Phoronix Test Suite Brings Benchmarking To Mac OS X
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 6 October 2008. Page 2 of 2. 22 Comments

For those that have never used or heard of the Phoronix Test Suite before, it's our premiere benchmarking software originally developed for Linux and is based upon our internal test tools at Phoronix along with collaboration from leading hardware vendors. The Phoronix Test Suite can run in a fully autonomous fashion using a batch benchmarking mode, can report results to an online database (Phoronix Global), standardizes the benchmarking process from start to finish, is capable of comparing results on a side-by-side basis, parses relevant software and hardware information, and the test framework is completely extensible and allows third-party users to add in new tests quite easily. The Phoronix Test Suite is licensed under the GNU GPLv3.

As PHP ships on Mac OS X without the GD graphics library (at least with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard), we also introduced an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) renderer for graphing the test results. The Phoronix Test Suite is able to display test results on a bar graph. line graph, and in other formats, but previously it was limited to rendering them to a PNG file-format using the GD library. With Phoronix Test Suite 1.4, pts_Graph will automatically switch to using our internal SVG renderer whenever the GD library isn't found -- so Linux users without this library can benefit too. This renderer is currently considered experimental as there are a few alignment issues in some situations to work out, but this should be stabilized for the final 1.4 release.

The Phoronix Test Suite is able to recognize all installed software and hardware on Mac OS X included. This information is shown when looking at the rest results and can be seen by running phoronix-test-suite system-info. For example, here is a sample output: Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 1.83GHz (Total Cores: 2), Motherboard: Mac mini, Chipset: Intel ICH7-M, System Memory: 1024MB, Disk Space: 75GB, Graphics: Intel GMA 950 64MB, Screen Resolution: 1680x1050, OS: Mac OS X 10.5.5, Kernel: 9.5.0 (i386), X.Org Server: 1.3.0-apple22, OpenGL: 1.2 APPLE-1.5.30, Compiler: GCC 4.0.1, File-System: Journaled HFS+. Should any hardware or software not be detected when you are running the Phoronix Test Suite, please report this information to us in the Phoronix Forums or mailing list.

Aside from the support for Mac OS X, Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 Alpha 2 has many other changes since the earlier Alpha 1 release. There are a number of new XML tags available to test profile writers, a OS-independent micro-timer framework exposed to the test profiles, support for using Curl to download test files, an option to save benchmarking logs, hard disk drive temperature monitoring on Linux, various test profile changes, and a number of bug fixes and other improvements. Many more features are still being worked on for the Orkdal release and will appear in the next alpha and beta releases. With that said, Orkdal is shaping up to be our best and most advanced release yet.

If you are running Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, or Mac OS X, head on over to the Phoronix Test Suite web-site to checkout the latest Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 "Orkdal" build and to see what this much-praised benchmarking software that's used by various ISVs and IHVs is all about. After setting up the Phoronix Test Suite, it's as easy as running phoronix-test-suite benchmark <test name>, and that's it! Let us know if you run across any bugs, other problems, or feature requests with this test release. Likewise, if you are interested in helping out and getting involved with the Phoronix Test Suite, let us know. The final release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.4 is expected in early December.

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 10,000 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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