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Linux and Graphics

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Linux Kernel News

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Early GCC 7 Compiler Benchmarks On Linux: Some Performance Improvements

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While GCC 7 is still under heavy development and the GCC 7.1 stable release will not come until a few months into 2017, here are some early benchmarks of GCC 7.0 compared to GCC 6.2 and GCC 5.4 on an Ubuntu Linux x86_64 system.

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Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

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  • [Older] Linux is 25. Yay! Let’s celebrate with 25 stunning facts about Linux.
  • Memfd Transport Now Enabled By Default For PulseAudio

    With this summer's PulseAudio 9.0 release was support for Memfd-based transport. That support is now enabled by default in time for PulseAudio 10.

    This feature is about using Memfd on modern versions of the Linux kernel as a transport / shared memory method in place of the existing POSIX SHM shared memory transport. Memfd has been around since Linux 3.17 and this transport method for PulseAudio should be more secure and modern -- for allowing better sandboxing/container support, etc.

  • It's Been Another Exciting Week Of RADV Development (Radeon Vulkan)

    The RADV open-source Radeon Vulkan driver continues to look promising and there's been a lot more code being merged the past few days.

    Since last weekend when writing about RADV Radeon Vulkan Driver Continues Building Up Features Quickly, there have been 17 pages of commits landing in the code repository (Mesa semi-interesting branch) by David Airlie and Bas Nieuwenhuizen.

TrueOS vs. DragonFlyBSD vs. GhostBSD vs. FreeBSD vs. PacBSD Benchmarks

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For your viewing pleasure this weekend are benchmarks of TrueOS 20160831 (the rolling-release distribution formerly known as PC-BSD), DragonFlyBSD 4.6, GhostBSD 10.3, FreeBSD 11.0-RC2, and PacBSD 20160809 (formerly known as Arch BSD) all benchmarked from the same system! Plus for reference to the Linux numbers are Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and Clear Linux 10040 being compared to these BSDs on the same tests and hardware.

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Linux and Graphics

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  • Stabilising performance after a major kernel revision

    A topic related to upstreaming patches on kernel forks related to embedded platforms is currently being discussed for Kernel Summit 2016. This is an age-old topic related to whether it is better to work upstream and backport or apply patches to a product-specific kernel and worry about forward-porting later. The points being raised have not changed over the years and still comes down to getting something out the door quickly versus long-term maintenance overhead. I’m not directly affected so had nothing new to add to the thread.

  • SLPC-Based Power Management Still Being Worked On For Intel's DRM Driver
  • NVIDIA Releases 370.28 Drivers for Linux

    Unfortunately, I don't tend to notice when Linux drivers get released; it's something I want to report more frequently on. Luckily, this time, I heard about NVIDIA's 370.28 graphics drivers while they were still fresh. This one opens up overclocking (and underclocking) for GeForce 10-series GPUs, although NVIDIA (of course) mentions that this is “at the user's own risk”. It also fixes a bunch of Vulkan bugs.

  • Input threads in the X server

    A great new feature has been merged during this 1.19 X server development cycle: we're now using threads for input [1]. Previously, there were two options for how an input driver would pass on events to the X server: polling or from within the signal handler. Polling simply adds all input devices' file descriptors to a select(2) loop that is processed in the mainloop of the server. The downside here is that if the server is busy rendering something, your input is delayed until that rendering is complete. Historically, polling was primarily used by the keyboard driver because it just doesn't matter much when key strokes are delayed. Both because you need the client to render them anyway (which it can't when it's busy) and possibly also because we're just so bloody used to typing delays.

  • The Threaded Input Support In X.Org Server 1.19

Intel Xeon E5-2609 v4 Broadwell-EP Linux Benchmarks

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Recently I purchased a Xeon E5-2609 v4 Broadwell-EP processor as a $300 Xeon with eight physical cores but clocked at just 1.7GHz and without any Turbo Boost while the TDP is 85 Watts. Here are some benchmarks compared to other LGA-2011 v3 CPUs in my possession under Linux along with an AMD FX reference point too and followed by some Skylake Xeon benchmarks.

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Linux Graphics

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  • NVIDIA 370.28 Linux Driver Has Pascal Overclocking, PRIME Sync, PixelShiftMode

    NVIDIA's Unix team today released the 370.28 driver as their newest Linux/BSD/Solaris driver in their short-lived branch.

    The NVIDIA 370.28 driver most notably adds over/under-clocking support for GeForce GTX 1000 "Pascal" graphics cards. This Pascal clock adjustments via CoolBits was previously added to the NVIDIA 370 beta Linux driver from last month.

  • Nvidia 370.28 Linux Video Driver Available for Download with Vulkan Improvements

    Today, September 8, 2016, Nvidia released a new short-lived graphics driver for Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems, including FreeBSD and Solaris, the Nvidia 370.28.

    Looking at the release notes, we can notice that Nvidia 370.28 is here to add many fixes for bugs that have been reported by users since the last stable release, and it also looks like it contains that changes implemented during the Beta stages of development of the Nvidia 370.x graphics driver series.

    Yes, that's right, Nvidia 370.x was in Beta until today, and now Nvidia promoted it to the stable channel, but it's a short-lived branch, which means that it won't be supported for long until a new version will see the light of day, so our recommendation is to always stay on the long-live branch of the Nvidia video driver.

  • The Interesting Wayland/Vulkan/Graphics Talks Happening This Month At XDC2016
  • XWayland Pointer Confinement & Warping

    X.ORG --
    Playing legacy/X11 games on Wayland via XWayland may soon be in better shape with the latest slew of X Server patches.

    Jonas Ådahl today published a set of 12 patches for implementing pointer confinement and warping within XWayland.

