Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

Linux 5.0 Kernel Performance Is Sliding In The Wrong Direction

With the Linux 5.0 kernel performance approaching the finish line, the past few days I've been ramping up my tests of this new kernel in our benchmarking farm. Unfortunately, when looking at the results at a macro level it's pointing towards Linux 5.0 yielding lower performance than previous kernel releases.

22 February 05:22 PM EST - Software
GCC 8.3 Released With 153 Bug Fixes

While the GCC 9 stable compiler release is a few weeks away in the form of GCC 9.1, the GNU Compiler Collection is up to version 8.3.0 today as their newest point release to last year's GCC 8 series.

22 February 11:00 AM EST - GNU - GCC 8.3
GCC 9 Compiler Picks Up Official Support For The Arm Neoverse N1 + E1

Earlier this week Arm announced their next-generation Neoverse N1 and E1 platforms with big performance potential and power efficiency improvements over current generation Cortex-A72 processor cores. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) ahead of the upcoming GCC9 release has picked up support for the Neoverse N1/E1.

22 February 05:27 AM EST - Arm - Arm Neoverse + GCC Compiler
Early Intel i965 vs. Iris Gallium3D OpenGL Benchmarks On UHD Graphics 620 With Mesa 19.1

With yesterday's somewhat of a surprise announcement that Intel is ready to mainline their experimental Iris Gallium3D driver as their "modern" Linux OpenGL driver with numerous design advantages over their long-standing "classic" i965 Mesa driver, here are some fresh benchmarks of that latest driver compared to the current state of their OpenGL driver in Mesa 19.1.

21 February 05:00 PM EST - Display Drivers
Intel Iris Gallium3D Driver Merged To Mainline Mesa 19.1

Well that sure didn't take long... Less than 24 hours after the merge request to mainline the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver was sent out, it's now been merged into the mainline code-base! The Intel Gallium3D driver is now in Mesa Git for easy testing of their next-generation OpenGL Linux driver.

21 February 01:47 PM EST - Intel - Mesa 19.1 Iris
Librem 5 Smartphone Specs Firmed Up, But Now Delayed To Q3

The Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone originally planned to ship in January 2019 but last year was delayed to April to allow for more time to finish up work on the hardware and software. Today Purism is announcing that the Librem 5 is being delayed to "Q3" but they have been making progress particularly on the hardware side.

21 February 11:00 AM EST - Hardware - Q3 Target
Clear Linux Has A Goal To Get 3x More Upstream Components In Their Distro

For those concerned that running Clear Linux means less available packages/bundles than the likes of Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora with their immense collection of packaged software, Clear has a goal this year of increasing their upstream components available on the distribution by three times.

21 February 10:43 AM EST - Clear Linux - Clear Linux 2019 Goal
GNOME 3.32 Beta 2 Released

Released earlier this month was the GNOME 3.32 beta which also marked the feature/UI/API freeze. Out today is the second beta for the upcoming GNOME 3.32 and now the string freeze is also in effect.

21 February 09:18 AM EST - GNOME - GNOME 3.32
Fedora 30's Slick Boot Process Is Ready To Go

The work led by Red Hat's Hans de Goede the past few Fedora release cycles has culminated with a great out-of-the-box boot experience for the upcoming Fedora 30.

21 February 09:04 AM EST - Fedora - Fedora 30 Boot Experience
Preliminary Support Allows Linux KVM To Boot Xen HVM Guests

As one of the most interesting patch series sent over by an Oracle developer in quite a while at least on the virtualization front, a "request for comments" series was sent out on Wednesday that would enable the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to be able to boot Xen HVM guests.

21 February 03:31 AM EST - Virtualization - Kernel-based VM Booting Xen HVM
Intel Ready To Add Their Experimental "Iris" Gallium3D Driver To Mesa

For just over the past year Intel open-source driver developers have been developing a new Gallium3D-based OpenGL driver for Linux systems as the eventual replacement to their long-standing "i965 classic" Mesa driver. The Intel developers are now confident enough in the state of this new driver dubbed Iris that they are looking to merge the driver into mainline Mesa proper.

20 February 05:19 PM EST - Intel - Intel Iris Mesa
Extensive Benchmarks Looking At AMD Znver1 GCC 9 Performance, EPYC Compiler Tuning

With the GCC 9 compiler due to be officially released as stable in the next month or two, we've been running benchmarks of this near-final state to the GNU Compiler Collection on a diverse range of processors. In recent weeks that has included extensive compiler benchmarks on a dozen x86_64 systems, POWER9 compiler testing on the Talos II, and also the AArch64 compiler performance on recent releases of GCC and LLVM Clang. In this latest installment of our GCC 9 compiler benchmarking is an extensive look at the AMD EPYC Znver1 performance on various releases of the GCC compiler as well as looking at various optimization levels under this new compiler on the Znver1 processor.

