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Graphics/Benchmarks

Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux vs. FreeBSD Gigabit & 10GbE Networking Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

FreeBSD 12.0, Windows Server 2019, and five Linux distributions were tested for comparing the Gigabit and 10GbE networking performance as part of our latest benchmarks. Additionally, the performance was looked at for the Mellanox 10GbE adapter when also using the company's Linux tuning script compared to the out-of-the-box performance on the enterprise Linux distribution releases.

Recently I posted benchmarks of 9 Linux distributions against FreeBSD 12.0 for looking at the 10GbE networking performance. Comparing to Windows Server 2016/2019 was thwarted there due to the HP NC523SFP PCIe adapter with QLogic 8214 controller had poor/unavailable driver support on Windows. So I restarted the testing from scratch but for this go around was using a Mellanox MT26448 ConnectX-2 PCIe adapter. These Mellanox adapters have a single 10GbE SPF+ port and are half-height cards. These are among the low-cost 10GbE SPF+ network adapters with being able to find them from major Internet retailers for around $20~30 USD, a reasonable price for SOHO environments.

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Graphics: Latest on Mesa and AMDGPU

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Freedreno Lands An A2xx NIR Backend, Other Improvements For Mesa 19.0

    While we are most often focused on the Radeon and Intel drivers within Mesa as being the most commonly used Mesa-based drivers on Linux systems, Freedreno and friends have also been seeing some nice improvements for Mesa 19.0 with its feature freeze quickly coming upon us.

    Freedreno, for the uninformed, is the open-source driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware. It's been a community-based, reverse-engineering led effort with the MSM DRM kernel driver that is mainlined as well as the Freedreno Gallium3D driver in Mesa for OpenGL support. While it supports the latest Adreno hardware, recently there has been a bit of resurgence in going back to support the original A2xx series hardware.

  • Mesa EGL Extension Needed For Universal Driver Configuration GUI Is Almost Landed

    The MESA_query_driver extension for EGL is of fundamental importance if there is to be a "universal" graphics driver control panel / configuration GUI for Mesa 3D drivers. The extension briefly landed today in Mesa but ended up being reverted due to build problems.

    MESA_query_driver provides an EGL extension that exposes the name of the driver as well as that driver's option list. The option list is a list of options defined in XML that could be exposed to the user. In other words, all the practical per-driver configuration options that might be useful for an enthusiast/gamer to configure based on their preferences exposed via a standardized interface.

  • AMDGPU Kernel Driver Is Working Out Well On Linux 5.0

    While no measurable performance changes for either Polaris or Vega, the AMDGPU kernel driver in Linux 5.0 appears to be in largely good shape now mid-way through the cycle.

The AMD Radeon RX Vega Launch Performance Compared To 2019 Linux Drivers

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the AMD Radeon VII graphics card shipping in two weeks as the second-generation Vega GPU at 7nm, I figured it would be an interesting time to see how far the original Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 graphics card performance has evolved since their launch back in August 2017. Here is a fresh look at the current Radeon RX Vega 56/64 GPU performance today using the bleeding-edge Linux graphics drivers compared to the driver state back in 2017 for OpenGL and Vulkan gaming performance.

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Linux Graphics Work by Intel and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Lands Transform Feedback Support In Their Vulkan Driver For Mesa 19.0

    Ahead of the Mesa 19.0 feature freeze coming up at month's end for this next quarterly feature release, Intel's open-source developers today merged support for the VK_EXT_transform_feedback extension that is important for Linux gamers with DXVK for mapping Direct3D 11 atop Vulkan and similar graphics API translation libraries.

    VK_EXT_transform_feedback was added to the Vulkan spec a few months back for transform feedback support in Vulkan drivers for helping efforts like DXVK for running Direct3D 10/11 and other APIs on top of Vulkan. The VK_EXT_transform_feedback is needed for efficiently implementing Direct3D Stream-Out support and has been used by DXVK since then, VKD3D is also now using it now, and obviously for OpenGL-over-Vulkan efforts it could be used for providing GL transform feedback itself.

