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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel Haswell HD Graphics Benchmarks With Linux 3.16

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While nothing was explicitly stated with regard to 3D performance changes with the numerous Intel DRM improvements for Linux 3.16, I ran some basic OpenGL benchmarks on a Intel Core i7 4790K Devil's Canyon box with Ubuntu 14.04 to look out for any performance changes when using the latest drm-next code merged into Linux 3.16.

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Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

There's been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there's routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here's some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I'll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

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Running The Linux 3.16 Kernel Might Be A Bit Slower On An Ultrabook

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

For those running an Intel ultrabook, here's some benchmarks using the Linux 3.16 kernel on this portable x86 hardware compared to Linux 3.15. Unfortunately, the results aren't too promising.

As some extra Linux 3.16 kernel benchmarks to share, I used the stable Linux 3.15 and compared it to Linux 3.16 Git on an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VDA ultrabook running a Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" processor with an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS host.

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Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gaming

Up for your viewing pleasure today were some quick benchmarks done of the next-generation KDE desktop stack compared to the KDE 4.13.0 and Unity 7.2.1 desktops of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

For delivering some early preview figures of KDE Frameworks 5 with Plasma-Next, I used the Project Neon PPA recently to test out the full-screen Linux OpenGL gaming performance to see if it was affected differently than KDE4 or Unity. Much more in-depth testing will come when the next-gen KDE stack has been stabilized, but this should serve as some interesting preview figures.

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NVIDIA VDPAU Performance Metrics On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Ubuntu

During the Big Buck Bunny video playback process, the CPU usage was monitored by the test profile and we also monitored each graphics card's GPU temperature, GPU usage, and the overall AC system power draw (via a WattsUp power meter). The additional sensors can be polled automatically by the Phoronix Test Suite by setting the MONITOR=gpu.usage,gpu.temp,sys.power environment variable. This testing is quite straight forward and mainly intended for reference purposes for those thinking about a NVIDIA GPU for a Linux HTPC / multimedia PC, so let's get straight to the data.

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Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Besides the Nouveau driver performance being faster thanks to experimental re-clocking when using the Linux 3.16 kernel, there are also performance improvements to note with some generations of AMD graphics processors.

The changes found within Linux 3.16 to benefit the Radeon DRM graphics performance are the GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support. Separate from this performance-related work for this kernel-side open-source AMD update is also HDMI deep color support, HDMI audio clean-ups, and other bug-fixes.

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Performance benchmarks: KVM vs. Xen

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Server

After having some interesting discussions last week around KVM and Xen performance improvements over the past years, I decided to do a little research on my own. The last complete set of benchmarks I could find were from the Phoronix Haswell tests in 2013. There were some other benchmarks from 2011 but those were hotly debated due to the Xen patches headed into kernel 3.0.

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Raspberry Pi DRM+Gallium3D Driver Makes Great Progress In One Week

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Last week Eric Anholt left Intel's Linux graphics driver team to go work for Broadcom developing a VC4 DRM/KMS and Gallium3D driver for the GPU that supports the Raspberry Pi.

Eric ended up making more progress in his first week than he anticipated in starting off this new open-source Linux graphics driver project. He ended up getting his work items done that originally he anticipated would take him about one month. The basic "hack driver" is now working to run triangle code running on a kernel with a relocations-based GEM interface. Thursday he already started on the Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D driver, which in turn is based upon the Freedreno driver for Qualcomm's ARM hardware.

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Re-Testing NVIDIA's Threaded OpenGL Optimizations For Linux Gaming

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Back in 2012 with the NVIDIA 310 Linux driver series a threaded OpenGL optimization was added to the proprietary graphics driver. When this driver premiered we tested NVIDIA's Linux threaded OpenGL optimizations to mixed results. We're back now re-testing the OpenGL threaded optimizations to see if it makes any more of a difference now with modern Linux games and OpenGL workloads while using the latest 337.25 Linux driver.

NVIDIA's OpenGL threaded optimization feature allows offloading the CPU computational workload to a separate processor thread. This feature is designed to benefit CPU-heavy workloads but can potentially worsen the performance depending upon the game/application's particular OpenGL calls. As a result, the threaded optimization feature remains disabled by default while it's been around for two years. For more information on the threaded optimization feature and how to enable it, see the earlier article.

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Weston DRM Compositor Support Proposed For NVIDIA's TK1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Support for running Wayland's Weston compositor directly off the DRM kernel driver for the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC found within the Jetson TK1 development board has been proposed for mainline Weston.

