Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.0 is now officially available as a big feature release to end out 2018.
After originally hoping to ship this past summer, Purism is announcing tonight that the Librem 5 Developer Kits are beginning to ship for those who pre-ordered these i.MX8 developer boards designed for bringing up their inaugural GNU/Linux smartphone.
Just days after the NVIDIA 415.23 Linux driver release that was published to fix 4.20 kernel issues, the NVIDIA 415.25 driver is now available with new product support.
While Windows users last week were greeted by the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 driver on the Linux side was the Radeon Software for Linux 18.50 release. The only listed public change for this 18.50 Linux hybrid driver build was RHEL 7.6 support, but I've since been able to test and confirm that the Radeon RX 590 is working with this new Linux driver package. As a result, here is a look at the Radeon RX 590 performance from this "AMDGPU-PRO" driver build compared to the latest open-source driver stack in the form of Linux 4.20 with Mesa 19.0-devel.
The Canonical developers maintaining the Mir display server with its modern focus on being a Wayland compositor have just issued Mir 1.1.
Coming to the next version of the Linux kernel is new sound driver support for the AMD ACP3x (Audio Co-Processor 3.x).
2018 sadly wasn't the year that the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) transitioned to a Git workflow for developing this flagship open-source compiler... But Eric S Raymond does continue making progress on being able to convert the GCC tree from SVN to Git.
As some additional end-of-year kernel benchmarking, here is a look at the Linux 4.14 versus 4.20 kernel benchmarks on the same system for seeing how the kernel performance changed over the course of 2018. Additionally, Linux 4.20 was also tested a second time when disabling the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations that added some performance overhead to the kernel this year.
Fedora's Silverblue initiative formerly known as Fedora Atomic Workstation currently doesn't work with the NVIDIA binary driver, but that soon could change.
Building off the Qt 5.12 LTS release from the beginning of December, Qt For Python 5.12 is now available so Python coders can utilize this latest version of the Qt5 tool-kit for building graphical user interfaces.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS currently relies upon the OpenSSL 1.1.0 library, but a stable release update will soon be taking it to OpenSSL 1.1.1 complete with TLS 1.3 support.
While it's great that Dell offers the ability to have Ubuntu Linux pre-loaded on select systems, one of their shortcomings is that they are often quite slow in supporting new Ubuntu LTS releases. At least now for select Dell Precision mobile workstation laptops, they have finally switched over to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
While Facebook's HHVM "HipHop Virtual Machine" project was born as a faster PHP implementation, with PHP7 offering significant upstream performance improvements and Facebook pursuing their own Hack programming language implementation with HHVM, the v3.3.0 release is the last release officially focusing on PHP language support.
Months after MIPS Technologies was acquired by Wave Computing, the company announced it's working on open-sourcing the MIPS processor instruction set architecture.
Last month Amazon rolled out their "Graviton" ARM processors in the Elastic Compute Cloud. Those first-generation Graviton ARMv8 processors are based on the ARM Cortex-A72 cores and designed to offer better pricing than traditional x86_64 EC2 instances. However, our initial testing of the Amazon Graviton EC2 "A1" instances didn't reveal significant performance-per-dollar benefits for these new instances. In this second round of Graviton CPU benchmarking we are seeing what is the fastest of five of the leading ARM Linux distributions.
Version 5.5 of the RawTherapee open-source RAW image editor that supports Linux, Windows, and macOS is now available for your photo editing needs.
The Intel DRM "Fastboot" option is what allows skipping a mode-set upon the device initalization during the Linux boot process to allow for a slick and smooth Linux desktop boot experience free of any excess flickers. While Intel Fastboot has been an option for years, it isn't yet the default behavior for this graphics driver.
The GNOME-based Ubuntu desktop continues being tuned for better performance.
Vulkan 1.1.96 is out this morning and while it doesn't introduce any new extensions, it does have a number of corrections and clarifications to this graphics/compute API's documentation.
The recently talked about work to improve/restore Linux networking performance around Retpolines is queued now in net-next for the upcoming Linux 4.21 kernel cycle.
Linus Torvalds has released the seventh weekly release candidate of the Linux 4.20 kernel.
Stemming from the recent Radeon RX 590 Linux gaming benchmarks were some requests to see more 1080p gaming benchmarks, so here's that article with the low to medium tier graphics cards from the NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon line-up while using the latest graphics drivers on Ubuntu 18.10.
