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Ubuntu 12.04 To Ubuntu 18.04 Benchmarks On An Intel Laptop

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As part of our ongoing benchmarks of the recently released Ubuntu 18.04, here is a look at the performance of Ubuntu Linux on the same laptop while testing all Long-Term Support releases from 12.04 to 18.04 for seeing how the Ubuntu performance has evolved over the past six years on this Intel laptop.

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Kernel and Graphics: Linux 4.17 Udpate, Libplacebo, AMDVLK, and WebP

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  • Linux 4.17 Getting A Fix That May Help AMD Systems Conserve Power When Idling

    Besides other promising Linux 4.17 power saving improvements, a separate fix was queued today for potentially helping AMD systems conserve power.

    An AMD engineer noticed that with the existing Linux kernel code, using the MWAIT instruction is supported and used but on AMD CPUs but does not allow deeper c-states than C1 with current-generation hardware. The MWAIT x86 instruction is used as a hint for letting the processor enter a CPU-specific optimized state.

  • Libplacebo: Punting MPV's GPU Video/Image Rendering Into A Library

    Libplacebo is an effort to shift the MPlayer2-forked MPV media player's core rendering code into a reusable library. The libplacebo library can allow for cleaning up MPV's APIs in the process as well as providing a standard library for GPU-accelerated video and image processing.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Exposes More Extensions, Optimizations & More Fixes

    On Saturday was the latest code drop for the XGL component update to the AMDVLK open-source Linux Vulkan driver, which incorporates the work done internally by AMD developers on their official Vulkan driver code-base over the past number of days.

    With this latest open-source driver update there is now AMD_shader_ballot and AMD_gpu_shader_half_float being exposed - both extensions being quite interesting and the shader ballot having been a work-in-progress for a while now on this driver.

  • WebP 1.0 Image Format Released

    Google's WebP image format officially reached version 1.0 to seemingly no fanfare.

    WebP hit the big 1.0 milestone last week on 20 April but surprisingly only this morning was the first time I heard of the WebP 1.0 release after a Phoronix reader noticed it and tipped us off to its availability.

Comparison of Memory Consumptions of 7 Bionic Systems from Beta 2

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I have installed and reviewed seven versions of beta 2 of Ubuntu and six Flavors 18.04 LTS. In each review, I took memory consumption information at idle time at first login time. I accumulate them in a table (LibreOffice Calc) and make a chart of them. Here's the result chart comparing all Ubuntu original, and Kubuntu up to Ubuntu Budgie, including the new generation Lubuntu Next with my data. The result could give you a rough information of which systems take more and which other systems take less memory. This comparison is not precise in benchmarking sense and you should not rely on this for scientific purpose.

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Graphics: RadeonSI, Nouveau, Mesa 18.1 RC2

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  • RadeonSI Ups Its Compiler Threads To Let Shader-DB Run Faster On Modern Systems

    The RadeonSI compiler queue can now run across more CPU cores/threads of modern systems though it appears this will primarily just benefit those running the shader-db shader test cases.

    Marek Olšák of AMD has increased the number of compiler threads depending upon the CPU. The compiler queue in the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver was previously limited to three threads, which is a bottleneck for shader-db when running on modern systems commonly featuring eight or now sixteen threads.

  • Red Hat Developers Continue Working On OpenCL/Compute For Nouveau

    Karol Herbst and others at Red Hat continue working on improving the open-source GPU compute for Linux, particularly for the Nouveau open-source reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver.

    Longtime Nouveau developer Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat towards the end of 2017 has been working on compute support for Nouveau since joining the company. He's been added NIR support to Nouveau in order to get SPIR-V support working for OpenCL though also helps along Vulkan enablement for this open-source driver.

  • mesa 18.0.2

    Mesa 18.0.2 is now available.

    In this release we have:

    A couple of fixes for Meson that solves some problems regarding
    building tests and installation.

    A couple of fixes in state tracker / DRI that was causing crashes
    in QtCreator and Firefox, among other problems.

    A couple of fixes for GFX9, that solves a hang in the driver, and
    a problem with buffer views.

    SVGA gets also a patch to fix incorrect advertizing of
    EGL_KHR_gl_colorspace extension.

    Etnaviv gets a fix for swizzled texture formats.

    Intel drivers get also several patches.

    RADV gets a patch to solve a problem of lot of games complaining
    about not having enough memory.

  • Mesa 18.1-RC2 & Mesa 18.0.2 Released

    Mesa 18.0.2 is now the latest stable release for Mesa3D while those wishing to ride the bleeding-edge version for these OpenGL/Vulkan drivers can try Mesa 18.1-RC2.

Graphics: Mesa 18.0.2 and GPUOpen

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  • Mesa 18.0.2 Expected This Weekend, Offers Up RADV/RadeonSI Fixes + More

    Juan Suarez Romero who is maintaining the Mesa 18.0 stable series today announced the 18.0.2 release candidate as what will be the second point release.

    Mesa 18.0.2 has a number of Vega/GFX9 fixes to the RADV/NIR code and RadeonSI, fixes to the Meson build system support, various Gallium3D driver fixes, a few fixes to the Intel driver code, and other smaller work.

  • GPUOpen On Reducing Vulkan Overhead With Volk, Possible 1~5% Savings

    A guest post on AMD's GPUOpen blog outlines the overhead issues with using the Vulkan loader library and possible performance advantages to using vkGetDeviceProcAddr or more easily via a little heard of project called Volk.

