November Was Great For Linux Users, But December Will Be Especially Interesting
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 30 November 2014 at 09:54 PM EST. 10 Comments
PHORONIX --
November was another exciting month on Phoronix and here's a recap of the most popular Linux and open-source content from the past 30 days.

Published this month on Phoronix were 240 original news stories and 16 featured-length articles/reviews written by yours truly. Of the news stories, the most popular articles were:

Intel's Xeon Phi Is Being Sold For An Insanely Low Price Right Now
There's a crazy discount right now for those wishing to buy an Intel Xeon Phi MIC card that's equipped with 57 cores running at 1.1GHz, 8GB of onboard memory, passively cooled, and over 1 TeraFLOP of double-precision compute power. All of this on a PCI Express card for less than... $200 USD!

Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
LunarG in cooperation with Intel discovered a very important performance fix for their DRM driver that will significantly boost the OpenGL performance for "Haswell" HD Graphics on Linux.

Nasty Lockup Issue Still Being Investigated For Linux 3.18
When Linux 3.18-rc6 was released last Sunday, Linus Torvalds noted in the release announcement that a "a big unknown worry in a regression" remained. Nearly one week later, kernel developers are still figuring out what's going on with this regression that can cause frequent lockups. Worse off, it looks like it might affect the Linux 3.17 kernel too.

Mozilla's Servo Engine Is Crazy Fast Compared To Gecko
Yesterday an update was shared concerning the latest state of Google's Blink Engine fork of WebKit. While not receiving much mainstream attention, Mozilla's Servo Engine is starting to come together as a much more performant and advanced layout engine compared to Gecko. Next year we might see some Servo action within Firefox OS and on Android.

Microsoft To Open-Source .NET, Bring It Officially To Linux
While Mono has been around as an open-source, unofficial .NET implementation for years on Linux, OS X, iOS, etc, Microsoft announced today they are officially open-sourcing their .NET implementation and making it cross-platform -- Microsoft explicitly mentions Linux support.

Joey Hess Resigns From Debian, Unhappy With How It's Changed
Joey Hess is now distancing himself from the Debian project as he resigns from his roles after being involved with Debian since 1996. In his parting remarks, Joey says his biggest regret over the past eighteen years is not speaking out against the Debian constitution.

NEMO-UX Shell Is A Futuristic, Multi-User Wayland Experience
Demonstrated at the ACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ACM ITS) event in Dresden, Germany the past few deays was the "NEMOSHELL" that looks like a futuristic user experience supported by Wayland.

Debian Init System Coupling Vote Results
The Debian voting surrounding a general resolution around init system coupling has ended.

FreeBSD Receives A Million Dollar Donation
The FreeBSD has received their largest ever single donation: $1,000,000 USD.

Ian Jackson Resigns From The Debian Technical Committee
There's yet another resignation this morning in the Debian camp.

Meanwhile, the most popular articles were:

Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
While I delivered some OS X 10.10 Yosemite preview benchmarks back in August, here's my first tests of the official release of Apple OS X 10.10.1 compared to Ubuntu 14.10 Linux. Tests were done of OS X 10.9.5 and OS X 10.10.1 against Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn when running the benchmarks under both GCC and LLVM Clang compilers.

Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
Following the recent Btrfs RAID: Native vs. Mdadm comparison, the dual-HDD Btrfs RAID benchmarks, and four-SSD RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Btrfs benchmarks are RAID Linux benchmarks on these four Intel SATA 3.0 solid state drives using other file-systems -- including EXT4, XFS, and Btrfs with Linux 3.18.

Btrfs RAID: Built-In/Native RAID vs. Mdadm
Last month on Phoronix I posted some dual-HDD Btrfs RAID benchmarks and that was followed by Btrfs RAID 0/1/5/6/10 testing on four Intel solid-state drives. In still testing the four Intel Series 530 SSDs in a RAID array, the new benchmarks today are a comparison of the performance when using Btrfs' built-in RAID capabilities versus setting up a Linux 3.18 software RAID with Btrfs on the same hardware/software using mdadm.

AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux
Last week I shared some preview benchmarks from Steam on Linux showing Radeon Gallium3D starting to beat Catalyst. In this article are the full results from comparing the open and closed-source AMD Linux graphics cards with sixteen Radeon graphics cards while testing Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Linux. The results yield a very close race!

CS:GO & TF2 Extensively Tested On The Newest Open-Source Radeon Linux Driver
The latest massive set of Linux test data we have to share with Linux gamers and enthusiasts is a look at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 when using the very newest open-source Radeon graphics driver code. The very latest open-source Radeon driver code tested with these popular Valve Linux games were the Linux 3.18 Git kernel, Mesa 10.4-devel, LLVM 3.6 SVN, and xf86-video-ati 7.5.99. With this bleeding edge code there were sixteen AMD Radeon graphics cards tested from low to high-end and spanning several generations. Beyond looking at the frame-rate results, there's also power consumption, performance-per-Watt, GPU core temperature, and CPU usage to go along with all of these results. Enjoy!

AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
With last week having delivered our latest Linux vs. Windows NVIDIA benchmarks where we found that the NVIDIA Linux driver can outperform the Windows 8.1 driver with OpenGL workloads, the tables have turned to looking at the AMD Windows vs. Linux performance using the latest code. In this Ubuntu 14.10 vs. Windows 8.1 comparison, the open-source Radeon driver on Linux is also being tested against the Catalyst drivers.

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The latest work-in-progress addition to the Phoronix office:

Stay tuned for a super interesting December and an announcement in the days ahead...
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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 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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