Five-Way Linux OS Comparison On Amazon's ARM Graviton CPU
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 17 December 2018. Page 1 of 4. 9 Comments

Last month Amazon rolled out their "Graviton" ARM processors in the Elastic Compute Cloud. Those first-generation Graviton ARMv8 processors are based on the ARM Cortex-A72 cores and designed to offer better pricing than traditional x86_64 EC2 instances. However, our initial testing of the Amazon Graviton EC2 "A1" instances didn't reveal significant performance-per-dollar benefits for these new instances. In this second round of Graviton CPU benchmarking we are seeing what is the fastest of five of the leading ARM Linux distributions.

An Amazon EC2 a1.4xlarge instance with 16 cores / 32GB RAM was used for this round of benchmarking across the five most common ARM Linux distributions that were available at the time of testing on the Elastic Compute Cloud. The tests included:

Amazon Linux 2 - The reference Amazon Linux machine image with the Linux 4.14 kernel and GCC 7.3.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 - RHEL7 with the Linux 4.14 kernel and GCC 4.8.5.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - The current Ubuntu Long-Term Support release with the Linux 4.15 kernel and GCC 7.3.

Ubuntu 18.10 - The latest Ubuntu release with Linux 4.18 and GCC 8.2.0.

Fedora 29 - The latest Fedora release with Linux 4.19 and GCC 8.2.1.

All of these ARM Linux benchmarks on the EC2 Graviton processor were done using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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