  • Intel Has Been Working On A Fast 2D GPU Renderer Focused On Web Content

Phoronix Graphics News

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Linux Kernel and Graphics News

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  • Next steps for Gmane

    We’ve rebuilt the storage system using ElasticSearch as the document store. We have used it for many projects and have nothing but a good. The site is currently a mixture of Python and PHP, the priority has been given to get the original functionality back in place; then work with the community to decide which of the Gmane interfaces are relevant and what we need to change to bring it up-to-date.

    We’ll do our utmost to continue in Lars’ footsteps, his hardwork and dedication to maintain this valuable Internet resource.

    Thank you Lars for the hardwork that you’ve put into Gmane over the past nearly two decades, all of the Gmane users are greatful to you!

  • Audio workshop accepted for Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Summit

    Audio is an increasingly important component of the Linux plumbing, given increased use of Linux for media workloads and of the Linux kernel for smartphones. Topics include low-latency audio, use of the clock API, propagating digital configuration through dynamic audio power management (DAPM), integration of HDA and ASoC, SoundWire ALSA use-case managemer (UCM) scalability, standardizing HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces, Media Controller API integration, and a number of topics relating to the multiple userspace users of Linux-kernel audio, including Android and ChromeOS as well as the various desktop-oriented Linux distributions.

  • Mainline Explicit Fencing – part 1
  • Improved Tear-Free Rendering For Radeon DDX With PRIME

    For those making use of the xf86-video-ati DDX driver in a PRIME-capable system with Radeon GPU, there's more effective tear-free rendering support with the latest development code.

  • A Mesa Fix Lands To Take Care Of The R9 290 Issue, Intel/Radeon Performance Problems

    A fix landed in Mesa Git today that should address various performance issues people have been seeing in different rare setups. The fix mostly seems to be for Radeon/Intel users seeing low performance recently with glxgears but also appears to help those affected by the much talked about R9 290 regression.

    The fix by Michel Dänzer is loader/dri3: Always use at least two back buffers. Michel commented on the simple change, "This can make a significant difference for performance with some extreme test cases such as vblank_mode=0 glxgears."

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: KDE


  • 4 Useful Cinnamon Desktop Applets
    The Cinnamon desktop environment is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Out of the box it offers a clean, fast and well configured desktop experience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a little better with a few nifty extras. And that’s where Cinnamon Applets come in. Like Unity’s Indicator Applets and GNOME Extensions, Cinnamon Applets let you add additional functionality to your desktop quickly and easily.
  • GNOME Core Apps Hackfest
    The hackfest is aimed to raise the standard of the overall core experience in GNOME, this includes the core apps like Documents, Files, Music, Photos and Videos, etc. In particular, we want to identify missing features and sore points that needs to be addressed and the interaction between apps and the desktop. Making the core apps push beyond the limits of the framework and making them excellent will not only be helpful for the GNOME desktop experience, but also for 3rd party apps, where we will implement what they are missing and also serve as an example of what an app could be.
  • This Week in GTK+ – 21
    In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 335 commits, with 13631 lines added and 37699 lines removed.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments
    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness. In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.
  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled "Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons." The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is "an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications" often referred to as a container orchestrator.
  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software
    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.
  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup
    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository. Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch. Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.
  • Netflix on Firefox for Linux
    If you're a Firefox user and you're a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven't 'flicked a switch' yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you'll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround. For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.
  • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server
    The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology. Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.
  • Valgrind 3.12 Released With More Improvements For Memory Debugging/Checking
  • [Valgrind] Release 3.12.0 (20 October 2016)
  • Chain Launches Open Source Developer Platform [Ed: If it’s openwashing, then no doubt Microsoft is involved]
  • LLVM Still Looking At Migration To GitHub
    For the past number of months the LLVM project has been considering a move from their SVN-based development process to Git with a focus on GitHub. That effort continues moving forward.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released With File Manager Improvements
    Lumina is a lightweight Qt-based desktop environment for BSD and Linux. We show you what's new in its latest release, and how you can install it on Ubuntu.
  • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in
    Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.
  • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias
    Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.
  • Where to find the world's best programmers
    One source of data about programmers' skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as "algorithms" or "data structures" or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank's data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.

OSS in the Back End

  • AtScale Delivers Findings on BI-Plus-Hadoop
    Business intelligence is the dominant use-case for IT organizations implementing Hadoop, according to a report from the folks at AtScale. The benchmark study also shows which tools in the Haddop ecosystem are best for particular types of BI queries. As we've reported before, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. AtScale, billed as “the first company to allow business users to do business intelligence on Hadoop,” focused its study on the strengths and weaknesses of the industry’s most popular analytical engines for Hadoop – Impala, SparkSQL, Hive and Presto.
  • Study Says OpenStack at Scale Can Produce Surprising Savings
    Revenues from OpenStack-based businesses are poised to grow by 35 percent a year to more than $5 billion by 2020, according to analysts at 451 Research. In its latest Cloud Price Index, 451 Research analyzes the costs associated with using various cloud options to determine when it becomes better value to use a self-managed private cloud instead of public or managed cloud services. The idea is to createa complex pricing model that takes into consideration the major factors impacting total cost of ownership (TCO), including salaries and workload requirements.The 451 study found that because of the prevalence of suitably qualified administrators, commercial private cloud offerings such as VMware and Microsoft currently offer a lower TCO when labor efficiency is below 400 virtual machines managed per engineer. But where labor efficiency is greater than this, OpenStack becomes more financially attractive. In fact, past this tipping point, all private cloud options are cheaper than both public cloud and managed private cloud options.
  • How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers
    Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack's mentorship opportunities. It's how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it's like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process.