Features of Phoronix Test Suite 1.4

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 2 November 2008 at 05:00 AM EST. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment.

While Cascading Test Profiles aren't anything relevant to end-users, Self-Contained Test Profiles is something they can use. Self-Contained Test Profiles allow an entire test profile (along with the related test resources to download, setup, and run the tests) to be packaged in an entire .sctp file. Normal tests will remain as is, but tests for Self-Contained Test Profiles are meant to easily distributable outside of the Phoronix Test Suite. Say for instance you find a bug in an application and you are able to reproduce it in a way that can be automated. Simply write a basic test profile that accomplishes what you want and then convert it into a Self-Contained Test Profile (it's fairly trivial to convert a normal test profile into a SCTP and vice-versa). That Self-Contained Test Profile can then be attached to your BugZilla entry or sent to that project's support mailing list. Anyone with the Phoronix Test Suite installed can then just run that .sctp file and it will initialize the Phoronix Test Suite and proceed to run the test. It's that easy.

Self-Contained Test Profiles can be used for purposes outside of just quantitative performance measurement by using some of the other functionality provided by this open-source testing platform. When there was the problem with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel killing Intel network hardware, internally we had a Self-Contained Test Profile that would simply check whether that system's hardware was vulnerable and then report it in a visual manner via a pass/fail-type graph along with displaying all of the system software/hardware. Additional documentation and tools for Self-Contained Test Profiles will come in future releases of the Phoronix Test Suite.

In Phoronix Test Suite 1.4.0 and newer, test profiles can now be stored in ~/.phoronix-test-suite/test-profiles/ and ~/.phoronix-test-suite/test-resources/. Test Suites can be stored in ~/.phoronix-test-suite/test-suites/. What this allows is for making test profiles and suites easily updatable to users without needing to upgrade pts-core, makes it easier to write new test profiles if the Phoronix Test Suite is installed system-wide, and other similar functionality that will be introduced in future releases.

Phoronix Test Suite 1.4.0 has seven WINE-driven graphics tests, which can be found within the wine-graphics test suite. A World of Padman test profile has been added in Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 with the profile being named padman. The popular unigine-tropics and unigine-sanctuary test profiles have also received some improvements from Unigine Corp (Unigine Tropics Sets Linux OpenGL Precedent). When it comes to Phoronix Test Suite modules there are two in particular worth noting. The graphics_event_checker module will look for GPU errors and other graphics issues that may occur during testing and it will report that information following the test. The timed_screenshot module will take screenshots of the display at pre-defined intervals. Other modules have also been updated. One of the additions to the system_monitor module is that the hard disk drive temperature can be monitored during testing.

Some of the other work in Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 includes a OS-independent micro-timer framework that's available for use by tests (now /usr/bin/time is no longer used), a number of new XML tags being supported within the test profile and test suite files, PCQS (Phoronix Certification & Qualification Suites) suites are now being housed outside the PTS tree, a result-info option being added, the list-test-usage option reporting the average time it takes to run a particular test on that specific system, and many other similar changes.

We are very pleased with the progress made in the Orkdal release, but plans are already underway on how to take open-source benchmarking even further in Tydal (Phoronix Test Suite 1.6) for Q1'09. If you are running a Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, or Mac OS X system, be sure to try Phoronix Test Suite 1.4. It's being released tomorrow, November 3. We value your feedback and welcome contributions from new developers and testers. Head on over to this sub-forum of the Phoronix Forums to find out how you can get involved with this GPLv3 automated testing / benchmarking software. Stop by Phoronix-Test-Suite.com to download the latest release.

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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.