Hypocrite Commits, Rocket Lake Benchmarks, Arch's New Installer Rallied April
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 May 2021 at 05:56 AM EDT. Add A Comment
PHORONIX --
The past month was quite exciting in the Linux/open-source world with Linux 5.12 having been released and 5.13 off to a great start, shiny new hardware for benchmarking, and also the drama around the FSF and UMN's "hypocrite commits" research.

During the past month on Phoronix were 218 original news articles and another 18 featured multi-page benchmark articles / Linux hardware reviews, all written by your's truly. So this is the monthly reminder if you enjoy the original content each and every day consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip or at the very least to not use any ad-blocker on this site. If all goes well, in June will mark 17 years since starting Phoronix.com.

With that said, here is a look back at the most exciting news of April on Phoronix:

University Banned From Contributing To Linux Kernel For Intentionally Inserting Bugs
Greg Kroah-Hartman has banned a US university from trying to mainline Linux kernel patches over intentionally submitting questionable code with security implications and other "experiments" in the name of research.

IBM To Kernel Maintainer: "You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time"
It's fairly common that many longtime Linux kernel developers use their personal email addresses for signing off on kernel patches or dealing with other patch work, especially when they are engaging with kernel development in their personal time too and occasionally jumping between employers over time while still sticking to interacting with the upstream kernel community, etc. There are also understandably some companies that mandate the use of their corporate email addresses for their official work/patches while now IBM seems to be taking things one step to the extreme.

Arch Linux's Install Media Adds "Archinstall" For Quick/Easy Installations
This month's Arch Linux install media update now provides "archinstall" as the guided installer for Arch Linux for those preferring a quick and easy route for deploying Arch Linux.

IBM Clarifies Stance On Developers Working On Open-Source Projects In Off-Hours
Earlier this week was a surprising Linux kernel networking commit that removed an IBM engineer as one of the driver maintainers for the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver. Seemingly at issue with this VNIC driver work was the developer using his personal email address in working on the driver in his off-hours. IBM has now clarified their stance on such work.

University of Minnesota Linux "Hypocrite Commit" Researchers Publish Open Letter
The drama in kernel land this week was University of Minnesota being banned from Linux kernel development over research they previously carried out looking at "hypocrite commits" and the possibility of intentionally introducing vulnerabilities (such as use-after-free bugs) into the kernel source tree. This weekend those researchers involved published an open letter to the Linux kernel community.

Initial Apple M1 SoC Support Aims For Linux 5.13 Kernel
While the independent effort to get the Apple M1 ARM-based SoC working under Linux has just been happening for a few months, with the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle the very preliminary support for Apple's M1 and initial M1-powered devices looks to land.

Fedora 34 To Release Next Week As A Very Exciting Update
After it was pushed back last week due to blocker bugs, on Friday it was determined that Fedora 34 is now in proper shape to officially ship next week.

X.Org Server Git Lands Support For Hardware-Accelerated XWayland With NVIDIA
The NVIDIA-led work to allow XWayland OpenGL and Vulkan acceleration with their proprietary driver has just been merged into X.Org Server Git.

Radeon Vulkan Driver Adds Option Of Rendering Less For ~30% Greater Performance
If your current Vulkan-based Radeon Linux gaming performance isn't cutting it and a new GPU is out of your budget or you have been unable to find a desired GPU upgrade in stock, the Mesa RADV driver has added an option likely of interest to you... Well, at least moving forward with this feature being limited to RDNA2 GPUs for now.

Proton 6.3-1 Released With More Windows Games Now Running On Linux / Steam Play
To kick off a new month of Linux gaming, Valve today released Proton 6.3-1 as the latest version of their Wine downstream that powers Steam Play for running Windows games on Linux.

Firefox 89 Beta Released With UI Changes
With Firefox 88 released yesterday, the Firefox 89 beta is now available for testing. Notable this time around is refining of the web browser's user interface.

Fedora 34 Released As A Hugely Exciting Update For This Linux Distribution
It's Fedora 34 day! Fedora 34 is now officially available and it's quite exciting on the feature front especially with the changes to be enjoyed in Fedora Workstation 34.

Firefox Begins Rolling Out QUIC + HTTP/3 Support
QUIC and HTTP/3 support is now appearing in Firefox Nightly and Beta build while it will begin its roll-out with the upcoming Firefox 88 stable release.

KDE Starts April By Landing KHamburgerMenu
The pandemic is still not showing any signs of slowing down KDE development but with the new month brings more changes and improvements to this open-source desktop.

Microsoft Posts WSLg Preview - GUI App Support With Windows Subsystem For Linux
After announcing last year that they would be supporting GUI applications with Windows Subsystem for Linux, today Microsoft published their "WSLg" preview for this feature to run Linux GUI applications atop Windows 10.

FreeBSD 13.0 Brings Better Performance, LLVM Clang 11, Obsolete GNU Bits Removed
FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE is now officially available as the debut of the big FreeBSD 13 feature update.

Ubuntu 21.04 Released With Wayland By Default, New Dark Theme
Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" is now available.

