Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

It's Time For The Premium 2018 Winter Sale To Show Your Linux Benchmarking Support

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or happy benchmark season... Regardless of whatever holidays you celebrate or not, it's time for the 2018 Christmas/Winter sale if you wish to join Phoronix Premium to help us out as we approach the 15th birthday of and see a strong year ahead for Linux hardware performance testing, open-source news coverage, and more. Premium gets you ad-free access to the site, multi-page featured articles on a single page, and other benefits.

17 Minutes Ago - Premium - Phoronix Christmas
Linux DMA Mapping Updates Help Recover Losses Caused By Spectre V2 Retpolines

Yet another pull request sent in early ahead of the holidays for the Linux 4.21 kernel merge window are the DMA-Mapping updates managed by Christoph Hellwig. Normally the DMA-Mapping changes aren't really worth noting on Phoronix, but this time around it brings some improvements to help offset the overhead incurred by Retpolines for Spectre V2 mitigation.

48 Minutes Ago - Linux Kernel - DMA-Mapping 4.21
Faster VP9 Multi-Threaded Video Decoding Patch Lands In Libvpx

Performance optimizations are always great presents to see in open-source projects around the holidays (well, any time of the year for that matter). Libvpx today picked up another optimization for helping out with VP9 video decoding.

78 Minutes Ago - Google - Libvpx Optimization
The Most Notable New Features Of The Linux 4.20 Kernel

As it's been two months since the Linux 4.20 cycle got underway with the feature-packed merge window and with this kernel expected out just in time for Christmas, here is a look back at some of the biggest and most notable features to this imminent kernel release.

20 December 06:51 PM EST - Linux Kernel - Linux 4.20 Kernel Features
PGI 18.10 Compiler Benchmarks Against GCC 8.2, LLVM Clang 7.0

Given the recently release of the PGI 18.10 Community Edition compiler by NVIDIA, I was curious to see how the performance on the CPU is looking for this proprietary compiler on Linux. For those curious as well, here are some benchmarks of the PGI 18.10 C/C++ compiler against the GCC 8.2.0 and LLVM Clang 7.0 open-source compilers.

20 December 04:30 PM EST - Software
The RADV Radeon Vulkan Driver Performance Over 2018

As the latest from our year-end Linux benchmarks, here are tests when seeing how Mesa's RADV open-source Radeon Vulkan driver performance has evolved for Linux gaming. With a Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card, the performance was looked at from Mesa 17.3 through Mesa 19.0-devel for showing the driver's evolution.

20 December 10:11 AM EST - Display Drivers
RADV Driver Patches Revive shaderStorageImageMultisample - Useful For DXVK

Samuel Pitoiset of Valve's open-source Linux graphics driver team has posted a set of patches implementing support for shaderStorageImageMultisample. These patches are based upon work started months earlier by David Airlie and important for DXVK and for other Vulkan use-cases.

20 December 04:09 AM EST - Mesa - shaderStorageImageMultisample
Freedreno Gets Patches For A2xx NIR Backend

Should you still be utilizing Qualcomm Adreno 200 series graphics hardware, the open-source graphics driver support is getting better for this hardware that was Adreno's first offering a programmable pipeline and clock speeds up to 133MHz.

20 December 03:18 AM EST - Mesa - Freedreno A2xx
Debian's Anti-Harassment Team Is Removing A Package Over Its Name

The latest notes from the Debian anti-harassment team on Wednesday caught my attention when reading, "We were requested to advice on the appropriateness of a certain package in the Debian archive. Our decision resulted in the package pending removal from the archive." Curiosity got the best of me... What package was deemed too inappropriate for the Debian archive?

20 December 01:48 AM EST - Debian - Inappropriate Name
AMD's ROCm 2.0 Radeon Compute Stack Being Prepared For Release

Last month AMD commented they would be releasing ROCm 2.0 prior to the end of 2018 and it looks like they will make good on their word. ROCm 2.0 is being prepared for release - source code is available albeit the reference Ubuntu/RHEL binaries are not yet out.

