An Open Letter To Tech Review Sites
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 12 August 2009. Page 1 of 1. 29 Comments

Dear Fellow Tech Review Site,

Have you considered embracing Linux in any of your articles? If you have, but have not acted on such thoughts, why is that? Is it the Linux learning curve? The "lack of benchmarks"? Simply the lack of resources on the part of your editors and product evaluators? After speaking with several editors from fellow publications, these seem to be most of the excuses at hand. However, at Phoronix Media, we have the solutions to these problems -- and they are free and easy to adopt. I would invite you to think how using Linux to complement your Windows testing in hardware reviews could benefit your publication by providing more thorough reviews to fulfill the needs of more readers, wooing more hardware companies with having another feature to offer, and generate additional page views from having more content.

For more than a year now, we have been providing public releases of the Phoronix Test Suite, which is our in-house testing software that is the result of more than five years of benchmarking at and input from leading hardware vendors. Our most recent release of this feature-rich benchmarking software was Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 and it arrived just a week ago. This update brought many new test profiles and other system-related features. Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 provides more than 100 tests that can be quickly and easily run from any Linux system and all of these tests are carried out in an automated, fully repeatable, and standardized way. Additionally, your publication can create new test profiles or construct your own test suites using the extensible architecture provided by the Phoronix Test Suite.

In conjunction with the Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 launch, we also provided a beta version of our own Linux distribution that is called PTS Desktop Live. This initial release, 2009.3 Gernlinden, is derived from Ubuntu, but solely designed around the needs of the Phoronix Test Suite, as is described in its announcement. There are also some videos within the announcement, but PTS Desktop Live makes the Phoronix Test Suite so easy to use where you just boot from the DVD or USB flash drive, the Linux desktop loads, and the Phoronix Test Suite appears. You are a few clicks away from running nearly 50 different benchmarks without needing to download anything, touch any command line, or engage in any other tasks. Your hard drive is never touched in the process. The entire software stack is also standardized, which makes for incredibly easy and accurate hardware comparisons. It really is that easy, even if you are a diehard Windows user and has never used Linux in the past.

Both PTS Desktop Live and the Phoronix Test Suite are provided free of charge and you are more than welcome to use any results gathered from this software in your articles. It would be nice if you link back to, so that your readers can compare their own results, but that is not even a necessity. There are already other publications using it.

So when you are all done benchmarking your next motherboard, processor, or system memory, why not boot PTS Desktop Live off a DVD or USB flash drive and try it? It does not touch your hard drive, it should boot in under a minute, and immediately from a few clicks of the mouse you can have new benchmark results to add to your review and complement your Windows testing. All of the actual testing is fully automated, so you can even go grab a drink while waiting to examine the standardized test results. This doesn't require any past Linux experience and from our perspective this software is already drop-dead easy to use, but we are already hard at work on the next updates, Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 and PTS Desktop Live 2009.4, to add even more capabilities.

You may not have readers heavily harassing you over your lack of Linux-based benchmarks at this time, but when it requires very little investment on your behalf, why not please them? Linux is certainly gaining market share and how many times in the past few months have you heard Ubuntu or Intel's Moblin mentioned? Go look at your forums and server statistics and you will likely find more signs of growing Linux interest among your readers.

I would challenge all of you to give Linux-based benchmarking a try.

Best Regards,
Michael Larabel
Founder of Phoronix Media

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About The Author
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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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