Clear Linux Offering Performance Advantages Even With Low-Power IoT/Edge Hardware

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 30 August 2019. Page 1 of 3. 22 Comments

While we are often testing Intel's Clear Linux on high-end desktop and server hardware, it turns out even on the opposite end of the spectrum that their performance-optimized distribution can offer meaningful performance advantages on low-end SoCs for IoT-type devices. When testing Clear Linux with an Apollolake platform, it came out to being about 20% faster than the likes of Fedora and Ubuntu Linux.

Following the recent UP Squared testing as the ~$150 Intel Celeron single board computer designed for makers, IoT, edge computing and similar deployments, I was curious to give Clear Linux a whirl on it for seeing how the performance compares to the likes of Fedora and Ubuntu.

The UP Squared as a reminder has the dual-core Celeron N3350, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and Intel HD Graphics 500. It's quite a simple and low-end SBC by today's standards but surprisingly when putting Clear Linux on it still there was more performance to be squeezed out compared to Ubuntu 19.04 or Fedora 30.

Clear Linux in its current rolling-release form has the Linux 5.2 kernel, GCC 9.2.1 compiler, Mesa 19.2-devel, and other bleeding edge components. With the Phoronix Test Suite I ran some benchmarks on Ubuntu, Clear Linux, and Fedora for seeing the performance difference.

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