19 December 05:42 PM EST - Radeon - ROCm 2.0
Btrfs Changes For Linux 4.21 Prepped With Swapfile Support, Logging Improvements

Due to the Linux 4.21 merge window expected to open up next week just prior to Christmas, some kernel subsystem maintainers who won't be around in the days ahead have been sending in their pull requests early. Among those with early feature pulls is David Sterba continuing to oversee the Btrfs file-system development.

19 December 02:50 PM EST - Linux Kernel - Linux 4.21 Btrfs
The I3C Subsystem Seeks To Be Included In Linux 4.21

The I3C subsystem had sought to be included in Linux 4.20, but ultimately it was rejected for being too late in the cycle for introducing a brand new subsystem. But now it's requested to be pulled into the upcoming Linux 4.21 merge window.

19 December 01:11 PM EST - Hardware - I3C + Linux 4.21
VirtualBox 6.0 3D/OpenGL Performance With VMSVGA Adapter

With yesterday's release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.0, one of the most pressing changes for Linux guests is the use of the new VMSVGA 3D graphics device emulation by default. VMSVGA is the SVGA II graphics adapter from virtualization competitor VMware, but allows for the mature SVGA Linux graphics driver stack to be used. Here are some benchmarks looking at the OpenGL performance on VirtualBox 6.0.

19 December 11:27 AM EST - Software
Core i9 7980XE vs. Threadripper 2990WX - The Pre/Post 2018 Linux Kernel Performance

Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks looking at the Linux kernel performance from the start to end of 2018 using an Intel Core i9 7980XE system. Here is the second part of that testing in looking at the same Linux 4.14 vs. 4.20 kernel benchmarking while putting the i9-7980XE performance side-by-side against the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX for seeing how its performance was impacted under the same kernel tests.

19 December 10:13 AM EST - Software
FreeBSD ZFS File-System Code To Be Re-Based Over ZFS On Linux

With ZFS On Linux (ZOL) being more actively developed than the ZFS file-system code within the OpenSolaris-derived Illumos kernel, FreeBSD will be transitioning their ZFS file-system kernel driver to be based on ZOL.

19 December 08:55 AM EST - BSD - FreeBSD + ZOL
Having Vega 10 Linux GPU Hangs? Try Rolling Back The Firmware

If you recently installed the Radeon Software 18.50 Linux driver package or recently updated your system's firmware from the linux-firmware.git tree and experiencing GPU hangs with Radeon "Vega 10" graphics hardware, the firmware may be to blame.

18 December 09:02 PM EST - Radeon - Vega 10 Firmware Issue
Radeon Software 18.50 vs. Linux 4.20 + Mesa 19 Benchmarks On The AMD RX 590

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.

18 December 03:27 PM EST - Display Drivers
Linux 4.14 vs. 4.20 Performance Benchmarks - The Kernel Speed Difference For 2018

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.

18 December 08:13 AM EST - Linux Kernel - Linux 4.14 vs. 4.20
Qt For Python 5.12 Now Available

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.

18 December 07:09 AM EST - Qt - Qt 5.12 + Python 3
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Now Available On Select Dell Precision Laptops

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.

18 December 06:35 AM EST - Ubuntu - Dell Precision + Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Facebook Releases HHVM 3.30 As The Final Version Officially Supporting PHP

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.

17 December 09:02 PM EST - Free Software - HHVM 3.30
MIPS Processor ISA To Be Open-Sourced In 2019

Months after MIPS Technologies was acquired by Wave Computing, the company announced it's working on open-sourcing the MIPS processor instruction set architecture.

17 December 02:30 PM EST - Hardware - Open-Source MIPS
Five-Way Linux OS Comparison On Amazon's ARM Graviton CPU

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.

17 December 02:22 PM EST - Operating Systems
Enabling Intel Fastboot Support By Default Brought Up, Again

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.

17 December 10:28 AM EST - Intel - Intel DRM Fastboot