Linux 5.0, Radeon VII, Intel Iris Driver & Other Exciting Milestones In February
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 28 February 2019 at 09:00 PM EST. 2 Comments
PHORONIX --
While February is the shortest month, this year there wasn't any letdown of exciting open-source/Linux milestones. Besides the usual FOSDEM conference with the interesting mix of tech topics, AMD's Radeon VII release excited open-source Linux GPU driver fans, Linux 5.0 approached the finish line with a lot of new features, GCC 9 and Clang 8 are also approaching their respective finish lines, and a lot of other activities made this February quite exciting on the Linux/open-source scene.

Over the past 28 days on Phoronix there were 292 original news articles and 23 featured articles/reviews, continuing the average of about ten original news stories each and every day and about one multi-page article/review per day. If you enjoy all of this original content on Phoronix now as we approach the 15th birthday of Phoronix in June, consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or at the very least to not use any ad-blocker when browsing this website. Tips are also welcome and help off-set the losses due to ad-blocking, etc, while investing in the server resources and other expenditures to keep the site operating. Thanks for your support, and as always, you can follow the new content on Facebook and Twitter.

Of the nearly 300 news articles on Phoronix this month, the most popular ones included:

Electron Apps Are Bad, So Now You Can Create Desktop Apps With HTML5 + Golang
The Electron software framework that allows creating desktop GUI application interfaces using JavaScript and relies upon a bundled Chromium+Node.js run-time is notorious among most Linux desktop users for being resource heavy, not integrating well with most desktops, and generally being despised. For those that are fond of using web standards for creating desktop GUIs, now there is a way to create desktop application front-ends using HTML5 and Golang but with less baggage.

Intel Linux Graphics Driver Adding Device Local Memory - Possible Start of dGPU Bring-Up
A big patch series was sent out today amounting to 42 patches and over four thousand lines of code for introducing the concept of memory regions to the Intel Linux graphics driver. The memory regions support is preparing for device local memory with future Intel graphics products.

Don't Look For Gentoo's CPU Optimization Options To Land In The Mainline Linux Kernel
Gentoo's Linux kernel build has long offered various CPU options in allowing those building their distribution to optimize their kernel build to the CPU being used. Every so often the patch is suggested for upstreaming to the mainline Linux kernel before being quickly rejected by the upstream maintainers.

VLC 4.0 Media Player Eyeing New User Interface, Better Wayland Support & VR/3D
It was nearly one year ago to the day that there was the huge VLC 3.0 feature release and while that was a great update to this open-source, cross-platform media player there is a lot more out on the horizon.

Linux Kernel Getting io_uring To Deliver Fast & Efficient I/O
The Linux kernel is getting a new ring for Valentine's Day... io_uring. The purpose of io_uring is to deliver faster and more efficient I/O operations on Linux and should be coming with the next kernel cycle.

The Most Interesting Highlights To The Linux 5.0 Kernel
With the Linux 5.0 kernel due out within the next week or two, here's a look back at the biggest end-user facing changes for this kernel release that started out as Linux 4.21.

LibreOffice 6.2 Shipping Today With User Interface Improvements, Many New Features
If Microsoft Office 2019 isn't your thing, The Document Foundation is today debuting LibreOffice 6.2 as the latest major release for this cross-platform, open-source office suite.

AMD Hiring Ten More People For Their Open-Source/Linux Driver Team
If you are passionate about Linux/open-source and experienced with the 3D graphics programming and/or compute shaders, AMD is looking to expand their open-source/Linux driver team by about ten people.

Benchmarking The Python Optimizations Of Clear Linux Against Ubuntu, Intel Python
Stemming from Clear Linux detailing how they optimize Python's performance using various techniques, there's been reader interest in seeing just how their Python build stacks up. Here's a look at the Clear Linux Python performance compared to a few other configurations as well as Ubuntu Linux.

WireGuard Released For macOS, WireGuard Windows Coming & Linux Kernel Bits Still Pending
The initial version of the WireGuard open-source secure VPN tunnel is now available for macOS, following the WireGuard for iOS port a few months prior. But sadly on the Linux front, the kernel bits still have yet to be mainlined.

And the most popular featured articles:

AMD Radeon VII Linux Benchmarks - Powerful Open-Source Graphics For Compute & Gaming
Today we can finally reveal the Linux performance details for the AMD Radeon VII graphics card... Especially if you are an open-source driver fan, it's quite a treat thanks to having fully open-source and fairly mature driver support, but can this $699 USD graphics card dance with the likes of the GeForce RTX 2080? Here is our initial look at the Radeon VII performance on Linux using fifteen different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards for both OpenCL compute and Vulkan/OpenGL gaming on Ubuntu Linux.