    While the generic Vulkan loader library is great for allowing multiple Vulkan ICD drivers to happily co-exist on the same system without interference and allowing for features like Vulkan layers, it does add a bit of overhead whenever making any Vulkan API calls that need to go through it and in turn passed onto the drivers. Since the Vulkan debut we've seen differing opinions about whether its performance negligible or not from driver developers to Vulkan game/application developers with some app/game developers trying to avoid the loader/dispatch code and use the Vulkan driver calls directly.

Core i7 8700K vs. Ryzen 7 2700X With Rise of The Tomb Raider On Linux

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Here are our latest Linux gaming benchmarks comparing the Intel Core i7 8700K to the newly-released Ryzen 7 2700X. The focus in this article is on the Rise of the Tomb Raider Linux port released last week by Feral Interactive and powered by Vulkan.

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Graphics Leftovers

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  • AMDGPU Linux Kernel Driver Gets Patches For Vega M Support - Intel Kabylake G

    Earlier this month Vega M support came to RadeonSI OpenGL, with Vega M being the Radeon graphics found within Intel's Kabylake G processors. There was then Vega M support for the RADV Vulkan driver but these user-space drivers won't work without the kernel bits and now there is that support with 32 AMDGPU DRM patches.

    Alex Deucher of AMD last night mailed out the AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager driver patches for supporting accelerated graphics on Vega M / Kabylake G. These patches are fairly straight-forward and mostly involve support for loading new firmware files for "VegaM" and then mostly taking the driver's existing Polaris code-paths. Yes, the GPU for Intel is advertised as being part of the "Vega" family, but from the RadeonSI/RADV/AMDGPU driver patches, the indications are that it's really more in common with Polaris at least from the driver perspective.

  • NVIDIA 396.18.05 Linux Vulkan Driver Released With Fixes

    Just a week after the NVIDIA 396.18.02 Linux driver beta is an updated Linux driver build (and for Windows too).

  • X.Org Server 1.20 Git Corrects DRI3 Fallout For Non-Modesetting DDX Drivers

    With the recent release candidates to the long overdue X.Org Server 1.20, OpenGL rendering has been broken when using DDX drivers like Intel and Nouveau rather than the generic xf86-video-modesetting. That was fixed today.

  • Jim Keller Reportedly Joins Intel After AMD, Tesla Stint

    Legendary CPU designer Jim Keller has reportedly joined Intel following his brief stint at Tesla after leading the Zen team at AMD.

Graphics: VC4 and AMDVLK Driver

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  • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted

    For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support.

    On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.

  • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel

    Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the "V3D" DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver.

    As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.

  • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles

    With last week's release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That's now been fixed.

    With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

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With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers.

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AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

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With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Software: Grafana, Heaptrack, Vim

  • Grafana – An Open Source Software for Analytics and Monitoring
    Grafana is an open source, feature rich, powerful, elegant and highly-extensible analytics and monitoring software that runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS. It is a de facto software for data analytics, being used at Stack Overflow, eBay, PayPal, Uber and Digital Ocean – just to mention but a few. It supports 30+ open source as well as commercial databases/data sources including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus and InfluxDB. It allows you to dig deeply into large volumes of real-time, operational data; visualize, query, set alerts and get insights from your metrics from differen
  • Heaptrack v1.1.0 release
    Better memory profiling on Linux After more than a year of work, I’m pleased to release another version of heaptrack, the Linux memory profiler! The new version 1.1.0 comes with some new features, significant performance improvements and – most importantly – much improved stability and correctness. If you have tried version v1.0 in the past and encountered problems, update to the new v1.1 and try again!
  • Ten Years of Vim

    The philosophy behind Vim takes a while to sink in: While other editors focus on writing as the central part of working with text, Vim thinks it's editing.


    You see, most of the time I don't spend writing new text; instead, I edit existing text.


GNU/Linux: Parrot 4.0, Oregan, Containers and Linux 4.18 Plans

  • Parrot 4.0 is out
    Parrot 4.0 has been released. Parrot is a security-oriented distribution aimed at penetration tests and digital forensics analysis, with additional tools to preserve privacy.
  • Parrot 4.0 release notes
  • Oregan launches SparQ middleware for Linux and Android TV
    Oregan said that the open standards-based offering resolves the differences between the current security and performance requirements of modern-day TV services and the hardware capabilities of STBs that were deployed up to a decade ago.
  • Linux app support coming to older Chrome OS devices
    Linux apps on Chrome OS is one of the biggest developments for the OS since Android apps. Previous reports stated Chromebooks with certain kernel versions would be left in the dust, but the Chrome OS developers have older devices on the roadmap, too. When Google first broke silence on Linux app functionality, it was understood that Linux kernel 4.4 was required to run apps due to dependencies on newer kernel modules. Thanks to an issue found on Chromium’s public bugtracker, we have confirmation that containers won’t be limited to the handful of Chrome OS devices released with kernel 4.4.
  • Looking Ahead To The Linux 4.18 Kernel
    There still are several weeks to go until the Linux 4.17 kernel will be officially released and for that to initiate the Linux 4.18 merge window, but we already know some of the features coming to this next kernel cycle as well as an idea for some other work that may potentially land.

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers