Tag Archives: ubuntu

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.


Linux Mint Founder Calls for Better Developer S… » Linux Magazine


Linux Mint is among the most popular and seemingly most easy to use Linux distributions. The Ubuntu-based distribution has built its loyal user base and has been growing ever since. However, the founder of Linux Mint seems to be burning out.

In the latest blog post, Linux Mint founder Clement ‘Clem’ Lefebvre wrote that he didn’t enjoy the latest development cycle as two of the most talented developers have been away. The project couldn’t make the performance improvements it expected.

“Boosting performance in the Muffin window manager hasn’t been, and still isn’t, straight forward,” he wrote.

Some frustration also seems to stem from the new logo and website design, “Feedback on the new website and logo brought a huge amount of incertitude,” Lefebvre said.

It seems he is also sensing the developer community of Linux Mint is not as energized as it once used to be. “For a team to work, developers need to feel like heroes. They want the same things as users, they are users, they were “only” users to start with. At some stage they decide to get involved and they start investing time, efforts and emotions into improving our project. What they’re looking for the most is support and happiness. They need feedback and information to understand bugs or feature requests and when they’re done implementing something, they need to feel like heroes, they literally do, that’s part of the reason they’re here really,” said Lefebvre.

It’s not certain if Lefebvre is tired of the project or it’s a momentary frustration with some core team members not showing up and negative feedback on some changes.



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Q4OS and TDE: A Juicy Little Linux Secret | Reviews


By Jack M. Germain

Apr 12, 2019 9:46 AM PT

Q4OS and TDE: A Juicy Little Linux Secret

Q4OS and the little-known
Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) are an unbeatable combination that provides a powerful and flexible computing platform.

I periodically revisit releases of interesting Linux distros and developing new desktops in my weekly quest for exciting and innovative choices. I am always looking to tweak my Linux OS productivity. Some of these weekly forays turn up unexpected delights. Q4OS is one of them.

I had used an earlier release of Q4OS on a test machine that recently died.
That presented the perfect excuse to check out the latest snapshot of Q4OS 3.6 Centaurus, based on the Debian Testing branch “Buster,” released April 5. Q4OS is one of several favorite OSes I regularly use.


Q4OS version 3.6 Trinity desktop

Q4OS version 3.6 has a refreshed appearance and more mature Trinity desktop.

– click image to enlarge –


I discovered Q4OS several years ago when looking for a Linux distro that ran the then just-released Trinity desktop. This distro’s German developers built Q4OS around the Trinity desktop. Q4OS is one of a very short list of Linux OS developers offering TDE.

The TDE project began as a continuation of the K Desktop Environment (KDE) version 3 after the Kubuntu developers switched to KDE Plasma 4. A new community of developers forked KDE in 2008 from the last official release of the K Desktop Environment’s third series (KDE3), version 3.5.10. The Trinity desktop is now a project in its own right.

Trinity’s name reflects that heritage. It means “three,” and TDE was a continuation of KDE 3.

I liked the solid performance of earlier Q4OS releases, but Trinity suffered from a shortage of features. That made it far too lightweight for me in terms of functionality.

The latest Trinity stable release 14.0.6 has removed that weakness. The latest combination makes Q4OS more functional and reliable. Both the OS and the desktop, once diamonds in the rough, now display polish and pizzazz.

Q4OS Rundown

Earlier versions of Q4OS offered a variety of desktop environments to attract a wider user base. The choices included LXQT, LXDE, XFCE4, Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, Mate and GNOME.

You still can get Q4OS 2.7 Scorpion’s current release of December 2018 in either Plasma or TDE editions. That download is a long-term support release that gives you security patches and updates until October 2022 at least. Also available is the Q4OS 3.4 Centaurus edition released last September.

The distro’s latest Centaurus release will be reissued as a stable version in a few weeks. It focuses on a choice of the KDE Plasma and the Trinity desktop flavors.
Unless you are a fan of the new KDE Plasma 5 design, the option to run a modernized yet classic KDE 3-style desktop is a significant one.

One of the hallmarks of this distro is its ability to run on a wide range of aging computers. That distinction goes away after the 3.6 edition reaches its shelf life. Until now, the developers resisted a trend among Linux devs to drop support for old 32-bit computers. Centaur 3.6 will be the last of the 32-bit versions of Q4OS.

Either Q4OS 2.7 Scorpion or Centaurus 3.6 is perfectly capable of functioning as a full-service Linux operating system for your desktop or laptop. The latest Trinity desktop, rather than the KDE Plasma 5 edition, makes a satisfying lightweight computing environment without the resource drain other desktop options require.


Q4OS version 3.6 configure desktop screenshot

Q4OS is a lightweight and minimalist operating system that you build into a fully functional computing platform.

– click image to enlarge –


The developer’s name or company details are not publicized on the website, but clearly, Q4OS is intended to be more than a community-supported general purpose Linux distro. The website invites businesses to makes use of Q4OS.org’s commercial support and software customization services.

Trinity Update

Q4OS Centaurus 3.6 introduces the most recent Trinity desktop stable release, version 14.0.6. It has more features and an improved look and feel.

