Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

EA SEED's Halcyon R&D Engine Experimenting With Vulkan & Linux Support

Halcyon is a research and development engine being built by Electronic Arts' SEED group (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division). While previously they talked up Microsoft DirectX ray-tracing and have been experimenting with it, they have also begun work on a Vulkan back-end for Halcyon that also includes Linux support.

5 Hours Ago - Vulkan - EA Halcyon
Six Years After Launch, AMD Piledriver CPU Tuning Gets Reworked In LLVM Clang

Six years after AMD introduced "Piledriver" as the successor to the original Bulldozer CPUs, the LLVM Clang compiler is seeing a revised scheduling model for these processors that can yield faster performance of generated code targeting this older class of AMD CPUs.

12 Hours Ago - AMD - Piledriver "Bdver2" Compiler Tuning
AMDGPU Reset Recovery To Be Flipped On By Default For Newer Radeon GPUs

The AMDGPU DRM Linux kernel driver has offered GPU reset recovery for a while now in case of hangs that can be toggled by a module parameter, but the default behavior for the next kernel release is slated to change where it will be enabled by default for the newer Radeon GPUs.

15 Hours Ago - Radeon - AMDGPU GPU Reset Recovery
Freedreno Gallium3D Working To Lower Its Driver Overhead

With the Freedreno Gallium3D driver's reverse-engineered, open-source 3D/OpenGL driver support for Qualcomm Adreno hardware in pretty darn good shape these days even for the latest-generation Adreno 600 series, the developers have begun working on more optimizations -- including a new effort trying to reduce the OpenGL driver's overhead.

15 Hours Ago - Mesa - Freedreno Rework
Samsung Open-Source Group Reportedly Shuts Down

If you are looking for new open-source talent for your organization, check out LinkedIn but it's under unfortunate circumstances for the availability of a sudden surplus in skilled Linux/FLOSS developers... Samsung has apparently shut down the Samsung Open-Source Group (Samsung OSG) as a blow to the wider free software ecosystem considering the group's prolific contributions over the years from low-level open-source projects to desktop/user-facing code-bases.

27 October 08:45 PM EDT - Free Software - Samsung OSG
Linus Torvalds Shows His New Polite Side While Pointing Out Bad Kernel Code

When Linus Torvalds announced last month that he would be taking a temporary leave of absence to work on his empathy and interpersonal skills as well as the adoption of a Linux kernel Code of Conduct, some Internet commenters thought this would lead Linus to being less strict about code quality and his standards for accepting new code to the mainline tree. Fortunately, he's shown already for the new Linux 4.20~5.0 cycle he isn't relaxing his standards but is communicating better when it comes to bringing up coding issues.

27 October 03:55 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - It Works
GNU Virtual Private Ethernet 3.1 Released For Many-To-Many VPN

As the first update in nearly two years, GVPE 3.1 has been released as the GNU Virtual Private Ethernet implementation that provides a many-to-many VPN with support for a variety of transport protocols and where nodes do not need to trust each other.

27 October 09:27 AM EDT - GNU - GVPE 3.1
The Linux Kernel Is Still Getting Ready For The Year 2038

In the past number of years have been a lot of changes in prepping the kernel for Year 2038, but that work still isn't over and with the in-development Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel are yet more time keeping changes for prepping for this Y2K-like event.

27 October 05:57 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Y2038
System76 Shares With Us More Details On Thelio Open Hardware, Pricing Starts At $1,100 USD

While System76 is officially announcing their Thelio systems next week on 1 November with plans to then begin shipping these "open hardware" systems in December, today the Linux-friendly PC vendor shared with us some more exclusive details on the forthcoming hardware being manufactured in Denver, Colorado. Here are those exciting details -- much more than just some digital web saga.

26 October 05:44 PM EDT - Computers
Radeon Software 18.40 vs. Mesa vs. AMDVLK Benchmarks With Radeon RX Vega

This week marked the release of Radeon Software 18.40 as the latest release of AMD's Linux driver stack targeting workstation users. While the sole mentioned change was the addition of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 support, I decided to run some benchmarks of this latest driver compared to the other open-source Radeon Linux driver options.

