Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

RADV vs. AMDVLK vs. Radeon Software Vulkan Driver Performance - October 2018 Linux Gaming

Given AMD's weekly updating of the public AMDVLK Vulkan driver source tree as their official open-source Vulkan Linux driver while RADV continues to be maintained as the popular open-source Radeon Vulkan driver within the Mesa source tree, here is a fresh look at how those competing drivers perform. Additionally there are the results from Radeon Software / AMDGPU-PRO using its closed-source Vulkan driver that is derived from the same sources as AMDVLK but built against AMD's proprietary shader compiler.

3 Hours Ago - Display Drivers
Intel Is Having Great Success With Their Open-Source Sound Firmware

Intel a while back open-sourced their sound firmware and SDK and also launched the "Sound Open Firmware" project in cooperation with the Linux Foundation. It's been an interesting journey and getting Intel pointed towards offering more open-source firmware.

5 Hours Ago - Intel - Sound Open Firmware
Steam Linux Usage For September Revised Slightly Higher

The initial Steam Linux market-share figures for September showed a rise in Linux gamers which isn't too surprising given the recent roll-out of Steam Play / Proton. It turns out those figures are even higher than originally reported.

3 October 09:39 PM EDT - Valve - Still Below 1%
Fedora Wants To Know If Linux Hibernation Works For You

Linux hibernation and suspend/resume works much better in recent years than a decade ago, certainly, but that isn't without some bugs still persisting either due to quirky hardware or the occasional kernel/software issues as well. Fedora developers are interested in hearing about your current system hibernation experience.

3 October 01:14 PM EDT - Hardware - Fedora Hibernation
Proposed Changes To Intel GPU Top Would Make It A More Useful Utility

Among the developer/enthusiast tool-set of the Intel open-source Linux graphics driver developers has been Intel GPU Top (the command intel_gpu_top) that is distributed with the Intel-GPU-Tools collection. This GPU information utility inspired by Linux's well known top command reports for Intel HD/UHD/Iris Graphics hardware the usage information, but does require root privileges to operate. Intel GPU Top is about to get a major overhaul.

3 October 11:08 AM EDT - Intel - intel-gpu-top
The Ubuntu Linux Performance Over The Past Six Years On An Intel Xeon Server

In needing to make some room in the racks for some new hardware and some other interesting platforms on the way, I've retired the last of the Intel Nehalem era hardware at Phoronix that was still used for occasional historical Linux performance tests... I decided to take this Sun Microsystems SunFire X4170 server with dual Intel Xeon E5540 (Nehalem EP) processors for a final spin before pulling it from the racks. Here is a look at how the near-final Ubuntu 18.10 Linux performance compares to that of Ubuntu 12.10.

3 October 07:43 AM EDT - Operating Systems
Trying Out AMDGPU DRM-Next Ahead Of Linux 4.20~5.0

With the two main set of AMDGPU DRM driver updates merged (one and two) to DRM-Next ahead of the next Linux kernel cycle, I decided to run some benchmarks on this code using Vega and Polaris hardware for seeing how the performance compares to that of the Linux 4.18 stable and Linux 4.19 Git kernels.

2 October 10:52 AM EDT - Display Drivers
Red Hat's Stratis Storage Project Reaches Its 1.0 Stable Milestone

Stratis has been the Red Hat play two years in development for delivering next-gen Linux storage following their decision to abandon Btrfs support. Stratis offers ZFS and Btrfs like functionality and a lot of other new capabilities while this past week marked its first stable release.

2 October 04:48 AM EDT - Red Hat - Statis 1.0
Dbus-Broker Is Still A Faster User-Space-Based D-Bus

With BUS1 still appearing out in the distant for the mainline Linux kernel as an in-kernel IPC mechanism, dbus-broker is the year-and-a-half long effort so far at making a faster D-Bus compliant implementation in user-space.

1 October 11:00 AM EDT - systemd - dbus-broker
Fedora 29 Succeeds At Flicker-Free Boot Experience On Intel Hardware

After optimizing the Linux laptop battery life last cycle, Hans de Goede of Red Hat has been working on Fedora 29 to provide a "flicker-free" boot experience. A Linux desktop flicker-free boot has been talked about for a decade or longer but with Fedora 29 and using Intel graphics that is finally becoming a reality.

