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Kernel: Threading, Streebog, USB 3.0, "Thermal Pressure" and More

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Linux
  • A Look At Linux Application Scaling Up To 128 Threads

    Arriving last week in our Linux benchmarking lab was a dual EPYC server -- this Dell PowerEdge R7425 is a beast of a system with two AMD EPYC 7601 processors yielding a combined 64 cores / 128 threads, 512GB of RAM (16 x 32GB DDR4), and 20 x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. There will be many interesting benchmarks from this server in the days and weeks ahead. For some initial measurements during the first few days of stress testing this 2U rack server, here is a look at how well various benchmarks/applications are scaling from two to 128 threads.

  • Linux Kernel Patches Posted For Streebog - Crypto From Russia's FSB

    Just months after the controversial Speck crypto code was added to the Linux kernel that raised various concerns due to its development by the NSA and potential backdoors, which was then removed from the kernel tree, there is now Russia's Streebog that could be mainlined.

    The Streebog cryptographic hash was developed by Russia's controversial FSB federal security service and other Russian organizations. Streebog is a Russian national standard and a replacement to their GOST hash function. Streebog doesn't have as much controversy as NSA's Speck, but then again it's not as well known but there is are some hypothetical attacks and some papers have questioned some elements of the design. Streebog is considered to be a competitor to the SHA-3 standard from the NIST.

  • The Linux Kernel In 2018 Finally Deems USB 3.0 Ubiquitous Rather Than An Oddity

    The latest news in the "it's about darn time" section is the Linux kernel's default i386/x86_64 kernel configurations will finally ship with USB 3.0 support enabled, a.k.a. CONFIG_USB_XHCI_HCD.

    For many years now pretty much all Linux distribution vendor kernels have been shipping with CONFIG_USB_XHCI_HCD enabled either built-in or as a module... But built-in is pretty much the best to avoid potential issues at start-up time. As of this week, CONFIG_USB_XHCI_HCD=y is finally set for the default configurations on the x86/x86_64-based kernel builds should you be spinning up a defconfig kernel.

  • "Thermal Pressure" Kernel Feature Would Help Linux Performance When Running Hot

    Linaro engineer Thara Gopinath sent out an experimental set of kernel patches today that introduces the concept of "thermal pressure" to the Linux kernel for helping assist Linux performance when the processor cores are running hot.

    While the Linux CPU frequency scaling code already deals with the event of CPU core(s) overheating as to downclock/limit the frequency, the kernel's scheduler isn't currently aware of the CPU capacity restrictions put in place due to that thermal event.

  • Containers are Linux

    Linux is the core of today’s operating system open source software development, and containers are a core feature of Linux. Linux containers and the Kubernetes community supporting them enable agencies to quickly stand up, distribute and scale applications in the hybrid clouds supporting the IT architecture of today’s digitally transformed government.

    But agencies need more than the speed and flexibility of containers and the power of Kubernetes to take full advantage of today’s hybrid cloud environment. They need open source enterprise software with full lifecycle support and a full complement of hardware certifications to ensure portability across platforms.

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The 5 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

Maybe you’ve just purchased a brand new laptop. Or maybe you have an older laptop sitting in your closet that you’d like to bring back to life. Either way, the best Linux distros for laptops are those that offer better driver support and can accommodate the performance offered by most laptops. People buy laptops for a specific purpose. That may be software development, creating graphic content, gaming, or office work. The Linux distros below are well suited to run on any laptop. Read more

Graphics: Freedreno Gallium3D and NVIDIA

  • Freedreno Gallium3D Lands MSAA Support For Qualcomm Adreno 600 Series
    While Qualcomm was busy hosting their Tech Summit this week in Hawaii, the independent open-source developers were pressing ahead with their reverse-engineered Qualcomm Adreno 3D graphics driver support. Rob Clark of Red Hat and Kristian Kristensen of Google landed their latest Freedreno Gallium3D driver improvements into Mesa 19.0. The most notable addition was multi-sample anti-aliasing support (MSAA) for the Adreno 600 series hardware. There is also now EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture support exposed by this Gallium3D driver. Besides that work there were also fixes and other changes.
  • NVIDIA Tegra X2 & Xavier Get HDMI Audio With Linux 4.21
    While it's not as exciting as if seeing full 3D open-source driver support, with the upcoming Linux 4.21 kernel are some mainline Tegra improvements that does include HDMI audio support for the X2 and Xavier SoCs. Thierry Reding of NVIDIA sent in the Tegra DRM driver updates this week for the upcoming Linux 4.21 cycle. He commented, "These changes contain a couple of minor fixes for host1x and the Falcon library in Tegra DRM. There are also a couple of missing pieces that finally enable support for host1x, VIC and display on Tegra194. I've also added a patch that enables audio over HDMI using the SOR which has been tested, and works, on both Tegra186 and Tegra194."

Powers of two, powers of Linux: 2048 at the command line

Hello and welcome to today's installment of the Linux command-line toys advent calendar. Every day, we look at a different toy for your terminal: it could be a game or any simple diversion that helps you have fun. Maybe you have seen various selections from our calendar before, but we hope there’s at least one new thing for everyone. Today's toy is a command-line version of one of my all-time favorite casual games, 2048 (which itself is a clone of another clone). Read more

More Radeon RX 590 Ubuntu Benchmarks - See How Your Linux GPU Performance Compares

Published on Friday was my Radeon RX 590 Linux benchmarks now that the kinks in the support for this latest Polaris refresh are worked out (at least in patch form). Here are some complementary data points with some of the OpenGL tests outside of the Steam games for those curious about the RX 590 performance in other workloads or wanting to see how your own GPU performance would compare to these results. The Radeon RX 590 continues running well with the patched Linux 4.20 kernel build (hopefully the last patch needed for the RX 590 will make it into 4.20 mainline soon) and in user-space was Mesa 19.0 from the Padoka PPA for this system running on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Read more