Features of Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 "Tydal"
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 12 January 2009. Page 2 of 3. Add A Comment

At the heart of the Phoronix Test Suite is pts-core, which is the multi-platform engine that powers all of the testing capabilities. With Tydal there are significant changes and improvements to this testing engine. In fact, much of pts-core has been reworked to bolster new capabilities for the Phoronix Test Suite now and in other releases to come later this year (in particular, Phoronix Test Suite 2.0) while being more efficient and offering a greater level of modularity. As a note to developers, in the 1.6 release much of the pts-core API has now been stabilized and should be consistent across future releases.

Some of the specific items improved within Tydal's pts-core are tests that require root access (such as hdparm) are now properly implemented through the RequiresRoot XML tag, faster reading of installed software/hardware, support for reading the Linux desktop environment and version being used (GNOME, KDE, and Xfce are currently supported), and there are other detection improvements too. In addition, an option has been added to the ~/.phoronix-test-suite/user-config.xml file to automatically look for files needed by tests in a download cache on removable disk drives.

The Phoronix Test Suite core also has added support for being able to read the CPU load percentage on a per-core basis to look at the load level on each individual core during testing. The system_monitor module is also aware of this support to automatically plot these new load numbers. The Self-Contained Test Profile (SCTP) support in Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 is also undergoing some radical improvements, but until that work is completed, this feature has been disabled.

Phoronix Test Suite has been supported on Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X operating systems. No new operating systems are supported in Phoronix Test Suite 1.6, but there is improved FreeBSD 7.x support. Phoronix Test Suite on FreeBSD has improved software/hardware detection, improved test management, and external dependencies support through the pkg_add command on FreeBSD.

Outside of pts-core, the pts_Graph component for graphing test results has also received a number of improvements. The rendering code developed to write the graphs to SVG or PNG files has been moved out of pts_Graph and is now being worked on in a separate project tentatively called bilde_renderer. The bilde_renderer class provides a rendering API that when used can target a number of different file formats that offer a compliant renderer. Supported by bilde_renderer in the Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 implementation is support for JPEG, PNG, SVG, and Adobe SWF / Flash formats. As a result, the Phoronix Test Suite can display the test results in any selected format and is all done through a single programming API.

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