Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

Kernel Developers Debate Having An Official Linux System Wrapper Library

As new system calls get added to the Linux kernel, these syscalls generally get added to Glibc (and other libc libraries) for developers to make easy use of them from their applications. But as Glibc doesn't provide 1:1 coverage of system calls, sometimes is delayed in their support for new calls, and other factors, there is a discussion about providing an official Linux system wrapper library that could potentially live as part of the kernel source tree.

17 Minutes Ago - Linux Kernel - Linux System Call Library
AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Sees Its First Tagged Release

In the nearly one year that the AMDVLK official Vulkan driver has been open-source there hasn't been any "releases" but rather new code drops on a weekly basis that is pushed out of their internal development repositories. But surprisingly this morning is now a v2018.4.1 release tag for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver.

95 Minutes Ago - Radeon - AMDVLK 2018.4.1
The Performance Impact Of Spectre Mitigation On POWER9

Over the past year we have looked extensively at the performance impact of Spectre mitigations on x86_64 CPUs but now with having the Raptor Talos II in our labs, here are some benchmarks to see the performance impact of IBM's varying levels of Spectre mitigation for POWER9.

11 November 04:30 PM EST - Software
Gallium D3D9 "Nine" Support Gets New Patches To Help Fight Lag Without Tearing

While most Linux gamers these days are mesmerized by DXVK for mapping Direct3D 10/11 to Vulkan for better handling Windows games on Linux, for those with older Direct3D 9 era games there is still the Gallium Nine initiative for D3D9 implemented as a Mesa Gallium state tracker. A new patch series posted this weekend will make that Gallium Nine experience even better.

11 November 07:07 AM EST - Mesa - Gallium Nine
KDE Plasma Now Supports WireGuard, Alt-Tab Switching Improvements

The WireGuard secure VPN tunnel is not in the mainline kernel yet but the KDE Plasma desktop is the latest project already adding support for it, which can be useful today if making use of WireGuard's DKMS kernel modules.

11 November 06:43 AM EST - KDE - KDE Improvements!
Microsoft Acquires Obsidian & inXile Entertainment

As what could spell bad news for seeing native Linux game ports of future Pillars and Wasteland titles, among others, Microsoft announced they are acquiring Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.

10 November 06:55 PM EST - Linux Gaming - Microsoft Studios
POWER On-Chip Controller Driver Coming For Linux 4.21

The IBM POWER On-Chip Controller (OCC) driver is queued for inclusion in the next version of the Linux kernel. This on-chip controller driver collects sensor data from the system and processor, including temperature and power metrics, and exposes that to the user as well as handling thermal/power management tasks.

10 November 07:16 AM EST - Hardware - POWER OCC Driver
Phoronix Apparel Is Now Available From HELLOTUX

If you are looking for some Phoronix shirts this holiday season, there are some new options available from HELLOTUX, the clothing vendor where everything is "Made on Linux, powered by Linux, for us, Linux fans."

10 November 06:36 AM EST - Free Software - HELLOTUX Clothing
GCC 9 Lands Initial Support For The OpenRISC Architecture

It's been a long journey for the OpenRISC CPU instruction set architecture not to be confused with RISC-V, but with the GCC 9.1 compiler release due out in early 2019 will finally be initial mainline support for this ISA.

10 November 06:23 AM EST - GNU - OpenRISC + GCC 9
Wine 3.20 Released With Several Improvements

Wine 3.20 is now the latest bi-weekly development release for this increasingly popular code-base for running Windows programs/games on Linux and other operating systems.

9 November 03:21 PM EST - WINE - Wine 3.20
The Polaris/Vega Performance At The End Of Mesa 18.3 Feature Development

With Mesa 18.3 feature development having wrapped up at the end of October, here are some benchmarks showing how the updated RadeonSI and RADV drivers are performing for this code that is now under a feature freeze before its official release around the end of November. AMD Radeon Vega and Polaris graphics cards were tested with a slew of NVIDIA graphics cards also tested on their respective driver to show where the Linux gaming GPU performance is at as we head into the 2018 holiday shopping season.

9 November 12:47 PM EST - Linux Gaming
GCC 9 Lands Support For Intel PTWRITE

There has been a flurry of activity recently for the GCC 9 compiler due to feature development ending soon. The latest work hitting their mainline tree this morning is support for the Intel PTWRITE instruction.

9 November 06:11 AM EST - Intel - PTWRITE
GSConnect 15 Offers Better Phone Integration With The GNOME Shell

In addition to this week bringing KDE Connect 1.10 for the communication/integration between the KDE desktop and Android smartphones/tablets, GSConnect as the GNOME Shell port of this open-source software also received a new feature release.

9 November 05:42 AM EST - GNOME - GSConnect 15
Raptor Talos II POWER9 Benchmarks Against AMD Threadripper & Intel Core i9

For those curious about the performance of IBM's POWER9 processors against the likes of today's AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 HEDT processors, here are some interesting benchmarks as we begin looking closer at the POWER9 performance on the fully open-source Raptor Talos II Secure Workstation. This open-source, secure system arrived for Linux testing with dual 22-core POWER9 CPUs to yield 176 total threads of power.

8 November 03:32 PM EST - Processors
More AMD Zen Microarchitecture Tuning For Mesa Is Likely Ahead

Published back in September was some Mesa RadeonSI tuning for AMD Zen CPUs. That tuning to pin the application thread and driver execution thread to the same L3 cache benefits the Zen micro-architecture with its multiple core complexes (CCX). That code was merged a short time later unconditionally but it looks like that behavior needs to be refined for delivering maximum performance.

8 November 08:42 AM EST - Mesa - Needs More Tweaking
AMD Lands Big Batch Of AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Changes To Start November

As it had been two weeks since AMD developers last pushed out new source updates to their AMDVLK Vulkan Linux driver, rather than their normal weekly release cadence, today's driver updates are a bit on the heavier side than some of their past light updates.

8 November 05:52 AM EST - Radeon - AMDVLK Open-Source Vulkan