Ubuntu Drama, Clear Linux Speed & WSL2 Sparked Lots Of Interest In June
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 July 2019 at 07:08 AM EDT. 1 Comment
PHORONIX --
June was a very interesting month with the varying statements out of Canonical about the future of Ubuntu 32-bit support, AMD's Zen 2 processors and Navi product announcements (benchmarks next week!), Microsoft pushing out the new Windows Terminal and WSL2, Clear Linux continuing to further enhance their offering, and more Linux performance happenings in general.

Below is a look at the most popular news and featured benchmark articles/reviews on Phoronix during June. If you enjoy our daily open-source reporting and leading Linux benchmarking, consider showing your support this summer by joining Phoronix Premium and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

The most popular news for June 2019 included:

Red Hat Expecting X.Org To "Go Into Hard Maintenance Mode Fairly Quickly"
With the Fedora Workstation 31 feature outlook covered earlier this week, there was an interesting comment in that article by Red Hat's Christian Schaller that deserves special coverage.

Valve Will Not Be Officially Supporting Ubuntu 19.10+
The planned dropping of 32-bit support on Ubuntu saga continues... Well known Valve Linux developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has said they plan to officially stop supporting Ubuntu for Steam on Linux.

CERN Is Working To Move Further Away From Microsoft Due To License Costs Going Up By 10x
CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research that is home to the Large Hadron Collider and a lot of other experiments, is experimenting with moving further away from Microsoft products. Due to Microsoft license fee increases affecting their work in the research laboratory and its budget, they established the Microsoft Alternatives "MAlt" project.

Wine Developers Appear Quite Apprehensive About Ubuntu's Plans To Drop 32-Bit Support
It's looking like the plans announced by Canonical this week to drop their 32-bit packages/libraries beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 will be causing problems for the Wine camp at least in the near-term until an adequate solution is sorted out for providing their 32-bit Wine builds to Ubuntu users.

AMD Zen 2 CPUs Come With A Few New Instructions - At Least WBNOINVD, CLWB, RDPID
During the AMD Zen 2 + RDNA launch event they highlighted some of the new instructions to find with the Zen 2 processor but there is at least one more.

Canonical Developer Tries Running GOG Games On 64-Bit-Only Ubuntu 19.10 Setup
In response to the decision to drop 32-bit x86 support beginning in Ubuntu 19.10, Alan Pope of Canonical and longtime Ubuntu member decided to try running some GOG games under an Ubuntu 19.10 daily build that he configured to remove the 32-bit packages ahead of the actual removal. Unfortunately, his experience didn't go so smoothly.

100+ Benchmarks Between Clear Linux vs. Arch-Based Manjaro Linux - Summer 2019 Tests
For those wondering how Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux is comparing to the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution, here are a number of benchmarks on the same Intel Core i7 8700K in seeing how these rolling-release distros are competing for summer 2019.

The Latest Linux Kernel Appears To Be Causing Connectivity Issues For Steam
If you are planning to enjoy some Linux gaming this week via Steam, you may want to think twice about upgrading to the latest Linux kernel Git code or even the newest stable point releases.

Ubuntu Moving Ahead With Compressing Their Kernel Image Using LZ4
Ubuntu will begin compressing its kernel image / initramfs using the LZ4 compression scheme to improve the experience around their installer and for cloud/core/classic devices. There is some concern over the performance to which they may do additional tweaking.

Clear Linux Gets Questions Over Steam Integration, Other Plans For This High-Perf Distro
Auke Kok of Intel / Clear Linux carried out the distribution's first ask-me-anything session today where he fielded questions ranging from Steam to under-served software projects.

And the most popular featured articles:

Initial Benchmarks Of Microsoft's WSL2 - Windows Subsystem For Linux 2 On Windows 10 Is A Mixed Bag
Since the release of WSL2 as a Windows 10 Insider Preview update this week, we've been putting the new Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 under some benchmarks compared to WSL1 and bare metal Linux. While WSL2 has improved the I/O performance thanks to the new Hyper-V-based virtualization approach employed by WSL2, the performance has regressed in other areas for running Linux binaries on Windows 10. Here are our preliminary benchmark results.