AMD Proposing Redesign For How Linux GPU Drivers Work - Explicit Fences Everywhere
Well known open-source AMD Linux graphics driver developer Marek Olšák published an initial proposal this week as "a redesign of how Linux graphics drivers work."

AMD Publishes Security Analysis Of Zen 3 "PSF" That Could Possibly Lead To A Side-Channel Attack
AMD published a security whitepaper this week looking at their Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) feature that is new to Zen 3 series processors. AMD is going to allow customers to disable this performance feature as they think it may be vulnerable to a Spectre-like attack.

Ubuntu 21.04 Beta Released For This Linux 5.11 Powered Update With Wayland By Default
The beta of Ubuntu as well as its various flavors/derivatives is out ahead of the official "Hirsute Hippo" launch later this month.

And the most popular featured articles/reviews:

Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact For Intel's Rocket Lake
For those wondering about the state of speculative execution vulnerabilities and what software-based mitigations are required for Intel's new Rocket Lake processors, here is the rundown along with benchmarks when disabling those present Linux kernel mitigations.

AVX / AVX2 / AVX-512 Performance + Power On Intel Rocket Lake
Here is a look at the AVX / AVX2 / AVX-512 performance on the Intel Core i9 11900K "Rocket Lake" when building a set of relevant open-source benchmarks limited to AVX, AVX2, and AVX-512 caps each time while also monitoring the CPU package power consumption during the tests for looking at the performance-per-Watt in providing some fresh reference metrics over AVX-512 on Linux with the latest Intel "Rocket Lake" processors.

Ubuntu 21.04 - X.Org vs. Wayland Linux Gaming Performance
One of the most significant underlying changes with the recent release of Ubuntu 21.04 is the default GNOME Shell desktop environment is running the Wayland-based session by default rather than the traditional X.Org Server session. But what does this mean for the Linux gaming performance on Ubuntu 21.04? Here are some (X)Wayland vs. X.Org benchmarks.

Initial Radeon vs. GeForce Vulkan Ray-Tracing Performance On Linux
With today's Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 packaged driver release is the first time Vulkan ray-tracing is being exposed on Linux for AMD Radeon graphics cards with any of the multiple driver options. Here are some initial benchmarks looking at how the Radeon RX 6000 series Vulkan ray-tracing performance is on Linux compared to NVIDIA's Vulkan ray-tracing support with the existing RTX 20/30 series hardware.

Ubuntu 21.04 Enjoys Better Performance But Still No Match To Intel's Clear Linux
As we have been showing in a few articles already, Ubuntu 21.04 is in good shape performance-wise and generally coming ahead of Ubuntu 20.10 and 20.04 LTS. We've seen that on a number of systems in the lab, but how does this better performance out of Ubuntu 21.04 compare to say Intel's Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks.

Windows 10 Rockets Ahead Of Ubuntu Linux On The Core i9 11900K For Some Workloads
For those wondering how the Windows vs. Linux performance compares with Intel's new Rocket Lake processors for both the CPU performance and some initial cross-platform exposure for the Xe Graphics, here are some preliminary benchmarks with the Core i9 11900K.

Benchmarking AMD Zen 3 With Predictive Store Forwarding Disabled
This past week AMD published a security analysis of AMD Zen 3's new Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) functionality. In there they did acknowledge there is the possibility where bad PSF functionality could lead to a side-channel attack albeit the real-world exposure would be quite low. In any case they are allowing interested users to disable the Predictive Store Forwarding functionality, but what they didn't comment on in that paper was what performance overhead to expect if disabling PSF. So my Easter weekend turned into AMD Zen 3 PSF benchmarking.

Radeon Vulkan Variable Rate Shading Benchmarks For Boosting RDNA2 Performance
Landing in Mesa 21.1 on Friday was a variable rate shading (VRS) override for the Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver for providing significant performance boosts by effectively rendering less. This feature is limited to RDNA2 graphics processors while here are some benchmarks on what it means for 4K gaming with the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards on Linux.

NVIDIA RTX 30 Series OpenCL / CUDA / OptiX Compute + Rendering Benchmarks
Recently from NVIDIA we received the rest of the NVIDIA RTX 30 series line-up for cards we haven't been able to benchmark under Linux previously, thus it's been a busy month of Ampere benchmarking for these additional cards and re-testing the existing parts. Coming up next week will be a large NVIDIA vs. AMD Radeon Linux gaming benchmark comparison while in this article today is an extensive look at the GPU compute performance for the complete RTX 20 and RTX 30 series line-up under Linux with compute tests spanning OpenCL, Vulkan, CUDA, and OptiX RTX under a variety of compute and rendering workloads.

Ubuntu 21.04 Server Performance Offering Nice Gains For AMD EPYC 7003 Series
Tomorrow's release of Ubuntu 21.04 is exciting on the desktop for Wayland by default in supported configurations and many other package updates and enhancements. But even for being a non-LTS release if you are interested in running Ubuntu Server there are some performance improvements to enjoy with newer platforms. Here is a look at the AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" performance across Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 20.10, and 21.04 with an AMD EPYC 7763 Supermicro server.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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