20 February 11:26 AM EST - Software
TuxClocker: Another GPU Overclocking GUI For Linux

Adding to the list of third-party GPU overclocking utilities for Linux is TuxClocker, a Qt5-based user-interface currently with support for NVIDIA graphics cards and experimental support for AMD GPUs.

20 February 10:00 AM EST - Hardware - TuxClocker Qt5 Overclocking GUI
OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 Reaches Beta Milestone

This week openSUSE Leap 15.1 reached the beta stage for this Linux distribution derived from the same sources as SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1.

20 February 09:38 AM EST - SUSE - openSUSE Leap 15.1
Gallium Nine With NIR Is Now Running Most D3D9 Games "Flawlessly"

Towards the beginning of the month we reported on the Gallium Nine state tracker working on NIR support as an alternative to its original focus on the common TGSI intermediate representation to Gallium3D. That NIR-ified version of Gallium Nine is now working and beginning to run most Direct3D 9 games fine.

20 February 06:53 AM EST - Mesa - Gallium Nine + NIR
KDE To Support Matrix Decentralized Instant Messaging

The GNOME project has been working on integration with the Matrix federated real-time communication protocol for a while, which can bridge to other platforms like IRC, WhatsApp, XMPP, and Telegram. KDE is also now backing Matrix and will be supporting it by its instant messaging framework.

20 February 06:13 AM EST - KDE - KDE + Matrix
Mesa 19.0-RC5 Released As The Cycle Drags Into Overtime

Mesa 19.0-RC5 was issued a short time ago as the latest release candidate for Mesa 19.0. Due to blocker bugs remaining, at least one more release candidate is likely next week before seeing the official release.

20 February 12:01 AM EST - Mesa - Mesa 19.0-RC5
RadeonSI Gets NIR Improvements, Enabled By Default For Civilization VI

The RadeonSI NIR back-end as an alternative to its longstanding TGSI usage continues to be improved upon as a prerequisite for supporting OpenGL 4.6 with SPIR-V ingestion. A fresh batch of RadeonSI NIR work was merged today, including to enable it by default for one Linux game.

19 February 07:46 PM EST - Radeon - RadeonSI NIR
OpenCL 2.2-10 Released With Fixes

While "OpenCL-Next" will hopefully be on track for releasing later this year as the next big update to OpenCL, OpenCL 2.2-10 was released today by The Khronos Group as the latest maintenance update to the nearly two year old OpenCL 2.2 specification.

19 February 05:49 PM EST - Standards - OpenCL 2.2-10
Wayland 1.17 & Weston 6.0 Reach Alpha, Officially Releasing Next Month

Out today are the first alpha releases for Wayland 1.17 and the Weston 6.0 reference compositor. This alpha release is about two weeks behind schedule but the developers have updated their plans to now ship the beta releases on 5 March, release candidates begin on 12 March, and potentially releasing the stable versions of Wayland 1.17.0 and Weston 6.0.0 on 19 March.

19 February 04:07 PM EST - Wayland - Wayland 1.17 + Weston 6.0
Using Clear Linux As A Desktop Linux Distribution - It Works Well But With Some "Papercuts"

While I am a big fan of Intel's Clear Linux distribution for its raw performance on x86_64 hardware that for most workloads goes unsurpassed by any other Linux platform out-of-the-box, there has been a lot of Phoronix readers wondering how well it could function as a standard desktop Linux distribution. With upgrading my main production system earlier this month, I decided to try out Clear Linux and now with 200+ hours into using it as the OS on my main production system, I figured it'd be good to share my initial thoughts.

19 February 10:00 AM EST - Operating Systems
XFS Copy-On-Write Support Being Improved, Always CoW Option

One of the recent XFS innovations under work and maturing with time has been Copy on Write (CoW) support for this mature Linux file-systems. The XFS CoW support continues to be improved upon and an "always CoW" option is being prepared to always force this behavior.

19 February 07:43 AM EST - Linux Storage - XFS COW
ACPI 6.3 Support Coming With The Linux 5.1 Kernel

Version 6.3 of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) was just recently published by the UEFI Forum and support for this latest ACPI revision is on the way with the Linux 5.1 kernel.

19 February 06:51 AM EST - Hardware - ACPI 6.3
Linux Seeing Support For The HyperBus

The Linux kernel is in the process of receiving support for the HyperBus, a high performance DDR bus interface used for connecting the processor/controller/ASIC to "HyperFlash" flash memory or "HyperRAM" DRAM.

19 February 06:02 AM EST - Linux Kernel - Linux HyperBus