Covered last week on Phoronix was news that Codethink got a blob-free Linux driver stack working on the Jetson TK1, a fabulous sub-$200 ARM development board that's rather powerful. There's an emerging DRM driver for the Kepler "GK20A" graphics found within this new Cortex-A15 SoC. Codethink managed to get Wayland's Weston compositor working and this week they released their TK1 patch-set.

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Openwashing: Microsoft, Apple and Symphony Software Foundation

Linux Foundation: Real-Time Linux (RT Linux), LF Deep Learning Foundation, OpenTracing and More

  • Developers: Prepare Your Drivers for Real-Time Linux
    Although Real-Time Linux (RT Linux) has been a staple at Embedded Linux Conferences for years -- here’s a story on the RT presentations in 2007 -- many developers have viewed the technology to be peripheral to their own embedded projects. Yet as RT, enabled via the PREEMPT_RT patch, prepares to be fully integrated into the mainline kernel, a wider circle of developers should pay attention. In particular, Linux device driver authors will need to ensure that their drivers play nice with RT-enabled kernels. At the recent Embedded Linux Conference in Portland, National Instruments software engineer Julia Cartwright, an acting maintainer on a stable release of the RT patch, gave a well-attended presentation called “What Every Driver Developer Should Know about RT.” Cartwright started with an overview of RT, which helps provide guarantees for user task execution for embedded applications that require a high level of determinism. She then described the classes of driver-related problems that can have a detrimental impact to RT, as well as potential resolutions. One of the challenges of any real-time operating system is that most target applications have two types of tasks: those with real-time requirements and latency sensitivity, and those for non-time critical tasks such as disk monitoring, throughput, or I/O. “The two classes of tasks need to run together and maybe communicate with one another with mixed criticality,” explained Cartwright. “You must resolve two different degrees of time sensitivity.” One solution is to split the tasks by using two different hardware platforms. “You could have an Arm Cortex-R, FPGA, or PLD based board for super time-critical stuff, and then a Cortex-A series board with Linux,” said Cartwright. “This offers the best isolation, but it raises the per unit costs, and it’s hard to communicate between the domains.”
  • Clarifying the Linux Real Time Issue
    I recently posted an article about the increasing development and availability of Linux-powered automation devices. This is a clear industry trend that’s unavoidable for anyone following the automation technology industry. Shortly after posting the article, I heard from a reader who wrote: “I read your article and I am surprised that you would promote the idea that anyone would use Linux for anything critical. It isn’t even a real-time control system. It can be used for non-critical applications, but the article implies that industry is adopting it for everything.” This reader brings up a valid point. Linux is not a real-time OS in and of itself. As Vibhoosh Gupta of GE Automation & Controls noted in the original article, GE uses “Type 1 hypervisor technology to run a real-time OS, such as VxWorks, running traditional control loops alongside our PAC Edge technology operating on Linux.” [...] The Linux Foundation launched the RTL (Real Time Linux) Collaborative Project in October 2015. According to the Foundation, the project was “founded by industry experts to advance technologies for the robotics, telecom, manufacturing and medical industries. The aim of the RTL collaborative project is mainlining the PREEMPT_RT patch.” While there are plenty of mission critical applications running Linux OS with real-time extensions—as highlighted by GE, Opto and Wago—the Linux Foundation notes on its site that there remains “much work to be done.”
  • Linux Launches Deep Learning Foundation For Open Source Growth In AI
    The Linux Foundation has launched the LF Deep Learning Foundation, an umbrella organisation which will support and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The organisation will strive to make these critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere, said a statement published by LF. Founding members of LF Deep Learning include Amdocs, AT&T, B.Yond, Baidu, Huawei, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Tencent, Univa, and ZTE, among others. LF Deep Learning, members are working to create a neutral space where makers and sustainers of tools and infrastructure can interact and harmonise their efforts and accelerate the broad adoption of deep learning technologies.
  • OpenTracing: Distributed Tracing’s Emerging Industry Standard
    What was traditionally known as just Monitoring has clearly been going through a renaissance over the last few years. The industry as a whole is finally moving away from having Monitoring and Logging silos – something we’ve been doing and “preaching” for years – and the term Observability emerged as the new moniker for everything that encompasses any form of infrastructure and application monitoring. Microservices have been around for a over a decade under one name or another. Now often deployed in separate containers it became obvious we need a way to trace transactions through various microservice layers, from the client all the way down to queues, storage, calls to external services, etc. This created a new interest in Transaction Tracing that, although not new, has now re-emerged as the third pillar of observability.
  • There’s a Server in Every Serverless Platform [Ed: "Serverless" is a lie. It's a server. One that you do not control; one/s that control/s you. Even Swapnil finally or belatedly gets it. The LF really likes buzzwords.]
    Serverless computing or Function as a Service (FaaS) is a new buzzword created by an industry that loves to coin new terms as market dynamics change and technologies evolve. But what exactly does it mean? What is serverless computing?
  • Take the Open Source Job Survey from Dice and The Linux Foundation
    Interest in hiring open source professionals is on the rise, with more companies than ever looking for full-time hires with open source skills and experience. To gather more information about the changing landscape and opportunities for developers, administrators, managers, and other open source professionals, Dice and The Linux Foundation have partnered to produce two open source jobs surveys — designed specifically for hiring managers and industry professionals.
  • Automotive Linux Summit & OS Summit Japan Schedule Announced [Ed: "Brian Redmond, Microsoft" so you basically go to an event about Linux and must listen to a talk from a company which attacks Linux with patent blackmail, bribes etc.]

