Well here is a pleasant Christmas surprise... Sony has published a new "hid-playstation" Linux kernel driver for bringing up the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller and will also be used for supporting other PlayStation hardware on Linux.
A few days ago I noted nice AMD EPYC performance improvements with PostgreSQL when running on Linux 5.11 compared to prior kernels. I've confirmed that for even more AMD EPYC servers now that the PostgreSQL uplift is there, but other workloads are unfortunately regressing for both Ryzen and EPYC. Here's the start of an exciting Christmas benchmarking adventure looking at this change with Linux 5.11...
The past several days FreeBSD has been working to complete its migration from their development being done with Subversion to instead using the Git distributed revision control system as used by most other open-source projects.
A few days ago there was a glibc commit mentioning Intel "LAM" and now the updated Intel documentation sheds more light on this forthcoming processor feature.
As a Christmas gift to font enthusiasts, the FreeType font rasterization engine today merged its SDF renderer.
Darktable 3.4 is out in time for dealing with any of your RAW holiday photos.
To those celebrating any year-end holidays, Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas. It's been a hell of a year and 2021 will hopefully be better. In any event even if not celebrating any end of year holidays or other events, there still is daily Phoronix content to come.
The out-of-tree Reiser4 file-system has now been ported to the week-old Linux 5.10 kernel code-base. This also comes days ahead of the one year anniversary since the "Version 5" announcement.
For those with extra time around the holidays, the first release candidate of LibreOffice 7.1 is now available for testing.
Linux 5.11's Kconfig build configuration updates are bringing some long overdue improvements to its "Qconf" Qt toolkit user interface option for configuring Linux kernel builds.
Last week the Linux 5.11 power management updates were merged while on Tuesday some additional new material was merged, primarily around Intel's P-State CPU frequency scaling governor when running with the "Schedutil" governor that makes use of the kernel's scheduler utilization data.
Earlier this month we were a bit surprised to see Windows 10 performing close to Ubuntu 20.10 on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. With prior AMD Ryzen (and Intel Core) desktop CPUs we normally are used to seeing Ubuntu Linux exhibit healthy performance advantages over Windows 10 in most workloads. But with Zen 3 the Windows vs. Linux performance is much closer and thus led us to also running Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu benchmarks on the higher-end Ryzen 9 5950X to reproduce the earlier findings.
The previously covered VirtIO memory (VirtIO-MEM) work on its Big Block Mode "BBM" will be landing with Linux 5.11.
Fedora 34 is shaping up to be another exciting Fedora Linux release on the feature front. Among the material to look forward to in this spring 2021 Linux distribution release is routing all audio through PipeWire by default, enabling systemd-oomd by default, an independent XWayland package, and more. The latest proposal involves making use of DNF/RPM copy-on-write support atop Btrfs with Fedora 34.
Just in time for the upcoming AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors, it's looking like the S2idle support is finally coming together on Linux for increased power savings.
Landing in Mesa 21.0 on Tuesday was support for OpenGL tessellation shaders (ARB_tessellation_shader) with the Zink Gallium3D code implementing generic OpenGL support atop Vulkan.
Merged into the Linux kernel back in 2015 was the TraceFS file-system to better address Linux tracing use-cases that previously were handled atop DebugFS. Now LibTraceFS has reached version 1.0 as the user-space library around TraceFS after being spun out of Trace-CMD earlier this year.
Xfce 4.16 managed to ship in 2020 as one of the original goals for this release after the much delayed Xfce 4.14 series. Xfce 4.16 comes with many incremental improvements to this GTK3 desktop environment.
Microsoft continues pushing new code into Mesa 21.0 as its efforts around Mesa continue to ramp up principally around GPU acceleration within Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as well as allowing the likes of OpenGL and OpenCL to function under Windows 10 in the absence of native GL/CL drivers by using Mesa to translate the APIs for consumption by Direct3D 12 drivers.
At the end of November systemd 247 released with the new Out-of-Memory Daemon (systemd-oomd) and for the Fedora 34 release next year that will likely be enabled by default for all spins.
Haiku as the open-source OS inspired by BeOS continues to be quite active in feature development as 2020 draws to a close.
The Linux hardware monitoring "k10temp" driver is dropping support for reporting CPU voltage and current information for AMD Zen-based processors over lack of documentation for being able to properly support the functionality.