While the holiday season is upon us, the KDE development pace hasn't slowed down with this past week seeing a number of exciting improvements to the Plasma desktop and KDE applications.
Christopher Schaefer has released a new version of his VK9 project that is translating Direct3D 9 to Vulkan, similar to DXVK and in fact the original project in this space for handling D3D on toop of VLK.
The Debian installer team has presented their fourth alpha release of the Debian Installer preparing for the 10.0 "Buster" release.
Given the proposed Libre RISC-V SoC that could function as a Vulkan accelerator by running the Kazan Vulkan implementation on it, I decided to have a fresh look at how the LLVMpipe performance is for running OpenGL on the CPU. Here are those tests done on a dual socket AMD EPYC server.
The PGI 18.10 Community Edition compiler was recently released that is geared for HPC workloads and aims to deliver optimal performance on multi-core processors and GPUs.
Patches for the board support for the Chameleon96 Intel FPGA board have been published and could soon be found in the mainline Linux kernel.
A big serving of AMD firmware/microcode updates landed on Friday in the linux-firmware.git canonical tree for both AMD Zen processors and Radeon graphics processors.
There is the release of Debian 10 "Buster" to look forward to (hopefully) next year for succeeding Debian 9 "Stretch" that debuted back in 2017. Curious about the current performance of Debian Buster, I ran 183 benchmarks on Debian 9.6 stable against the current Debian Buster Testing images for seeing how the performance compares.
DXVK lead developer Philip Rebohle who is working under contract for Valve released a new version of this open-source layer for translating Direct3D 10/11 calls to Vulkan API for enhancing the experience for running Windows games on Linux.
NVIDIA rolled out the 417.42 Windows driver and 415.22.01 Linux driver on Friday that feature their very latest Vulkan components.
Intel's growing graphics team recently hosted a "Ask You Anything" on Reddit as they solicit more feedback and ideas from the community about their discrete graphics plans. From that, interest in their Linux graphics driver/software stack came in second for popularity.
The second weekly release candidate of Wine 4.0 is now available for testing this weekend.
With DragonFlyBSD 5.4 having been recently released, development is back onto full-swing in Git master. DragonFlyBSD/HAMMER2 lead developer Matthew Dillon has been landing HAMMER2 file-system improvements that he hopes to back-port to stable in the coming weeks.
The GNU Debugger (GDB) now has support for OpenRISC Linux debugging.
The Khronos Group is looking for feedback on its KTX2 specification that is used for storing textures for OpenGL (including GLES) and Vulkan while being a simple format and an extension of the original KTX with improvements for Vulkan and other graphics APIs.
With FreeBSD 12.0 running great on the Dell PowerEdge R7425 server with dual AMD EPYC 7601 processors, I couldn't resist using the twenty Samsung SSDs in that 2U server for running some fresh FreeBSD ZFS RAID benchmarks as well as some reference figures from Ubuntu Linux with the native Btrfs RAID capabilities and then using EXT4 atop MD-RAID.
Fedora developers are working on trying to figure out the best default behavior moving forward for their I/O scheduler selection.
The 64-bit ARM architecture code (a.k.a ARM64 / AArch64) with the Linux 4.21 kernel is seeing pointer authentication added as a new security feature.
With the end of the year quickly approaching, it's time for our annual look at how the Linux performance has evolved over the past year from graphics drivers to distributions. This year was a particularly volatile year for Linux performance due to Spectre and Meltdown mitigations, some of which have at least partially recovered thanks to continued optimizations landing in subsequent kernel releases. But on the plus side, new releases of Python, PHP, GCC 8, and other new software releases have helped out the performance. For kicking off our year-end benchmark comparisons, first up is a look at how Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution evolved this year.
Initially during the Linux 4.20 kernel merge window with the STIBP addition for cross-hyperthread Spectre V2 mitigation it was turned on by default for all processes. But that turned out to have a sizable performance hit so the behavior was changed to only turn it on for processes under SECCOMP or when requested via the PRCTL interface. However, AMD is landing a patch that for select CPUs will have an always-on mode as evidently that's preferred for some AMD processors.
A new framework queued for introduction with the Linux 4.21 kernel is the ARM-developed Energy Model Management Framework.
The Radeon Software for Linux 18.50 driver release (a.k.a. "AMDGPU-PRO" 18.50) is now officially available
Released just one week after Qt 5.12 LTS, The Qt Company on Thursday published Qt 3D Studio 2.2 as the newest version of this development environment for designing 3D user interfaces and adding 3D content to Qt5 programs.