Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

A Look At Linux Application Scaling Up To 128 Threads

Arriving last week in our Linux benchmarking lab was a dual EPYC server -- this Dell PowerEdge R7425 is a beast of a system with two AMD EPYC 7601 processors yielding a combined 64 cores / 128 threads, 512GB of RAM (16 x 32GB DDR4), and 20 x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. There will be many interesting benchmarks from this server in the days and weeks ahead. For some initial measurements during the first few days of stress testing this 2U rack server, here is a look at how well various benchmarks/applications are scaling from two to 128 threads.

101 Minutes Ago - Processors
AMDGPU Developer Proposes Array Register Files For LLVM - Would Help Performance

One of the areas within the open-source AMD Linux graphics driver stack that could benefit from some additional improvements/optimizations is the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end. One of the easy ways to see that the AMDGPU LLVM code could be improved upon are the Vulkan benchmarks when compared to AMD's proprietary compiler and there still being some significant wins with that more mature but closed-source shader compilation code. Fortunately, some improvements may be on the way.

9 October 04:04 PM EDT - LLVM - AMDGPU
DragonFlyBSD 5.3 Offering Some Performance Improvements

Since the release of DragonFlyBSD 5.2 this past April there have been many improvements to this popular BSD operating system, including on the performance front. I recently wrapped up some fresh benchmarks of DragonFlyBSD 5.3-DEVELOPMENT for seeing what the performance is looking like in what will eventually be released as DragonFlyBSD 5.4.

9 October 10:09 AM EDT - Operating Systems
GNOME Shell & Mutter Reach Their 3.30.1 Milestone

Released at the end of September was GNOME 3.30.1 as the first and only point release collection to the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment feature update that debuted earlier in September. Finally out today are the v3.30.1 updates for Mutter and the GNOME Shell.

8 October 05:41 PM EDT - GNOME - GNOME Shell / Mutter 3.30.1
Flatpak 1.2 Likely Coming Around Year's End With New Features

Prolific open-source developer Matthias Clasen at Red Hat has shared some of the post-1.0 plans for the Flatpak app sandboxing/distribution tech. As it stands now, Flatpak 1.2 will likely be out around the end of the calendar year with the next batch of features.

8 October 02:28 PM EDT - GNOME - Flatpak 1.2
Linux 4.20 Fixing Bug Where Plugging In A MacBook Pro Leads To Excessive CPU Usage

The upcoming Linux kernel that will be at either version 4.20 or 5.0 is going to fix a kernel issue that dates back at least a year where plugging-in or even unplugging recent Apple MacBook Pro laptops will lead to excessive CPU resources being consumed... Basically, the charging/uncharging event change for these recent MBP laptops was causing issues within the kernel -- adding to the list of problems Linux faces trying to run on recent Apple hardware.

8 October 09:29 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - MacBook Ouch
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti To GTX 980 Ti TensorFlow Benchmarks With ResNet-50, AlexNet, GoogLeNet, Inception, VGG-16

For those curious about the TensorFlow performance on the newly-released GeForce RTX 2080 series, for your viewing pleasure to kick off this week of Linux benchmarking is a look at Maxwell, Pascal, and Turing graphics cards in my possession when testing the NGC TensorFlow instance on CUDA 10.0 with the 410.57 Linux driver atop Ubuntu and exploring the performance of various models. Besides the raw performance, the performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar is also provided.

8 October 08:00 AM EDT - Graphics Cards
AMDGPU DC Display Code Ported To GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" GPUs

The AMDGPU DC "Display Code" stack formerly known as DAL that's been in the mainline kernel the past several releases might soon see support for GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" GPUs. This is the big display code stack necessary for atomic mode-setting, FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync, HDMI/DP audio, and other modern display features. When AMD brought up this DC stack, they hadn't brought it back to GCN 1.0 since for those original GCN GPUs they by default still use the Radeon DRM driver. But now they might soon see AMDGPU DC support.

8 October 05:23 AM EDT - Radeon - AMDGPU DC
VUDA: A CUDA-Like Runtime API For Vulkan

An independent open-source developer has started the VUDA project as an effort to provide a CUDA Runtime API interface based on Vulkan.

8 October 12:33 AM EDT - Vulkan - VUDA - CUDA-ish Vulkan
ET: Legacy Is Still Letting You Relive Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Memories In 2018

One of the still ongoing projects based upon the open-source id Tech 3 / ioquake3 engine still having a following in 2018 is ET: Legacy. ET: Legacy is the open-source project retaining full compatibility with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory 2.60 while continuing to make engine improvements and with time have been remastering many of the original maps.

7 October 08:00 AM EDT - Linux Gaming - ET: Legacy
What systemd Is Up To With The Latest Developments In 2018

At the end of September in Berlin was the All Systems Go! conference focusing on user-space Linux and evolving from what years ago was the annual systemd conference. We've covered many of the interesting sessions from that conference while what we hadn't highlighted until now was Lennart Poettering's systemd update.

7 October 06:55 AM EDT - systemd - systemd 2018
The Leading Linux Desktop Platform Issues Of 2018

Linux developer Simon Peter who has spent years working on application standards like AppImage and Klik recently presented on what he believes are the 2018 Desktop Linux Platform Issues and the unfortunate continually moving target of "the year of the Linux desktop" that never materializes.

6 October 03:11 PM EDT - Desktop - Linux Desktop Issues
GNU Tools Cauldron 2018 Videos Are Now Available

Taking place a month ago in Manchester was the annual GNU Tools Cauldron conference where developers and other key stakeholders to the GNU toolchain presented their latest research and development activities. The videos from that developer event are now available.

6 October 08:01 AM EDT - GNU - GNU Compiler Toolchain
Why Facebook Loves Open-Source Firmware

With the Open-Source Firmware Conference 2018 videos having been uploaded this week, another one of the interesting videos to watch from this conference was about Facebook's preference for open-source firmware.

6 October 07:22 AM EDT - Free Software - Facebook Loves Open-Source Firmware