Vulkan, The New Linux Server Room & BioShock Won Linux Users In March
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 1 April 2015 at 08:36 AM EDT. Add A Comment
PHORONIX --
March was a terrific month for Phoronix readers with the Khronos Group unveiling SPIR-V and Vulkan, BioShock Infinite was finally released for Linux gamers, and there were numerous other highlights.

During March on Phoronix were 268 original news articles and 21 featured reviews/multi-page articles with all but one of them having been written by your's truly. The pace of the articles is picking up again now that I'm finally finished with the construction work on our new Linux benchmarking server room.


The new automated test farm.


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The most popular Phoronix articles this past month were:

OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
With having a new Apple Mac Mini in our testing labs this week, I ran some basic benchmarks comparing Mac OS X 10.10.2 to Ubuntu 15.04 to Fedora 21 in a few different configurations.

Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
This week I posted about my new server room, where there's Linux benchmarks constantly happening on the Linux kernel and other open-source code via the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic. With many Phoronix readers having been interested in the basement makeover I did to turn a ugly, boring basement into a clean server room, here's more details and pictures on the month-long renovation along with various tips and product recommendations from the experience. This server room is now almost up to 50 systems and is complete with a drink bar and projector. There's plenty of pictures and details for those hoping to build their own personal basement server room, including a few tips for increasing the wife acceptance factor of the big project.

BioShock Infinite Is The Latest Game Showing Why Linux Gamers Choose NVIDIA
This week's release of BioShock Infinite for Linux reinforces the common recommendation by Linux game developers that those seeking the best support and performance should use the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver. Here's an initial look at the BioShock Infinite performance on Ubuntu between AMD and NVIDIA graphics.

NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
Last week NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GTX TITAN X during their annual GPU Tech Conference. Of course, all of the major reviews at launch were under Windows and thus largely focused on the Direct3D performance. Now that our review sample arrived this week, I've spent the past few days hitting the TITAN X hard under Linux with various OpenGL and OpenCL workloads compared to other NVIDIA and AMD hardware on the binary Linux drivers.

Khronos Group Announces Vulkan, OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V
Today is a very exciting day for those into open standard graphics and compute APIs! While driver implementations aren't expected until later in 2015, the next-generation OpenGL standard is being announced as the Vulkan API, the provisional specification to OpenCL 2.1 is being released, and SPIR-V is set to make its debut as the IR for both Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1.

Radeon R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D Git Code Delivers Performance Improvements
It's been several weeks since last publishing any Mesa/LLVM Git benchmarks with AMD Radeon graphics cards so for this weekend article are some fresh OpenGL graphics performance tests when running with Mesa 10.6-devel Git and LLVM 3.7 SVN atop the stable Linux 3.19 kernel.

Linux 4.0 Kernel Testing With AMD Radeon Graphics
With the Linux 4.0 kernel getting into shape here are some early benchmarks of three AMD Radeon graphics cards when comparing the Linux 4.0 Git performance to that of the Linux 3.19 stable kernel.

Big Graphics Card Comparison Of Metro Redux Games On Linux
While in the process of benchmarking BioShock Infinite on Linux with AMD and NVIDIA hardware given the Linux release of the title this week, I also took this opportunity to run a 22-way graphics card comparison of Metro Last Light Redux and Metro 2033 Redux on the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers atop Ubuntu 15.04. Here's those results.

Geekwire LP-4: Low-Cost, Mini-Projector
With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 2, I had immediately ordered one for some ARM hacking, as the price-performance angle was finally acceptable. Then it hit me, I had no idle screens with HDMI/DVI input.

Trying Out The Modern Linux Desktops With 4 Monitors + AMD/NVIDIA Graphics
As some recent non-performance testing of the AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers on Linux, I checked in to see how well the various Linux desktop environments were working these days in multi-monitor setups. With the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards and drivers, I tried out Unity, GNOME Shell, Xfce, and (attempted) KDE Plasma 5 on Ubuntu 15.04 to check out the latest experience.

The most popular March 2015 Linux/open-source news meanwhile was:

Valve Developed An Intel Linux Vulkan GPU Driver
For helping out ISVs and game developers test out their initial Vulkan code, they developed their own Intel Vulkan GPU graphics driver for Linux that they intend to open-source.

Chrome OS Switches To "Freon" Graphics Stack To Replace X11
Released this past week was Chrome OS 41 and besides having improved WiFi stability, updates to the guest mode wallpaper, and other changes, some Chrome OS devices have been updated to Google's new "Freon" graphics stack. Freon further removes X11 dependencies from Google's world and will yield performance improvements in the future. Freon isn't based directly on Wayland nor Mir.

"Why Linux Is Still Not Ready For The Desktop"
While there's 1000+ Steam games on Linux and the Linux desktop experience improving greatly with GNOME 3.14/3.16 and KDE Plasma 5, for Windows users not everyone feels the Linux desktop is ready.

Introducing The Library Operating System For Linux
Announced today on the Linux kernel mailing list was the Library Operating System (LibOS) for Linux.

The Big Features Of The Linux 4.0 Kernel
Linux 4.0 should be officially released within the next few weeks. In anticipation of its April debut, here's a look at some of the big features for this next version of the Linux kernel.

Improved OpenCL Support For Blender's Cycles Renderer
George Kyriazis of AMD has provided patches to the Blender project for vastly improving their OpenCL Cycles renderer support and allow for it to work with AMD GPUs.

Systemd Developers Did NOT Fork The Linux Kernel
Various Phoronix readers have written in this weekend and commented in the forums and elsewhere that systemd developers forked the Linux kernel. This is not the case.

Open-Source Driver Fans Will Love NVIDIA's New OpenGL Demo
Those with a bit of humor will love the demo NVIDIA recently used for showing off their Nouveau-based open-source graphics driver stack on the Tegra K1 SoC.

Google To Shutdown Google Code, Concedes To GitHub
Days after Gitorious got acquired by GitLab, the latest code hosting platform seeing a shake-up is Google Code. Google has announced today they're shutting down Google Code.

There's Now More Than 1,000 Games On Steam For Linux
There's now more than one thousand native games available via Steam for Linux / SteamOS.

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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