  • Intel Is Working On A Vulkan Overlay Layer, Inspired By Gallium3D HUD

    Aside from some out-of-tree experiments last year by one of Valve's developers on a RADV Vulkan HUD of similar nature to the popular Gallium HUD option, it turns out an Intel developer has recently been working on a Vulkan overlay layer to provide "Gallium HUD" inspired information.

    Lionel Landwerlin is the open-source Intel developer that has begun working on this Intel Vulkan driver "heads-up display" implemented as a Vulkan overlay layer. The code is intended to provide Vulkan swapchain information and various statistics of use to Vulkan driver developers and game developers.

  • AMD Radeon VII Will Have Excellent Linux Support From Day 1

    AMD Radeon VII was one of the biggest announcements made at the CES 2019; it even got featured in our top highlights of CES video. This 2nd-gen Vega graphics card will be launching in early February and it’s also generating lots of questions.

    One such doubt that many open source enthusiasts might be having is regarding the state of Linux support for Radeon VII. Well, the answer to this question is a big yes, according to Forbes.

  • Libdrm 2.4.97 Released With AMDGPU Updates, Other Minor Work

    Libdrm 2.4.97 was released today by AMD's Marek Olšák as the newest version of this Mesa DRM library. The main feature of this list is a newer, faster buffer object list API for the AMDGPU code.

    Libdrm releases these days tend not to be too exciting and for v2.4.97 are just over a dozen changes. Many of the changes are AMDGPU related and include some test updates and updating the list of GPU marketing names but most notably is a faster buffer object (BO) list API. Aside from the AMDGPU additions, there is a fix for Android to avoid 32-bit apps from crashing in 64-bit Android, build system fixes, and other minor changes.

  • AMDGPU DC Code Improvements Bring Better Page-Flipping

    The once notorious AMDGPU "DC" code (formerly known as DAL) saw a fresh round of patches on Tuesday further improving this display stack shared between the Windows and Linux drivers for advanced functionality from FreeSync to HDMI/DP audio and much more.

    With this latest round of AMDGPU DC patches, improving the page-flipping process was a motivation. This new work resulted in the introduction of a DC VM interface to allow virtual memory to be used for flipping to surfaces that are not contiguously allocated. This DC VM interface will allow for better memory efficiency and security.

Microsoft Windows Server Benchmarked Against Six Linux Distributions

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While it was not too long ago that Microsoft Windows Server 2019 began shipping and that we conducted some end-of-year benchmarks between Windows and Linux, with being in the process of running a number of Windows and Linux benchmarks as part of our ongoing 10GbE OS performance testing, I also took the opportunity to run some other benchmarks on Windows Server 2016 and 2019 as well as a set of Linux distributions.

With carrying out the fresh OS installations anyways for the network testing, with recently having brought over some more Phoronix Test Suite test profiles with Windows support, I decided to run some fresh Windows Server vs. Linux benchmarks anyways. Granted, not all of the tests are server-oriented and not all of the traditional Linux server distributions were used. Just take this as you wish of some fresh Windows vs. Linux performance benchmarks.

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Phoronix Test Suite Improvements

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Making It Even Easier To Gauge Your System's Performance

    For those trying to understand their system's performance on a macro level will enjoy a new feature being introduced with Phoronix Test Suite 8.6-Spydeberg for seeing how your CPU/system/GPU/storage/network performance compares at scale to the massive data sets amassed by OpenBenchmarking.org and the Phoronix Test Suite over the past decade.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 Milestone 2 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking

    Two weeks since the initial Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 development release, the second milestone release is now available for your open-source, cross-platform benchmarking evaluation.

Out-Of-The-Box 10GbE Network Benchmarks On Nine Linux Distributions Plus FreeBSD 12

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week I started running some fresh 10GbE Linux networking performance benchmarks across a few different Linux distributions. That testing has now been extended to cover nine Linux distributions plus FreeBSD 12.0 to compare the out-of-the-box networking performance.

Tested this round alongside FreeBSD 12.0 was Antergos 19.1, CentOS 7, Clear Linux, Debian 9.6, Fedora Server 29, openSUSE Leap 15.0, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, and Ubuntu 18.10.

