Radeon VII & Linux 5.0 Excited Open-Source Enthusiasts In Q1
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 30 March 2019 at 07:47 AM EDT. 3 Comments
FREE SOFTWARE --
With the first quarter wrapping up, here is a look back at the most popular content of our 903+ original news articles in Q1 as well as 70 featured Linux hardware reviews / featured benchmark articles.

Q1-2019 was quite exciting on the open-source front with the AMD Radeon VII launch met by good same-day driver coverage for Linux gamers, Linux 5.0 being released, GCC 9 and Clang 8 being buttoned up for release, more interesting Intel code drops, and much more. Here is a look back at the most popular content on Phoronix for Q1.

Looking ahead to Q2 there are some exciting hardware launches abound, Linux 5.1 will be released, Fedora 30 and Ubuntu 19.04 are seeing their releases, and much more. In June will also mark the 15th birthday of Phoronix. If you enjoy the new/original content on Phoronix each and every day, consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip or at the very least not viewing this website with an ad-blocker.

Of the 900+ original news articles this quarter, the most popular stories included:

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.

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.

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.

A Quick Look At The Firefox 66.0 vs. Chrome 73.0 Performance Benchmarks
Given the recent releases of Chrome 73 and Firefox 66, here are some fresh tests of these latest browsers on Linux under a variety of popular browser benchmarks.

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.

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.

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.

ReactOS 0.4.11 "Open-Source Windows" Available With Big Kernel Improvements
ReactOS 0.4.11 is now available as the newest version of this open-source operating system re-implementing the Windows APIs with a focus on binary driver/application compatibility. With this being the first release since November's ReactOS 0.4.10, there are a fair amount of changes to find in this new build.

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.

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.

Ubuntu 19.04 Is Offering Some Performance Improvements Over Ubuntu 18.10, Comparison To Clear Linux
With the Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" release less than one month away, we are getting ready for rolling out more tests of this next six-month installment to Ubuntu Linux. For those curious about the direction of Ubuntu 19.04's performance, here are some very preliminary data points using the latest daily state of Ubuntu 19.04 right ahead of the beta period. Tests were done on a high-end Intel Core i9 9900K desktop as well as a Dell XPS Developer Edition notebook when comparing Ubuntu 19.04 to Ubuntu 18.10 and also tossing in Clear Linux as a performance reference point.

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.

Benchmarking A 10-Core Tyan/IBM POWER Server For ~$300 USD
If you live in the EU and have been wanting to explore IBM POWER hardware on Linux, a load of Tyan Habanero servers recently became available through a German retailer for 269 EUR (~$306 USD) that comes equipped with a 10-core POWER8 processor. While not POWER9, it's still an interesting Linux-capable beast and the price is unbeatable if you have been wanting to add POWER hardware to your collection. Phoronix reader Lauri Kasanen recently bought one of these IBM POWER servers at the 269 EUR price point and has shared thoughts on this server as well as some benchmarks. Here is Lauri's guest post checking out this low-cost 2U IBM server.

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.

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.

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 Fastest Linux Distributions For Web Browsing - Firefox + Chrome Benchmarks On Eight Distros
With now having WebDriver/Seleneium integration in PTS for carrying out browser benchmarks, we've been having fun running a variety of web browser benchmarks in different configurations. The latest is looking at the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browser performance across eight Linux distribution releases (or nine if counting Fedora Workstation on both X.Org and Wayland) for looking at how the web browsing performance compares.
About The Author
Author picture

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.

Related Free Software News
Popular News This Week