Linux 5.0, RTX 2060, ZoL & Other Topics Dominating Discussions For January
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 February 2019 at 12:00 AM EST. Add A Comment
PHORONIX --
January was certainly an exciting month with the Linux 5.0 kernel taking shape, the GeForce RTX 2060 launch and other new hardware, approaching the exciting open-source Radeon VII launch, and other Linux/open-source events to help warm up those otherwise experiencing a frigid winter.

During last month on Phoronix were 322 original news articles and 26 featured/multi-page articles/reviews. As a quick reminder, if you enjoy all of this content 99% of which is written by just your's truly, consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium, considering a PayPal tip, or at the very least to not be blocking ads when viewing this web-site. Ads are the primary resource Phoronix relies upon to continue producing new content in its 15th years but ad-blockers make that particularly challenging to continue with only 1~2% of ad-blockers opting for Phoronix Premium for an ad-free experience and other features.

Looking forward to February there is the Radeon VII launch with Linux launch-day benchmarks coming, the new Dell XPS Developer Edition review, our largest ever GCC vs. LLVM Clang compiler performance comparison that has been going non-stop for more than one week, and other interesting software and hardware benchmarks.

With that said, here was the most popular news on Phoronix for January:

Allwinner Continues Work On Linux Patches To Dump Kernel Errors To Block Devices
While Allwinner Technology isn't known as one of the most gracious contributors to the Linux kernel, their continued work on the "pstore_block" kernel patches will be of interest to many especially in the ARM/embedded space and just not for those using Allwinner SoCs.

The Expected Linux Driver State For The Radeon VII
With yesterday's surprise announcement of the Radeon VII "Radeon 7" as a new $699 7nm second-generation Vega consumer graphics card launching in early February, you may be wondering about the open-source Linux driver support state. While nothing official has come down the wire yet, here is what appears to be the state for this new Vega graphics card on Linux.

Purism Shares The Progress Made On Their Librem 5 Smartphone For The End Of 2018
The folks at Purism have shared their latest status update on the Librem 5 Linux-powered, security-minded smartphone they plan to begin shipping in the months ahead.

Even In 2019, A Long Road Still For Getting The VIA OpenChrome Driver In Linux
It's been over a decade since VIA x86 hardware has been relevant and with that their Unichrome/Chrome integrated graphics chipsets, but the effort still isn't over for trying to get the OpenChrome DRM/KMS driver into the mainline Linux kernel for these vintage systems.

The Linux Kernel Likely To See A Hardware Accelerator Subsystem
Given the increasing rise of hardware accelerators for compute offloading of particular tasks especially now around deep/machine learning with more chips coming to market, the Linux kernel will likely soon see the introduction of a formal subsystem for these different accelerator drivers.

Mir Made Good Progress Over The Holidays With Porting To Debian & Alpine, ARM Mali
Canonical's Mir display server is off to a good start for 2019 with a lot of work and pet projects being worked on over the holidays by the developers involved.

XGI Display Driver Finally On The Linux Kernel Chopping Block
XGI Tech, the nearly two decade old spin off from SiS that was short-lived and once aimed to be a competitor to ATI and NVIDIA, still has a Linux driver within the mainline kernel. But this frame-buffer driver is slated to soon be removed.

ZFS On Linux Runs Into A Snag With Linux 5.0
While the Linux 5.0 kernel has a lot of enticing features and improvements, if you rely upon ZFS On Linux (ZOL) you will probably want to hold off on trying the Linux 5.0 release candidates at this time.

Quake 2 Gets Real-Time Path Tracing Powered By NVIDIA RTX / VK_NV_ray_tracing
For those Linux gamers with a NVIDIA RTX "Turing" graphics card, there's finally an interesting open-source workload to enjoy that makes use of the RTX hardware and NVIDIA's VK_NV_ray_tracing extension... A real-time path tracing port of the legendary Quake 2 game.

From The Linux Perspective: What I Am Most Looking Forward To In 2019
With 2019 started and also the 15th year since starting Phoronix.com, what am I most excited for in 2019 from a Linux/open-source perspective? Here is a look at what has me motivated for the year ahead.

And the most popular featured articles:

The Ryzen 7 1800X Linux Performance Evolution Since The AMD Zen Launch
With it quickly approaching two years since the launch of the original AMD Ryzen processors and complementing our other end-of-2018 Linux performance benchmarks, in this article are some fresh benchmarks seeing how the Linux performance at the start of 2017 on the Ryzen 7 1800X compares to the latest Linux performance at the start of 2019.