A Look At How The Linux Performance Has Evolved Since The AMD EPYC Launch
With next-generation EPYC processors expected to be released next quarter, it's a good time to see how the performance of the original EPYC 7601 32-core / 64-thread processor's performance has evolved on Linux since its 2017 launch. This article is looking at the performance of an AMD EPYC 7601 Tyan server when running Ubuntu 17.04 as the newest stable Ubuntu release when EPYC was originally introduced in June 2017 compared to the performance when running the new Ubuntu 19.04 as well as jumping ahead to running the in-development Linux 5.2 kernel release. Additionally, the Ubuntu 19.04 + Linux 5.2 kernel configuration when also disabling Spectre mitigations.

Benchmarking The Experimental Bcachefs File-System Against Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS & ZFS
With Bcachefs core development being done and the possibility of this file-system being mainlined soon, here are some fresh benchmarks of this file-system compared to Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS, and ZFS On Linux.

Chrome 75 vs. Firefox 67 / 68 Beta Linux Performance
With last week's release of Chrome 75 I have now wrapped up some benchmarks seeing how the performance of the updated Google web-browser compares to that of the current Firefox 67 stable release as well as Firefox 68 beta, including with WebRender activated. Here are those latest Linux web browser benchmarks.

Benchmarking Five ~$30 USD Solid-State Drives Under Ubuntu Linux
With falling memory prices, there's multiple solid-state drives available for around the $30 USD price point that offer 240~256GB capacities. Here are benchmarks of five such drives, four of which are SATA 3.0 SSDs and even one NVMe SSD. There are also comparison points to more premium SSD products.

Intel Core i5 8400 vs. i5 9400F Meltdown/Spectre/L1TF/MDS Mitigation Impact
With recently seeing a deal on the Intel Core i5 9400F processor, I picked it up for testing as part of our Spectre / Meltdown / Foreshadow / Zombieload testing since it features some hardware mitigations and is otherwise quite similar to the unmitigated Core i5 8400 that I also have in the benchmarking farm. Here are some results when benchmarking the Core i5 8400 and Core i5 9400F with and without the current Linux mitigations for these CPU vulnerabilities.

Benchmarks Of OpenMandriva's AMD Zen Optimized Linux Distribution Against Ubuntu, openSUSE, Clear Linux
Released this week was OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 as the latest major release for this Linux distribution of Mandriva/Mandrake heritage and continues on the interesting trend of innovations. In addition to continuing to use the LLVM Clang compiler by default rather than GCC, among other changes that position it more uniquely than many other Linux distributions out there, their 4.0 release has a "znver1" spin that is optimized for AMD Ryzen/Threadripper/EPYC processors. Here are benchmarks comparing not only OpenMandriva 4.0's x86-64 and Znver1 options but also how that performance compares to the likes of Ubuntu 19.04, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Intel's Clear Linux.

Raspbian Based On Debian 10 Offering Up Some Performance Improvements For Raspberry Pi
Alongside this week's announcement of the Raspberry Pi 4, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also released a new Raspbian operating system release that is re-based from Debian 9 Stretch to the soon-to-be-released Debian 10 Buster. In benchmarking of these new and old Raspbian releases on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus, there are performance gains to find even if not jumping to the Raspberry Pi 4.

Optane SSD RAID Performance With ZFS On Linux, EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, F2FS
This round of benchmarking fun consisted of packing two Intel Optane 900p high-performance NVMe solid-state drives into a system for a fresh round of RAID Linux benchmarking atop the in-development Linux 5.2 kernel plus providing a fresh look at the ZFS On Linux 0.8.1 performance.

The Latest Linux 5.2 + Mesa 19.2 Radeon Performance Against NVIDIA With Mid-Range GPUs
With the Linux 5.2 kernel a few weeks out from its stable release and now being in the middle of the Mesa 19.2 development cycle for the RADV Vulkan and RadeonSI OpenGL drivers, here are some fresh results looking at the latest open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver stack compared to the latest NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver. In this article the focus is on the mid-range (Polaris) line-up against the NVIDIA competition while similar tests on the high-end are currently being carried out.
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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