1 October 08:47 AM EDT - Fedora - Fedora 29 Flicker-Free
The Current Performance Of Virgl3D, Future Plans

Last week at XDC2018 in Spain, Elie Tournier of Collabora presented on the current state of the Virgl effort for allowing OpenGL acceleration provided by a host's system within a QEMU/VirtIO-GPU virtual machine environment.

1 October 07:17 AM EDT - Mesa - Virgl At XDC
Speck, Steam Play, RTX 2080 & Linux Kernel Activity Dominated The Scene In September

Over the course of September on Phoronix were 308 original news articles and 22 featured Linux hardware reviews and benchmarking articles. There was a lot of interesting activity on the hardware side from continued Threadripper tests to the GeForce RTX 2080 series launch as well as interesting news from the Linux code of conduct to the controversial Speck crypto code being removed.

1 October 06:58 AM EDT - Phoronix - September 2018
Feral Is Bringing Life is Strange 2 To Linux In 2019

Just days after announcing Total War: Three Kingdoms for Linux and releasing Life is Strange: Before The Storm, Feral Interactive has announced they will be bringing Life is Strange 2 to Linux (and macOS) in 2019.

1 October 06:18 AM EDT - Linux Gaming - Life is Strange 2
Gallium Clover With SPIR-V & NIR Opening Up New Compute Options Inside Mesa

One of the XDC2018 talks I was most looking forward to was the presentation by Red Hat's Karol Herbst and Rob Clark on their work with SPIR-V/NIR support inside Mesa for the context of OpenCL/compute support, which includes getting GPGPU computing on the Nouveau and Freedreno drivers.

1 October 05:08 AM EDT - Mesa - NIR Compute
Intel Begins Working On A Vulkan Compute Back-End For OpenCV Library

As perhaps a sign of where Intel is heading for their GPU computing strategy with their in-development discrete GPUs, they are developing a Vulkan compute back-end for the widely-used OpenCV library. This Vulkan back-end is for handling GPU-based compute for neural networks with this Open Computer Vision library as an alternative to the CUDA and OpenCL GPU compute support.

30 September 07:33 PM EDT - Intel - Neural Networks With Vulkan
Feral's GameMode Gets Patches To Adjust I/O Priority For Games

Feral's GameMode open-source project for dynamically optimizing a Linux system for gaming with automatically adjusting tunables like the CPU frequency scaling governor and real-time kernel optimizations may soon see another feature added.

30 September 07:14 PM EDT - Linux Gaming - GameMode + IO Priorities
Debian Developers Weighed The Idea Of Not Allowing Q&A Sessions At Their Conference

Debian developers have been discussing what to many seems like a rather unorthodox idea of not allowing questions/answers following presentations at their annual DebConf conference. This idea of banning questions and answers follows a policy by a Python conference that forbids questions/answers following presentations and is meant to help ease newcomers.

30 September 01:06 PM EDT - Debian - Helps Newcomers
Linux 4.19-rc6 Kernel Released By Greg KH

Continuing to serve as the release manager in the absence of Linus Torvalds, Greg Kroah-Hartman today released Linux 4.19-rc6 as the latest test release for the Linux 4.19 kernel that will debut as stable in October.

30 September 11:06 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux 4.19-rc6
Unvanquished Open-Source Game Still Coming Along, More Assets Licensed CC-By-SA 3.0

It has been a long time since last having anything new to report on the Unvanquished open-source game project that is powered by the "Daemon Engine" as a long ago fork from ioquake3 and has seen countless improvements since. At least when the project started out several years back, the visual quality was great and they had been doing great alpha releases. However, in the past two years they haven't succeeded in putting out new alphas or their long-awaited beta, but fortunately the project is still alive.

30 September 07:17 AM EDT - Linux Gaming - Unvanquished
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR Finally Seeing Linux Support

After getting the Linux support squared away for Creative's Sound BlasterX AE-5 and Sound Blaster Recon3D, Connor McAdams latest challenge was getting the Sound Blaster ZxR support working on Linux. Overnight a set of 11 patches were sent out to get this ZxR sound card working on the mainline Linux kernel.

30 September 07:08 AM EDT - Hardware - Sound Blaster ZxR