The Many New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 5.0 Kernel
Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.0-rc1, what was formerly known as Linux 4.21 over the past two weeks. While the bumping was rather arbitrary as opposed to a major change necessitating the big version bump, this next version of the Linux kernel does come with some exciting changes and new features (of course, our Twitter followers already have known Linux was thinking of the 5.0 re-brand from 4.21). Here is our original feature overview of the new material to find in this kernel.

Linux 5.0 File-System Benchmarks: Btrfs vs. EXT4 vs. F2FS vs. XFS
With all of the major file-systems seeing clean-up work during the Linux 4.21 merge window (now known as Linux 5.0 and particularly with F2FS seeing fixes as a result of it being picked up by Google for support on Pixel devices, I was curious to see how the current popular mainline file-system choices compare for performance. Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS were tested on a SATA 3.0 solid-state drive, USB SSD, and an NVMe SSD.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Linux Performance From Gaming To TensorFlow & Compute
Yesterday NVIDIA kicked off their week at CES by announcing the GeForce RTX 2060, the lowest-cost Turing GPU to date at just $349 USD but aims to deliver around the performance of the previous-generation GeForce GTX 1080. I only received my RTX 2060 yesterday for testing but have been putting it through its paces since and have the initial benchmark results to deliver ranging from the OpenGL/Vulkan Linux gaming performance through various interesting GPU compute workloads. Also, with this testing there are graphics cards tested going back to the GeForce GTX 960 Maxwell for an interesting look at how the NVIDIA Linux GPU performance has evolved.

Microsoft Windows Server Benchmarked Against Six Linux Distributions
While it was not too long ago that Microsoft Windows Server 2019 began shipping and that we conducted some end-of-year benchmarks between Windows and Linux, with being in the process of running a number of Windows and Linux benchmarks as part of our ongoing 10GbE OS performance testing, I also took the opportunity to run some other benchmarks on Windows Server 2016 and 2019 as well as a set of Linux distributions.

Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux vs. FreeBSD Gigabit & 10GbE Networking Performance
FreeBSD 12.0, Windows Server 2019, and five Linux distributions were tested for comparing the Gigabit and 10GbE networking performance as part of our latest benchmarks. Additionally, the performance was looked at for the Mellanox 10GbE adapter when also using the company's Linux tuning script compared to the out-of-the-box performance on the enterprise Linux distribution releases.

The AMD Radeon RX Vega Launch Performance Compared To 2019 Linux Drivers
With the AMD Radeon VII graphics card shipping in two weeks as the second-generation Vega GPU at 7nm, I figured it would be an interesting time to see how far the original Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 graphics card performance has evolved since their launch back in August 2017. Here is a fresh look at the current Radeon RX Vega 56/64 GPU performance today using the bleeding-edge Linux graphics drivers compared to the driver state back in 2017 for OpenGL and Vulkan gaming performance.

1080p/1440p Linux Gaming Performance For Radeon RX 590/Vega & NVIDIA 1060/1070/1080/2060/2070
Complementing the benchmarks done earlier this week in the our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Linux review, here are more benchmarks of the GeForce RTX 2060 $349 USD graphics card that is beginning to ship next week. This article offers up a plethora of 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 Linux gaming benchmarks while providing the very latest driver performance results on the AMD Radeon RX 590, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64 while on the NVIDIA side was the GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 and RTX 2060/2070 graphics cards.

FreeBSD ZFS vs. TrueOS ZoF vs. DragonFlyBSD HAMMER2 vs. ZFS On Linux Benchmarks
With TrueOS offering daily snapshots built against the "ZFS on FreeBSD" code derived from OpenZFS / ZFS on Linux, I decided to run some benchmarks to see how the performance compares to that of FreeBSD 12.0 with its ZFS file-system support, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 with its HAMMER2 file-system alternative, and then Linux with ZFS/ZoL and other file-system options.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760/960/1060 / RTX 2060 Linux Gaming & Compute Performance
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is shipping today as the most affordable Turing GPU option to date at $349 USD. Last week we posted our initial GeForce RTX 2060 Linux review and followed-up with more 1080p and 1440p Linux gaming benchmarks after having more time with the card. In this article is a side-by-side performance comparison of the GeForce RTX 2060 up against the GTX 1060 Pascal, GTX 960 Maxwell, and GTX 760 Kepler graphics cards. Not only are we looking at the raw OpenGL, Vulkan, and OpenCL/CUDA compute performance between these four generations, but also the power consumption and performance-per-Watt.
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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