The Disappointing Direction Of Linux Performance From 4.16 To 5.4 Kernels
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 11 November 2019. Page 8 of 8. 99 Comments

If taking the geometric mean of 71 different benchmarks ran across the tested kernels, the Linux 5.4 Git kernel is running at just 89% the speed of Linux 4.16 from April 2018. Keep in mind that it was prior to Linux 4.16 when Spectre/Meltdown mitigations were originally introduced but since 4.16 the mainline kernel (sans back-ports) has seen MDS and STIBP additions among other changes on the mitigation front.

If counting the number of first place finishes, Linux 4.16 did the best with winning 35% of the time while Linux 5.4 picked up first place finishes just 5% of the time.

Linux 5.4 finished in last place most often of the tested kernels.

Stay tuned for more Linux kernel benchmarks soon on Phoronix.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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