Tag Archives: Ubuntu hardware

It’s Time To Re-Vote Following The Botched 2019 X.Org Elections


X.ORG --

While there were the recent X.Org Foundation board elections, a do-over was needed as their new custom-written voting software wasn’t properly recording votes… So here’s now your reminder to re-vote in these X.Org elections.

At least with the initial round of voting they reached a super majority and the ballot question of whether the X.Org Foundation should formally fold FreeDesktop.org into its umbrella worked and that X.Org + FreeDesktop.org hook-up passed so all is well on that front. But for the Board of Directors elections, that’s where re-voting is needed with the voting software that now correctly records the votes.

Running for the four seats on the X.Org Foundation board are Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez, Arkadiusz Hiler, Manasi Navare, Lyude Paul, Daniel Vetter, and Trevor Woerner.

So if you are an X.Org Foundation member, now it’s time to vote.


Haiku OS Picks Up An NVMe Storage Driver


OPERATING SYSTEMS --

Back during the BeOS days of the 90’s, NVM Express solid-state storage obviously wasn’t a thing but the open-source Haiku OS inspired by it now has an NVMe driver.

Haiku that aims to be an open-source OS based off BeOS now has support for NVMe SSDs. This driver didn’t make last September’s Haiku R1 beta but now being found within the latest development code is for NVMe SSD hardware.

As of the latest Haiku code, NVMe SSDs should be fully usable now under their BeOS-inspired operating system. More details via Haiku.org.


Ubuntu 19.04 Radeon Linux Gaming Performance: Popular Desktops Benchmarked, Wayland vs. X.Org


Leading up to the Ubuntu 19.04 release, several premium supporters requested fresh results for seeing the X.Org vs. Wayland performance overhead for gaming, how GNOME Shell vs. KDE Plasma is performing for current AMD Linux gaming, and related desktop comparison graphics/gaming metrics. Here are such benchmarks run from the Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” while benchmarking GNOME Shell both with X.Org and Wayland, Xfce, MATE, Budgie, KDE Plasma, LXQt, and Openbox.

Using a Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card with the stock Ubuntu 19.04 components were used for this desktop graphics/gaming benchmark comparison. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with the Linux 5.0 kernel, Mesa 19.0.2, and X.Org Server 1.20.4 as the most prominent components for this comparison. GNOME Shell 3.32.0, Xfce 4.12, MATE 1.20.4, KDE Plasma 5.15.4, Budgie, LXQt 0.14.1, and Openbox 3.6.1 are the prominent desktop versions to report. KDE Plasma with Wayland wasn’t tested since on this system I wasn’t able to successfully start the session when selecting the Wayland version of Plasma from the log-in manager. The Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card was running from the common Core i9 9900K used by many of our graphics tests with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard, 16GB of RAM, Samsung 970 EVO 256GB NVMe SSD, and a 4K display.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a range of gaming and other desktop graphics benchmarks were carried out under these different Ubuntu 19.04 desktop options. Here are those results. Additional Ubuntu 19.04 performance tests will be coming up on Phoronix soon.


At Least 27% Of Gentoo’s Portage Can Be Easily LTO Optimized For Better Performance


OPERATING SYSTEMS --

GentooLTO is a configuration overlay for Gentoo’s overlay to make it easy to enable Link Time Optimizations (LTO) and other compiler optimizations for enabling better performance out of the Gentoo packages. GentooLTO appears to be inspired in part by the likes of Clear Linux who employ LTO and other compiler optimization techniques like AutoFDO for yielding better performance than what is conventionally shipped by Linux distributions. The GentooLTO developers and users have wrapped up their survey looking at how practical this overlay configuration is on the massive Portage collection.

The initial GentooLTO survey has been going on since last October and they have collected data from more than 30 users. The survey found that of the Gentoo Portage 18,765 packages as of writing, at least 5,146 of them are working with the GentooLTO configuration.

While they survey is user-driven and not systematically testing all available packages, at least from the current numbers they are looking at a minimum of 27% of Gentoo portage working nicely with link-time optimizations without any workarounds, but the total number of working packages is likely quite higher.

They survey did not look at the performance differences from LTO optimizations on these packages. Those interested in the results can find the survey data here. Those wanting to look more at the GentooLTO project itself can find it on GitHub.


A Year Later, Speculative Page Fault Code Revised For Possible Performance Benefits


LINUX KERNEL --

It’s been nearly one year already since the previous patch series working on speculative page faults for the Linux kernel were sent out for review. Fortunately, IBM’s Laurent Dufour has once again updated these patches against the latest code and sent them out for the newest round of discussions.

The simple summary is the set of 31 kernel patches can potentially improve concurrency for highly threaded processes. The improvement comes by handling user-space page faults without holding the mmap semaphore and in turn eliminating some waits within the page fault handler.

When using a “popular in memory multi-threaded database product”, IBM found the Linux performance with earlier revisions of these patches to be up by as much as 30% better in transactions per second. They are still testing these new “v12” patches but are hoping for a similar outcome.

More details via this patch message. Assuming the performance benefits pan out, hopefully it won’t be another year before seeing the next round of revisions or finding the code mainlined within the Linux kernel.