Linux 5.0 Kernel Performance Is Sliding In The Wrong Direction
With the Linux 5.0 kernel performance approaching the finish line, the past few days I've been ramping up my tests of this new kernel in our benchmarking farm. Unfortunately, when looking at the results at a macro level it's pointing towards Linux 5.0 yielding lower performance than previous kernel releases.

Six Linux Distributions Benchmarked On The Dell XPS 9380 Laptop
While Dell is offering the option of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as the Linux option with their new XPS 9380 laptop, what happens if the Bionic Beaver isn't of interest to you? As part of our testing of the Dell XPS 9380 with Core i7 8565U laptop, I've just finished up testing six different Linux distributions on this 13-inch laptop.

The Performance Impact Of GCC CPU Tuning On The Linux Kernel's Performance
Last week there was the patch being proposed for the mainline Linux kernel that has long been carried by Gentoo's kernel to provide CPU optimization options, which were quickly shot-down by upstream maintainers, there were many requests to benchmark said patches... Here are dozens of performance figures looking at the performance impact of these optimizations for AMD Zen (znver1), Skylake, and Skylake X (Skylake-AVX512) compared to a stock mainline kernel build on several different systems.

The Performance Benefits To Running AMD's Radeon VII With Linux 5.0 + Mesa 19.0
With today's launch benchmarks of the AMD Radeon VII graphics card on Linux, tests were done using the latest Linux 5.0 Git kernel as well as Mesa 19.0 providing the OpenGL/Gallium3D drivers. Details on the support going back to older releases were covered, but in this article is looking at the performance difference between those recent Linux kernel and Mesa releases.

Dell XPS 13 9380 + Intel Core i7 8565U Ubuntu Linux Performance Benchmarks
At the end of January, Dell announced the Dell XPS 13 9380 Developer Edition laptop as an upgraded version of the XPS 9370 with now having Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs and other minor improvements. Over the past two weeks I've been testing out the Dell XPS 9380 with Intel Core i7 8565U processor with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. Here are benchmarks of the Dell XPS 9380 compared to several other laptops running Ubuntu Linux as well as looking at the system thermal and power consumption among other metrics.

Linux 5.0 I/O Scheduler Benchmarks On Laptop & Desktop Hardware
Our past tests have shown that while most Linux distributions default to "none" for their I/O scheduler on NVMe solid-state storage, that isn't necessarily the best scheduler decision in all cases. Here are tests using the Linux 5.0 Git kernel using laptop and desktop hardware while evaluating no I/O scheduler, mq-deadline, Kyber, and BFQ scheduler options.

GCC 8/9 vs. LLVM Clang 7/8 Compiler Performance On AArch64
With Clang 8.0 due out by month's end and GCC 9 due for release not long after that point, this week we've been running a number of GCC and Clang compiler benchmarks on Phoronix. At the start of the month was the large Linux x86_64 GCC vs. Clang compiler benchmarks on twelve different Intel/AMD systems while last week was also a look at the POWER9 compiler performance on the Raptor Talos II. In this article we are checking out these open-source compilers' performance on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) using an Ampere eMAG 32-core server.

62 Benchmarks, 12 Systems, 4 Compilers: Our Most Extensive Benchmarks Yet Of GCC vs. Clang Performance
After nearly two weeks of benchmarking, here is a look at our most extensive Linux x86_64 compiler comparison yet between the latest stable and development releases of the GCC and LLVM Clang C/C++ compilers. Tested with GCC 8, GCC 9.0.1 development, LLVM Clang 7.0.1, and LLVM Clang 8.0 SVN were tests on 12 distinct 64-bit systems and a total of 62 benchmarks run on each system with each of the four compilers... Here's a look at this massive data set for seeing the current GCC vs. Clang performance.

Early Intel i965 vs. Iris Gallium3D OpenGL Benchmarks On UHD Graphics 620 With Mesa 19.1
With yesterday's somewhat of a surprise announcement that Intel is ready to mainline their experimental Iris Gallium3D driver as their "modern" Linux OpenGL driver with numerous design advantages over their long-standing "classic" i965 Mesa driver, here are some fresh benchmarks of that latest driver compared to the current state of their OpenGL driver in Mesa 19.1.

Here's to an exciting March!
About The Author
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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