26 October 03:33 PM EDT - Display Drivers
QEMU Making Progress With Legacy-Free Display Support - Avoids Old VGA Code

As part of QEMU's emulated display support they have long had a lot of old VGA/SVGA support code around. But as that code is overly complex, has been prone to security issues, and less used these days with modern interfaces, the developers behind this important piece of the open-source virtualization stack have been working on eliminating the legacy display support.

26 October 07:53 AM EDT - Virtualization - QEMU Bochs Display Device
XFS & EXT4 Offer Up Modest Changes For Linux 4.20~5.0

The changes are not as notable as Btrfs having multiple performance improvements or multiple new features for F2FS, but the XFS and EXT4 mature file-systems have their latest advancements now queued for the next kernel cycle.

25 October 08:48 PM EDT - Linux Storage - File-System Fun
8-Way Linux Distribution Benchmarks On The Intel Core i9 9900K - One Distro Wins 67% Of The Time

Following last week's release of the Intel Core i9 9900K, I spent several days testing various Linux distributions on this latest Core i9 CPU paired with the new ASUS Z390-A PRIME motherboard. I was testing not only to see that all of the Linux distributions were playing fine with this latest and greatest desktop hardware but also how the performance was looking. Benchmarked this round on the i9-9900K was Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu 18.10, Clear Linux 25720, Debian Buster Testing, Manjaro 18.0-RC3, Fedora Workstation 29, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and CentOS 7.

25 October 03:33 PM EDT - Operating Systems
X.Org Server 1.20.3 Released To Fix New Security Issue

We've known that the X.Org Server security has been a "disaster" (according to security researchers) and while many bugs have been fixed in recent years, not all of the security bugs date back so far in the decades old code-base. Out today is X.Org Server 1.20.3 to fix a new CVE issued for X.Org Server 1.19 and newer.

25 October 11:08 AM EDT - X.Org - xorg-server 1.20.3
Intel's Guide To Achieving S0ix Low-Power States On Linux

Modern Intel SoCs support S0ix low-power states during idle periods, which are sub-states of ACPI S0 that increase power-savings while supporting an instant-on experience for providing lower latency than ACPI S3.

25 October 08:42 AM EDT - Intel - S0ix
STACKLEAK Plug-In Being Reattempted For Inclusion In Linux 4.20

Originally attempted for the Linux 4.19 kernel but not merged that cycle was the STACKLEAK GCC plug-in that was ported for the mainline code-base from the Linux GrSecurity patch-set. That plug-in is now trying to get into the Linux 4.20 (or perhaps relabeled as 5.0) kernel.

24 October 08:04 PM EDT - Security - STACKLEAK
Radeon Software 18.40 Released For Linux Systems

Primarily for Linux workstation customers, AMD today released Radeon Software 18.40 as the collection of their closed-source Vulkan/OpenGL components as well as PAL OpenCL driver plus the option of using their packaged "All-Open" driver stack that is a snapshot of their Mesa-based driver components.

24 October 05:40 PM EDT - Radeon - Radeon Software 18.40
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.

24 October 04:56 PM EDT - GNU - GNU Linux-libre
More Than 80 Kernel Patches Were Made This Summer By Outreachy Developers

At this week's Open-Source Summit in Edinburgh there was a kernel internship panel discussion focused on the work done by Outreachy participants, the program paying women and other under-represented groups $5,500 USD for contributing to various open-source projects over a three month period.

24 October 04:00 PM EDT - Free Software - Outreachy Kernel Code
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.

24 October 12:38 PM EDT - 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.

24 October 10:41 AM EDT - Storage
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.

24 October 09:46 AM EDT - 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.

24 October 07:29 AM EDT - 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."

24 October 05:58 AM EDT - 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.

24 October 12:06 AM EDT - Hardware - Prevents Kernel Hangs