Security: Updates, GrayKey, Google and Cilium

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Hackers Leaked The Code Of iPhone Cracking Device “GrayKey”, Attempted Extortion
    The mysterious piece of hardware GrayKey might give a sense of happiness to cops because they can get inside most of the iPhone models currently active, including the iPhone X. The $30,000 device is known to crack a 4-digit iPhone passcode in a matter of a few hours, and a six-digit passcode in 3 days, or possibly 11 hours in ideal scenarios. That’s why security experts suggest that iOS users should keep an alphanumeric passcode instead of an all-number passcode.
  • Someone Is Trying to Extort iPhone Crackers GrayShift With Leaked Code
    Law enforcement agencies across the country are buying or have expressed interest in buying GrayKey, a device that can unlock up-to-date iPhones. But Grayshift, the company that makes the device, has attracted some other attention as well. Last week, an unknown party quietly leaked portions of GrayKey code onto the internet, and demanded over $15,000 from Grayshift—ironically, the price of an entry-level GrayKey—in order to stop publishing the material. The code itself does not appear to be particularly sensitive, but Grayshift confirmed to Motherboard the brief data leak that led to the extortion attempt.
  • It's not you, it's Big G: Sneaky spammers slip strangers spoofed spam, swamp Gmail sent files
    Google has confirmed spammers can not only send out spoofed emails that appear to have been sent by Gmail users, but said messages also appear in those users' sent mail folders. The Chocolate Factory on Monday told The Register that someone has indeed created and sent spam with forged email headers. These not only override the send address, so that it appears a legit Gmail user sent the message, but it also mysteriously shows up in that person's sent box as if they had typed it and emitted themselves. In turn, the messages would also appear in their inboxes as sent mail.
  • Cilium 1.0 Advances Container Networking With Improved Security
    For last two decades, the IPtables technology has been the cornerstone of Linux networking implementations, including new container models. On April 24, the open-source Cilium 1.0 release was launched, providing a new alternative to IPtables by using BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter), which improves both networking and security. The Cilium project's GitHub code repository defines the effort as Linux Native, HTTP Aware Network Security for Containers. Cilium development has been driven to date by stealth startup Covalent, which is led by CEO Dan Wendlandt, who well-known in the networking community for his work at VMware on software-defined networking, and CTO Thomas Graf, who is a core Linux kernel networking developer.

Applications: KStars, Kurly, Pamac, QEMU

  • KStars 2.9.5 is out!
    Autofocus module users would be happy to learn that the HFR value is now responsive to changing seeing conditions. Previously, the first successful autofocus operation would set the HFR Threshold value of which subsequent measurements are compared against during the in-sequence-focusing step.
  • Kurly – An Alternative to Most Widely Used Curl Program
    Kurly is a free open source, simple but effective, cross-platform alternative to the popular curl command-line tool. It is written in Go programming language and works in the same way as curl but only aims to offer common usage options and procedures, with emphasis on the HTTP(S) operations. In this tutorial we will learn how to install and use kurly program – an alternative to most widely used curl command in Linux.
  • Pamac – Easily Install and Manage Software on Arch Linux
    Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution available despite its apparent technicality. Its default package manager pacman is powerful but as time always tells, it is a lot easier to get certain things done using a mouse because GUI apps barely require any typing nor do they require you to remember any commands; and this is where Pamac comes in. Pamac is a Gtk3 frontend for libalpm and it is the GUI tool that Arch Linux users turn to the most when they aren’t in the mood to manage their software packages via the terminal; and who can blame them? It was specifically created to be used with Pacman.
  • QEMU 2.12 Released With RISC-V, Spectre/Meltdown & Intel vGPU Action
    QEMU 2.12 is now officially available as the latest stable feature update to this important component to the open-source Linux virtualization stack.