like normal test results. These system monitoring results can also be now uploaded to Phoronix Global with your other test results. The system_monitor module also automatically picks up support for the new Phodevi sensors found in Lenvik Alpha 1.

New Test Profiles: The x264, idle-power-usage, battery-power-usage, iqc-nexuiz, gcrypt, bullet, and himeno test profiles have been added thus far in the Lenvik development cycle. The GnuPG test profile has also been restored since Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 to now run using GnuPG 1.x. All these new test profiles are nice, but in particular worth mentioning is the x264 audio/video encoding program that can be tested to complement the ffmpeg test profile, the himeno pressure solving computational test, the gcrypt encryption library can now be benchmarked, and a personal favorite is now the ability to run benchmarks on the Bullet physics library directly from Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.

Other Changes: The "concise" display mode for the command line interface is now the default choice when installing and running tests. This means there is an entirely new CLI look for most users. Downloading of test files is now properly supported through the Phoronix Test Suite proxy support. There is also support for downloading of test profiles now directly through PHP's cURL extension. The Phoronix Test Suite interface will also attempt to report estimated times for how long it is expected to take to download test files and other packages. Also changed in Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 is that test log files are now archived by default and can be accessed through the PTS Results Viewer when clicking on the name of a test identifier to the left of the graphs. There are also various other changes in Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Alpha 1, but this covers most of them (there are over 60 changes on the official change-log).

It is hard to think that just two weeks ago Phoronix Test Suite 2.2.0 was released, but now it's time already for Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Alpha 1 that is quite literally jam-packed with changes. There are, of course, many more changes left to come with Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 including work with the Windows support. The final release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" is expected in February of 2010.

Download the Phoronix Test Suite at Phoronix-Test-Suite.com. Share your thoughts, feedback, and feature requests in the Phoronix Forums.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.