All of the tests were done with a Tyan S7106 1U server featuring two Intel Xeon Gold 6138 CPUs, 96GB of DDR4 system memory, and Samsung 970 EVO SSD. For the 10GbE connectivity on this server was an add-in HP NC523SFP PCIe adapter providing two 10Gb SPF+ ports using a QLogic 8214 controller.

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Graphics: Vega, Radeon, Wayland on BSD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
BSD
  • Vega 10 & Newer Getting More Fine-Grained PowerPlay Controls On Linux

    With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle, discrete Radeon graphics cards based on Vega 10 and newer will have fine-grained controls over what PowerPlay power management features are enabled and the ability to toggle them at run-time.

    Queued into the work-in-progress AMDGPU code for the eventual Linux 5.1 kernel cycle is now a ppfeatures for sysfs. This new "ppfeatures" file on sysfs will allow for querying the PowerPlay features state and toggling them individually. This includes features like GFXOFF (the ability to turn off the graphics engine when idling), automatic fan control, LED display for GPU activity, the dynamic power management state for the various blocks, and other features. Up to now the PowerPlay features couldn't be toggled individually but just a blanket enable/disable.

  • AMD Radeon 7 Will Have Day One Linux Support

    Linux gamers shouldn't see a repeat performance of the Radeon RX 590 situation.

  • Wayland Support On The BSDs Continuing To Improve

    While Wayland was designed on and for Linux systems, the BSD support for Wayland and the various compositors has continued improving particularly over the past year or so but it's still a lengthy journey.

    In a little more than one year, the FreeBSD Wayland support has been on a steady rise. It's looking like this year could even mark the KDE Wayland session for FreeBSD potentially getting squared away. Besides KDE, the GNOME Wayland work for FreeBSD has advanced a bit and is available in some FreeBSD Ports but there has been some complications around libinput and its Linux'isms. Details on the current state of Wayland-related components in FreeBSD is drafted at the FreeBSD Wiki.

Mesa 18.2 vs. 18.3 vs. 19.0 January Benchmarks For RadeonSI/RADV

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With Mesa 19.0 entering its feature freeze before the month is through, here are fresh benchmarks of the very latest RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan performance on Polaris and Vega graphics cards compared to the current stable Mesa 18.3 series and the former 18.2 release. This testing is complementary to last week's Mesa 19.0 RADV vs. AMDVLK vs. AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan tests.

For the purposes of seeing how the latest Mesa 19.0 is stacking up on the Radeon side, tests were done with a Radeon RX 580 Polaris and Radeon RX Vega 56. Tests were done using Mesa 19.0-devel from the Padoka PPA built against LLVM 8.0 SVN AMDGPU and then against Mesa 18.3.1 stable with LLVM 7.0.0 (from the Pkppa) and then Mesa 18.2.2 built against LLVM 7.0 as is shipped by default currently on Ubuntu 18.10. So not only are we looking to see the current performance benefits of Mesa 19 but also whether the performance upgrade is worthwhile for those otherwise using the stock Mesa shipped by the current Ubuntu release.

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AMDGPU-PRO 18.50 vs. ROCm 2.0 OpenCL Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

When recently publishing the PlaidML deep learning benchmarks and lczero chess neural network OpenCL tests, some Phoronix readers mentioned they were seeing vastly different results with using the PAL OpenCL driver in AMDGPU-PRO (Radeon Software) compared to using the ROCm compute stack. So for seeing how those two separate AMD OpenCL drivers compare, here are some benchmark results with a Vega GPU while testing ROCm 2.0 and AMDGPU-PRO 18.50.

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Security: Nest Lockout, Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance, DNS Hijacking Attacks and Australian Cracking

  • Nest is locking customers out of accounts until they fix their security

    Emails were sent last night to all users that may have been affected by recent [breaches], with a new password being mandatory, as it tries to avoid the "I'll do it later" attitude that means that often vulnerable passwords remain in use for months or years.

