Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance


Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features.

2 Hours Ago - Google - Upstream First
Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs

Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story.

4 Hours Ago - Mesa - Ray-Tracing On Older GPUs
An Early Look At The AMD P-State CPPC Driver Performance vs. ACPI CPUFreq

Earlier this month AMD posted their initial public patches for the AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver that leverages ACPI CPPC for ultimately aiming to provide better power efficiency and more responsive CPU frequency scaling / performance state decisions on Zen 3 (and Zen 2 eventually) processors. This is part of the effort around AMD and Valve collaborating for better Linux efficiency especially with the AMD-powered Steam Deck.

Better Support & Performance For OpenACC Kernels Is Coming To GCC

While the GNU Compiler Collection has supported OpenACC for a few years now as this parallel programming standard popular with GPUs/accelerators, the current implementation has been found to be inadequate for many real-world HPC workloads leveraging OpenACC. Fortunately, Siemens has been working to improve GCC's OpenACC kernels support.

10 Hours Ago - GNU - OpenACC Performance
Mesa 21.2.2 Released "Late & Very Large"

Mesa point releases generally come every two weeks but for the past month have fallen off the wagon. Mesa 21.2.1 came in mid-August and on Tuesday was finally succeeded by Mesa 21.2.2 as a "late and very large" update.

17 Hours Ago - Mesa - Mesa 21.2
AMDGPU Linux Driver To Overhaul Its Approach To Device Enumeration

AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver engineers are working to overhaul how the initial driver loading with device enumeration happens to ultimately make it more robust. In the process though PCI IDs become less important and in turn less of an avenue for exposing possible indicators of new graphics cards.

21 September 05:00 PM EDT - Radeon - IP Discovery
Samba 4.15 Released With Improved CLI Experience, Modernized VFS Interface

While there is now KSMBD with Linux 5.15 for offering an in-kernel SMB file server, its scope is much more limited than that of the Samba project in user-space. With that said, Samba 4.15 is out now with its latest batch of features and improvements for open-source SMB/CIFS support on Linux and other platforms.

21 September 08:40 AM EDT - Linux Storage - Samba 4.15
Vulkan Video Decoding Still In The Early Stages For Open-Source

Going public back in April was the provisional specification around the Vulkan Video extensions as a new industry-standard video encode/decode interface. While several months have passed, there hasn't been much activity yet in the open-source space around Vulkan Video.

21 September 06:33 AM EDT - Vulkan - Vulkan Video
AMD Extending DWARF To Better Handle GPU Debugging, Continues Collaborating With GCC & LLVM

In addition to AMD's increasing Linux kernel contributions, they are also contributing more improvements in user-space too thanks to their super-computing wins and other big enterprise deployments that are Linux-based. One of the areas talked about this week at the Linux Plumbers Conference with the GNU Tools track is how they are working to extend the DWARF debug format to better handle GPU debugging.

21 September 12:00 AM EDT - Radeon - DWARF6
Phoronix Ad-Free/Premium Special For Oktoberfest 2021

While Oktoberfest was once again cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic (then again, due to the state of the ad industry / ad-block users we haven't had any European meet-up / open-source gathering in years), the wiesn would have kicked off this past weekend. So as is tradition, there is the Phoronix Premium Oktoberfest sale where you can join the ad-free service as a reduced rate. If you enjoy the daily, original Linux and open-source content on Phoronix with plenty of benchmarking, you can do so at a reduced rate.

20 September 11:59 PM EDT - Premium - Go Premium
Intel Posts New Linux Patches Looking To Re-Enable ENQCMD Ahead Of Sapphire Rapids

While Intel is normally quite good with their new hardware support being in good shape well ahead of launch, their new code for supporting the ENQCMD functionality for the Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA) with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" has been an exception. This summer the mainline Linux kernel disabled ENQCMD support since the code was "broken beyond repair" while now Intel engineers have sent out a new series looking to get it re-enabled.

20 September 04:25 PM EDT - Intel - Restoring ENQCMD
CUPS 2.4 Coming Next Month, CUPS 2.5 + CUPS 3.0 Already In Planning

An Open Printing micro-conference took place today during the Linux Plumbers Conference 2021 week. While it's hard to get excited about printers in 2021, it is exciting the renewed effort around CUPS with it now being back to effectively led by the community and CUPS founder Michael Sweet who left Apple. CUPS 2.4 is coming as the first feature release in quite a while and then CUPS 2.5 followed by CUPS 3.0 are already being talked about with features being discussed.

20 September 03:02 PM EDT - Free Software - CUPS Printing
DXVK 1.9.2 Released With More Games In Better Shape

DXVK 1.9.2 is out as the newest version of this key library necessary to the success of Valve's Steam Play (Proton) by translating Direct3D 9/10/11 calls to Vulkan for a much more performant Windows gaming experience on Linux.

20 September 09:36 AM EDT - Linux Gaming - DXVK 1.9.2
AMD Continues CRIU Work To Checkpoint/Restore ROCm Compute Workloads

Earlier this year AMD went public with prototyping CRIU support for Radeon GPUs around ROCm to be able to checkpoint/freeze running compute workloads and to then restore them at a later point. This CRIU focus is driven by their big accelerator needs and forthcoming supercomputers for migrating workloads particularly within containers. AMD continues working on CRIU support for GPUs and last week provided an update on the project.

20 September 08:21 AM EDT - Radeon - CRIU ROCm
Red Hat's Upstream Contributions Are Making For A Great Fedora Workstation 35

Fedora Workstation 35 will hopefully be out at the end of October (currently the beta is running behind schedule) and when it does ship it's once again at the bleeding-edge of Linux features. Fedora Workstation 35 is shaping up to be another great release for those interested in a feature-rich desktop experience.

20 September 06:00 AM EDT - Fedora - Fedora Workstation 35 Features
Linux 5.15 Is Now Slightly Less Broken For The DEC Alpha "Jensen"

One has to wonder how much longer the Linux kernel will keep around some very old and known to be borked hardware support but at least for now the DECpc AXP 150 "Jensen" platform support is sticking around and with Linux 5.15 is no longer marked as "broken" outright.

18 September 07:36 PM EDT - Hardware - DEC PC 150 AXP
DRM Driver Posted For AI Processing Unit - Initially Focused On Mediatek SoCs

BayLibre developer Alexandre Bailon has posted a "request for comments" of a new open-source Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver for AI Processing Unit (APU) functionality. Initially the driver is catering to Mediatek SoCs with an AI co-processor but this DRM "APU" driver could be adapted to other hardware too.

18 September 01:12 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - DRM APU
AMD + Valve Focusing On P-State / CPPC Driver With Schedutil For Better Linux Efficiency

As reported at the start of August, AMD and Valve have been working on Linux CPU performance/frequency scaling improvements with the Steam Deck being one of the leading motivators. As speculated at that time, their work would likely revolve around use of ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 CPUs and newer. Published last week was that AMD P-State driver for Linux systems indeed now leveraging CPPC information. AMD formally presented this new driver yesterday at XDC2021.

18 September 07:26 AM EDT - AMD - AMD P-State
GIMP 2.10.28 Released With More Fixes

There's still some time to go before seeing the long-awaited GIMP 3.0 release for this open-source image manipulation program but at least out this weekend is GIMP 2.10.28 for bettering the current stable series.

18 September 05:56 AM EDT - Desktop - GIMP 2.10.28