Seven Years Of Ubuntu Performance - Benchmarking Ubuntu 13.04 Through Ubuntu 20.04 Development Builds
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 23 December 2019. Page 1 of 12. 8 Comments

The latest in our series of interesting year-end benchmarks -- made more interesting by also looking at the Linux performance over the 2010s -- is looking at the performance of Ubuntu Linux over the past roughly seven years by re-testing all the releases. Ubuntu 19.10 stable and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development builds were tested along with the Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 13.04, the initial release where the Intel Sandy Bridge support was in good shape for the Core i7 2700K platform being used for this round of benchmarking. It's quite a wild ride looking at the Ubuntu performance over this long span with dozens of different workloads.

The Intel Core i7 2700K Sandy Bridge was used for testing as it allows for good Linux support going back to early 2013 right after these processors first launched. Given the popularity of Sandy Bridge back in the day and some users possibly still relying upon the likes of the i7-2700K or i5-2500K or having used them at some point, it makes these numbers all the more interesting.

Throughout this benchmarking the four core / eight thread processor was running at its stock frequencies (3.5GHz base / 3.9GHz turbo), a BIOSTAR B75MU3B motherboard was in use, 2 x 4GB DDR3-1600 memory, and a 525GB Crucial MX300 SATA 3.0 SSD was used. On the graphics side was the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. The hardware was obviously maintained the same throughout the entire duration of testing (on the system table below, any differences just amount to reporting differences from the software stack between Ubuntu releases).

Every release from Ubuntu 13.04 through Ubuntu 20.04 daily was tested except for Ubuntu 17.10/17.10.1 as that release wouldn't boot properly on this system but just kernel panic. For the Ubuntu LTS releases, the original xx.yy.0 releases were tested to avoid the hardware enablement stack back-ports and to avoid getting mitigation coverage in 14.04/16.04 but not in the other old releases. So for Ubuntu 18.04 and beyond given their timing are the releases where all of the security mitigations are in place for their time since disclosure in early 2018.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a great number of tests were run ranging from web browser performance to compilation tests to other common real-world scenarios. If you enjoy articles like these and our other daily Linux hardware benchmarking, consider showing your support this holiday season and with this week's special.


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