As we have shown with prior AMD Ryzen and EPYC processors, the Linux distribution generally offering the fastest out-of-the-box performance is Intel's Clear Linux platform. Given there aren't many other distributions as aggressively optimizing their default package set and engaging in features like AutoFDO, PGO, and various out-of-tree patches in the name of modern Intel x86_64 Linux performance -- and in turn, AMD performance benefits as well -- Clear Linux really shines with modern hardware. Testing of the latest Clear Linux with a Ryzen 9 5900X continues to delivering promising performance compared to the likes of Fedora, openSUSE, Manjaro, Debian, and Ubuntu.
If you miss flying this holiday season due to the pandemic, you can at least experience it virtually by flying your own aircraft with the open-source, cross-platform FlightGear flight simulator software.
Ahead of the upcoming freezes set to begin around Debian 11 "Bullseye", the Debian developers working on KDE packaging have been working to get all the latest components updated in time.
Linspire, an early Linux distribution with its roots tracing back to "Lindows" that went dormant and then resurrected in 2018 and continuing an Ubuntu-based distribution, is out ahead of the holidays with its Linspire 10 beta release.
Unlike the KVM additions, the Xen hypervisor for the Linux 5.11 merge window doesn't bring any new features but just security fixes for some new vulnerabilities.
For at least a second time, a patch sent out under "request for comments" would strip out the existing BZIP2 code within the Linux kernel.
Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 Milestone 3 is now available as the latest development release ahead of our Q1'2021 update to this leading cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking system.
Intel engineers have posted the initial Linux kernel patches providing AVX-512 optimized versions of common crypto algorithms. The AVX-512 optimized versions do pan out and promise to offer huge speed-ups but are disabled by default at this stage over the negative CPU frequency/performance impact that running AVX-512 can have on CPU cores / shared threads.
Back in September Arm began talking about their "2020 extensions" for the A-profile architecture. Initial support for these new additions as ARMv8.7-A is beginning to land in the LLVM compiler stack.
Over the past nearly two months we have been running a lot of Linux benchmarks on the AMD Ryzen 5000 series, but what about the BSD operating systems with these Zen 3 desktop CPUs? Recently I got around to trying out a few of the BSDs on a Ryzen 9 5900X desktop as well as running some FreeBSD 12.2 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks, including with Linux on OpenZFS and Clang.
For those running PostgreSQL database servers (and potentially similar workloads) on AMD EPYC servers, Linux 5.11 is bringing a very nice Christmas gift in the form of better performance for at least some 2P server configurations.
While the Linux 5.11 merge window is only half-way through with prominent pull requests like the DRM / graphics driver updates already have been merged some of the testing has already begun at Phoronix of this new kernel. With the Radeon RX 6800 XT "RDNA 2" graphics continuing to mature, we are seeing slight uplift in some benchmarks when moving from Linux 5.10 stable to Linux 5.11 Git.
As expected, the Wayland 1.19 release dance has begun.
The Fedora Project is the latest open-source software project working to migrate their Git repositories off using the existing default branch name of "master" and instead using "main" but for some repositories will be "rawhide" where it better aligns with the usage in Fedora Rawhide packages to their development development.
Lavapipe (nee Vallium) continues picking up more functionality for this software-based Vulkan implementation just as LLVMpipe is to OpenGL.
Arcan, the rather unique and innovative display server in development for about five years, is now matching or even surpassing the feature parity with the X.Org Server and have also issued a new release of their "Durden" desktop environment build atop Arcan.
The main feature change for the XFS driver code in Linux 5.11 is adding a new "needs repair" feature flag. When the XFS code marks a file-system as needing repair, it will refuse to mount until the xfs_repair operation is run on it.
Revealed earlier this year was the Arm Straight Line Speculation (SLS) vulnerability. SLS was a Google discovery for modern ARMv8 CPUs where speculative execution past unconditional changes in control flow could lead to information disclosure via side-channel analysis. Arm recommended compiler-based mitigations to insert speculation barriers after vulnerable instructions, which GCC and LLVM began adding opt-in protections right away. This weekend some additional SLS functionality was added for LLVM.
Building off Friday's release of Wine 6.0-RC3 is now an updated Wine-Staging build for those that want a more experimental/testing blend of Wine.
The KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) changes were sent in today for the Linux 5.11 cycle.
It looks like Mozilla Firefox very soon will be enabling support for AVIF as the image format based on AV1 video coding.