  • A Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance

    Mondelez’s claim represents just a fraction of the billions of dollars in collateral damage caused by NotPetya, a destructive, indiscriminate cyberattack of unprecedented scale, widely suspected to have been launched by Russia with the aim of hurting Ukraine and its business partners. A compromised piece of Ukrainian accounting software allowed NotPetya to spread rapidly around the world, disrupting business operations and causing permanent damage to property of Mondelez and many others. According to reports, Zurich apparently rejected Mondelez’s claim on the grounds that NotPetya was an act of war and, therefore, excluded from coverage under its policy agreement. If the question of whether and how war risk exemptions apply is left to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, this creates a profound source of uncertainty for policyholders about the coverage they obtain.

  • A Deep Dive on the Recent Widespread DNS Hijacking Attacks

    The U.S. government — along with a number of leading security companies — recently warned about a series of highly complex and widespread attacks that allowed suspected Iranian hackers to siphon huge volumes of email passwords and other sensitive data from multiple governments and private companies. But to date, the specifics of exactly how that attack went down and who was hit have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    This post seeks to document the extent of those attacks, and traces the origins of this overwhelmingly successful cyber espionage campaign back to a cascading series of breaches at key Internet infrastructure providers.

  • With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” [cracked] Australia’s politicians

    With elections just three months away, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on February 18 that the networks of the three major national political parties had been breached by what Australian security officials described as a "sophisticated state actor."

  • Australia's major political parties [cracked] in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election

    Sources are describing the level of sophistication as "unprecedented" but are unable to say yet which foreign government is behind the attack.

  • Parliament attackers appear to have used Web shells

    Attackers who infiltrated the Australian Parliament network and also the systems of the Liberal, National and Labor Parties appear to have used Web shells – scripts that can be uploaded to a Web server to enable remote administration of a machine.

Android Leftovers

How Linux testing has changed and what matters today

If you've ever wondered how your Linux computer stacks up against other Linux, Windows, and MacOS machines or searched for reviews of Linux-compatible hardware, you're probably familiar with Phoronix. Along with its website, which attracts more than 250 million visitors a year to its Linux reviews and news, the company also offers the Phoronix Test Suite, an open source hardware benchmarking tool, and OpenBenchmarking.org, where test result data is stored. According to Michael Larabel, who started Phoronix in 2004, the site "is frequently cited as being the leading source for those interested in computer hardware and Linux. It offers insights regarding the development of the Linux kernel, product reviews, interviews, and news regarding free and open source software." Read more

Programmes and Events: Outreachy, FOSDEM and LibreOffice Asia Conference

  • Outreachy Summer 2019 Applications Open With Expanded Eligibility
    But beginning this round, they are also opening the application process to "anyone who faces systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply." For evaluating the systemic bias or discrimination, an essay question was added to the application process about what discrimination they may have faced or otherwise think they could face in seeking employment. Also different beginning this round is only students (update: for non-student participants, this restriction does not apply) from the Northern Hemisphere can apply to this May to August round while the Southern Hemisphere round is being deemed the December to March round moving forward.
  • VkRunner at FOSDEM
    I attended FOSDEM again this year thanks to funding from Igalia. This time I gave a talk about VkRunner in the graphics dev room. It’s now available on Igalia’s YouTube channel below: I thought this might be a good opportunity to give a small status update of what has happened since my last blog post nearly a year ago.
  • First LibreOffice Asia Conference
    The First LibreOffice Asia Conference Will Be Held On May 25-26, 2019 In Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan This is the first ever LibreOffice conference covering Asia, a rapidly-growing area for free and open source software. The call for papers will be launched soon. Berlin, February 18, 2019 – After the huge success of the LibreOffice Conference Indonesia in 2018, members of the Asian communities have decided to raise the bar in 2019 with the first ever LibreOffice Asia Conference in Nihonbashi – the very center of Tokyo, Japan – on May 25-26. One of the main organizers, Naruhiko Ogasawara, a member of the Japanese LibreOffice community and The Document Foundation, can’t hide his excitement: “When we launched the LibreOffice Mini Conference Japan in 2013 as a local event, we knew little about communities in other parts of Asia. In recent years we have attended the LibreOffice Conference and other Asian events like OpenSUSE Asia, COSCUP etc. We have realized that many of our colleagues are active and that our community should learn a lot from them. We are proud to be able to hold the first Asia Conference with our colleagues to further strengthen that partnership.”