Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

GNU Linux-libre 4.19-gnu Released, Continues Deblobbing The Kernel

Building off Monday's release of Linux 4.19 is now the downstream GNU Linux-libre 4.19-gnu kernel that strips away code contingent upon closed-source microcode/firmware images as well as removing the ability to load closed-source kernel modules.

21 Minutes Ago - GNU - GNU Linux-libre
PCI Peer-To-Peer Support Merged For Linux 4.20~5.0

The recently covered PCI peer-to-peer memory support for the Linux kernel has indeed landed for the 4.20~5.0 kernel cycle. This is about PCI Express devices supporting peer-to-peer DMA that can bypass the system memory and processor via a standardized interface.

5 Hours Ago - Hardware - Peer-To-Peer Memory
Corsair Force MP510 240GB NVMe SSD Ubuntu Linux Benchmarks

Last week Corsair announced the Force Series MP510 M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drives as the company's fastest SSDs to date. While being Corsair's latest and fastest NVMe SSDs, the pricing is competitive with the 240GB model starting out at $70 USD, 480GB for $130 USD, $239 for 960GB, or $475 for a 1920GB version.

AMD EPYC Sees Some Performance Improvements With Linux 4.19

I am still finishing up work on my Linux 4.19 kernel stable benchmarks given it's been (and continues to be) a very busy month for Linux hardware testing, but of interest so far has been seeing a few EPYC performance improvements in some of the real-world workloads.

8 Hours Ago - AMD - Linux 4.19
F2FS Offers Up New Features For Linux 4.20/5.0

While Btrfs has been sorting out performance improvements, the crew working on the Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) have been working on a number of feature additions for this next Linux kernel under development.

10 Hours Ago - Linux Storage - Flash-Friendly File-System
Qt Drafts A Code of Conduct To Have A Formal Line About Unacceptable Behavior

The Qt Project has been the latest open-source community constructing a Code of Conduct. The motivation for this CoC in the Qt camp has been driven to "establish a formal line-in-the-sand about what is unacceptable behavior. We want new members of the Qt community to feel comfortable and accepted, and we want to foster a healthy working environment for both current and new members."

11 Hours Ago - Qt - Code of Conduct
The Next Linux Kernel Will Further Fend Off Buggy EFI Firmware

The EFI support code within the mainline Linux kernel continues to be improved upon. While EFI firmware has matured in the past few years to become more reliable, there still are systems/motherboards shipping with various bugs. One of the additions for this next kernel release will better handle rare cases where buggy firmware could hang the kernel.

17 Hours Ago - Hardware - Prevents Kernel Hangs
XArray Tries Once Again To Get Merged Into The Mainline Linux Kernel

Going back several release cycles has been an effort to add the XArray data structure to the Linux kernel but to date that hasn't happened. It wasn't accepted for Linux 4.19 and now Matthew Wilcox -- who began this work about two years ago as a programmer at Microsoft -- is hoping Linux 4.20~5.0 will be the lucky release.

23 October 05:37 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - XArray
The Linux Kernel's Speck Death Sentence Finally Being Carried Out

Earlier this year the Speck encryption algorithm was added to the Linux kernel as at the time Google intended to use it for EXT4/fscrypt file-system encryption with low-end Android devices. But Speck with all its controversy due to being developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) led to immediate backlash. The removal of Speck from the Linux kernel tree is finally happening.

23 October 07:08 AM EDT - Standards - NSA Crypto
Oracles Pushes VirtualBox 6.0 Into Public Beta

Oracle's Munich developers responsible for maintaining the VirtualBox virtualization software this morning announced the first public test release of the upcoming VirtualBox 6.0.

23 October 05:18 AM EDT - Oracle - Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.0
A 2018 Autumn Linux Driver Update For The ATI RAGE 128 Series

The open-source display driver for supporting these graphics cards where 32MB of SDRAM was suitable, 250 nm fabrication was standard, and core clocks around 100MHz were competitive is still being maintained... Two decades after the release of the ATI RAGE series, the open-source Linux driver continues seeing some activity and in fact a new driver release.

23 October 04:54 AM EDT - Radeon - ATI RAGE 128
Linux Kernel Interface To Finally Allow For Programmable LED Patterns

It's not often we get to talk about the LED drivers for the Linux kernel... Yes, the class of Linux kernel drivers to support controlling the brightness of LEDs via supported drivers and exposing that to user-space. With Linux 4.20~5.0 comes finally the ability to program "patterns" for LEDs.

22 October 06:11 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - LED Pattern Bling
Coreboot's Flashrom Moves On To Flashing AMD GPUs Up Through Polaris

Last week I wrote about new patches adding Coreboot Flashrom support for Radeon GPUs for being able to re-program the SPI blocks on AMD graphics processors. Initially that was for old Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series hardware but now it's moved onto the GCN world.

22 October 01:35 PM EDT - Coreboot - Flashrom GCN SPI Blocks
Richard Stallman Announces GNU Kind Communication Guidelines

Richard Stallman has announced the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines. The GNU founder hopes these guidelines will encourage women to get involved in free software development and be more kind in project discussions.

22 October 09:49 AM EDT - GNU - GNU Kind
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Linux Gaming Benchmarks

Last week following the launch of the RTX 2070 Turing graphics cards, I carried out some initial RTX 2070 compute benchmarks including of TensorFlow and more common OpenCL/CUDA workloads. The GPU compute performance for this $499+ Turing GPU was quite good and especially for INT16 test cases often beating the GTX 1080 Ti. Available now are the Linux gaming benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 compared to an assortment of other NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards on Ubuntu 18.10.

22 October 08:30 AM EDT - Graphics Cards
AMD FreeSync 2 HDR Coming To The Linux Kernel In 2019

Next year is when all of the pieces of the open-source puzzle for fully supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync/VRR displays with AMD graphics cards should be in place for allowing out-of-the-box support.

21 October 12:48 PM EDT - Radeon - FreeSync 2 HDR
The Performance & Power Efficiency Of The Core i7 990X vs. Core i9 9900K

With my initial Core i9 9900K benchmarks out there following Friday's embargo expiration, for some weekend benchmarking fun I decided to pull out the old Core i7 990X to see how it compares to the new 9900K... The Gulftown and Coffeelake processors were compared not only on raw performance but also overall power consumption and performance-per-Watt.

21 October 09:09 AM EDT - Processors
A Look At The Many Features On The Table For The Upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 Kernel

If all goes as planned, tomorrow will mark the availability of the Linux 4.19 stable kernel. That is also expected to mark the return of Linus Torvalds from his retreat where he was working on his empathy skills and politeness. The 4.19 stable release will then kick off the merge window for the next kernel cycle.

20 October 11:58 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Features For The Next Linux
FreeBSD 12.0 Now Available In Beta Form

After a series of alpha releases, FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 1 was issued today to help encourage testing ahead of this operating system update due out in early December.

20 October 03:02 PM EDT - BSD - FreeBSD 12
LLVM's Codebase Will Likely Move To C++17 Next Year

While LLVM's Clang compiler already supports C++17, what this change is about is the LLVM code itself and for sub-projects like Clang can begin making use of C++17 code itself. This in turn ups the requirements for being able to compile the code-base.

20 October 03:06 AM EDT - LLVM - LLVM C++17