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.
Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) to as they put it "protect Linux and open-source."
Just months after the controversial Speck crypto code was added to the Linux kernel that raised various concerns due to its development by the NSA and potential backdoors, which was then removed from the kernel tree, there is now Russia's Streebog that could be mainlined.
The exciting X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC 2018) that took place two weeks back with talks ranging from open-source GPU drivers to continuous integration and more are now available for your viewing pleasure online.
Another visible change coming to the GNOME Shell environment is the removal of application menus "app menus" for what had been an early GNOME 3 feature.
Version 16.0 of the long-standing, open-source Asterisk VoIP/PSTN telephony software is now available for voice communication deployments.
NVIDIA has announced RAPIDS as their latest open-source project.
The latest news in the "it's about darn time" section is the Linux kernel's default i386/x86_64 kernel configurations will finally ship with USB 3.0 support enabled, a.k.a. CONFIG_USB_XHCI_HCD.
Even if you don't have a new NVIDIA RTX graphics card, the open-source vRt project aims to offer Vulkan-based ray-tracing for modern graphics cards.
A bulk of the Linux/open-source enablement we have seen taking place for ARM's new ARMv8.5 architecture revision is around its new Spectre defenses to help SoCs that will begin shipping later in 2019.
Epic Games announced the debut today of the Unreal Engine 4.21 public preview.
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.
Linaro engineer Thara Gopinath sent out an experimental set of kernel patches today that introduces the concept of "thermal pressure" to the Linux kernel for helping assist Linux performance when the processor cores are running hot.
As a follow-up to the ROCm 1.9 release from a month ago that brought initial Vega 20 support, upstream kernel compatibility with the AMDKFD code, and other improvements, ROCm 1.9.1 was quietly released a few days ago.
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.
KDE has announced the immediate availability of Plasma 5.14 as the latest quarterly feature update to this popular desktop.
Freedreno/MSM maintainer Rob Clark sent in his MSM-next pull request on Sunday of new feature material slated for the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel.
Red Hat / Fedora developers have updated Firefox packages pending for F27 / F28 / F29 that bring a slew of improvements for the web-browser operating under Wayland.
As of last night Fedora 29 embarked upon its final freeze as the last step for reaching its official debut by month's end.
Earlier this year with Wine 3.9 its Direct3D code changed to default to OpenGL 4.4 core contexts rather than the legacy/compatibility context. NVIDIA GPUs ended up being left at the older value but now that has changed.
One of several KDE music/media player options is Elisa and its v0.3 release has just occurred.
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.
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.
Making the rounds last week was a nasty power regression hitting Linux 4.18 stable and as we ended up bisecting was caused by a change to the AMDGPU kernel driver and affected select Radeon graphics cards. It looks like the goal this week is to get that patch reverted from Linux 4.18.
Happening now in New York City is the Intel "Fall Desktop Launch Event" where they are announcing their latest wares, much of which has already been leaked to date.
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.
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.
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.
The latest rumors in the Radeon space is that AMD is in the final stages of preparing to release its third iteration of Polaris GPUs... We could be seeing a Radeon RX 670 and RX 680 very soon.
DDR4 memory has been around for several years already yet the mainline Linux kernel doesn't have a driver for reading the SPD EEPROMs abiding by the JEDEC EE1004 standard as used by DDR4 SDRAM memory modules.
The first development milestone release of the Phoronix Test Suite 8.4-Skiptvet series is now available for evaluation.
An independent open-source developer has started the VUDA project as an effort to provide a CUDA Runtime API interface based on Vulkan.
The Gentoo-based Calculate Linux distribution that offers versions ranging from desktop to server offerings is out with their newest release.
The Linux kernel's Code of Conduct that was abruptly dropped onto the Linux kernel, which happened as Linus Torvalds was announcing his empathy retreat last month, will likely see some revisions ahead of the upcoming Linux 4.19 stable debut.
Greg Kroah-Hartman continues managing the Linux 4.19 kernel cycle while Linus Torvalds remains off on his empathy retreat.
Vulkan 1.1.87 is another Sunday morning update to the Vulkan graphics/compute specification.
Prolific Radeon Mesa contributor Marek Olšák of AMD started off his Sunday by posting another set of RadeonSI driver patches.
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.
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.
Whether it's called Linux 4.20 or Linux 5.0, the next kernel cycle is bringing a heck of a lot of improvements for the open-source graphics/display drivers on the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) front.
Speculative Store Bypass Safe (SSBS) is a new bit added with ARMv8.5-A for SoCs moving forward like the ARM Cortex-A76 as a means for mitigation against Spectre V4.
It's been another busy week in the KDE space with a plethora of improvements from the KDE Plasma desktop to the expansive collection of desktop applications.
NixOS, the Linux distribution built atop the unique and functional Nix package manager, is out with its latest operating system refresh.
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.
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.
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.
This week at the OpenPOWER Summit Amsterdam, Texas-based libre computer vendor Raptor Computing Systems announced Blackbird as a low-cost, micro-ATX POWER9 motherboard to be available in the coming months. The company has now revealed some additional details.
William Wold of Canonical's Mir team shared their latest weekly progress report on this display server supporting the Wayland protocol. While a short report, the two bits shared are quite interesting.
Jason Donenfeld started off his weekend by publishing the seventh and possibly final set of patches for the WireGuard secure network tunnel that is likely to be merged for the upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel cycle.
The Mageia Linux distribution with its lineage going back to Mandriva and before that Mandrake is out with a slightly updated OS this weekend.