The Trinity desktop design presents a simplified look that eliminates the layers of customizations and animations associated with KDE’s Activities and virtual desktop navigation. TDE is both flexible and highly customizable without getting overbearing.

Trinity sports a classic Linux look and functionality. By default, the panel sits across the bottom of the screen, but you can move it to suit your preferences to either side or the top.

The left side of the panel holds the menu button and a few system applications launchers. The right side of the panel holds system icons. Right-click on the panel to access panel configuration tools.

You can place launch shortcuts on the desktop by right-clicking on a menu item while in the main menu. Separate Control Panel and Settings windows let you easily select options to regulate how you use the desktop and how you arrange its look and feel.

The Welcome screen makes it very easy to start setting up the desktop with just a few clicks. It is a good starting point. From that panel, you can add packages conveniently and quick start some of the unique features.


Q4OS version 3.6 settings an setup tools

The specialized settings and multiple setup tools are intuitive and impressive in this latest Trinity desktop release.

– click image to enlarge –


Basic Setup

Q4OS puts a big emphasis on user preferences, so you have to set up most of what you want to do on the computer. Rather than having to deal with software bloat, you have the opposite problem. You must install nearly every application.

Other than a few basic system tools, along with the Konqueror Web browser, a file manager and Kwrite text editor, Q4OS is very minimalist by design. The basic collection of software barely gives you enough applications to get started.

The Software Center tool in the main menu contains three buttons at the top that allow you to begin your software collection. Install Applications provides a list of some dozen essential software titles that range from the LibreOffice suite to several Web browsers and key system packages.

The Package Manager button installs the Synaptic Package Manager and then provides access to that repository manager for adding/removing applications. The Desktop Profiler button opens a companion window that lets you choose to install a full-featured desktop, a basic desktop or a minimal desktop.

The Welcome screen makes it very easy to start setting up the desktop with just a few clicks. It is a good starting point and duplicates some of the configuration routines listed separately in the main menu.

Another option lets you install all the necessary media codecs for playing audio and video. Also, use the Welcome screen to turn on desktop effects. This makes it easy to activate more eye candy without having to wade through detailed Control Panel options.

More Welcome panel buttons let you switch between the Kickoff Start menu and the default Bourbon menu. It is easy to try each one. Set Autologin allows you to set the login to bypass requiring your password upon boot.

Final Thoughts

For the sake of clarity, I provided some background details in this review. To discuss the innovation in the upcoming stable release, I needed to refer to the current Scorpion edition as a frame of reference.

The website itself does not make it easy to sift through detailed information about the advantages provided in the new technologies. If you want the still-current LTS edition’s Trinity or Plasma OSes, you can find them on the
download page of the developer’s web site.

If you want the latest Centaurus release, you need to
visit Sourceforge here. You also will find the pending stable release of the Plasma edition.

A pleasant surprise is how fast the live session DVD performs. The live session boots into system RAM. This speeds up the normally sluggish live session performance caused by reading from DVD files. It is a very useful “feature.”

It would be even better if you could install Q4OS to a USB drive with persistent memory attached. Being able to at least save system configurations and added software would turn Q4OS into a very handy portable Linux opportunity. Q4OS would be more convenient and useful if I could run it from a USB stick without having to do a full installation to hard drive.

Bottom Line

Q4OS 3.6 has a cleaner and more modern appearance. Some of its core components are refreshed, not new. Other features are improved or expanded.

Whether you adopt Q4OS to replace a Microsoft Windows experience or another Linux distribution, you will not have much of a learning curve. Its simplified interface is intuitive.

Q4OS has a focus on conservatively integrating verified new features. This operating system is a proven performer for speed and very low hardware requirements. Its performance is optimized for both new and very old hardware. For small business owners and high-tech minded home office workers, Q4OS is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.

The freedom and ease of setting up the core system your way make Q4OS a viable alternative to other Linux options. It is a very inviting way to meet individual and small business computing requirements. One of the big values in using Q4OS Linux is the add-on commercial support the developer team offers for customizing the distro to meet specific user needs.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you’d like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

Please
email your ideas to me, and I’ll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.





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Mozilla Preparing To Test WebRender With “Qualified” Linux Users


MOZILLA --

While Linux users can today manually enable WebRender support for their Firefox installations, Mozilla is making the necessary adjustments to begin experimenting with enabling this Rust-written GPU-based rendering element for “qualified” Linux devices.

Mozilla isn’t yet attempting to enable WebRender by default everywhere but for experiment purposes to have the ability to enable it for a reasonable sub-set of users. What’s being deemed “qualified” at this point are systems matching all of the following criteria:

– Running Intel graphics with Mesa 18.2 or newer… No NVIDIA or Radeon graphics at this time, but just Intel with the i965 Mesa driver. Mesa 18.2.8 is the specific version requirement to match what shipped in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

– Running a resolution of 3440 x 1440 or less… No 4K fun for now.

So assuming you are running with Intel graphics on Mesa 18.2.8+ and not using a 4K/5K display, with the latest Firefox Nightly builds you could soon find yourself using WebRender if you didn’t already enable it. The change is outlined and pending via Bug #1543217. Manually forcing WebRender can be done for all users via the MOZ_WEBRENDER=1 environment variable.


Intel Xeon Cascade Lake Running Even Faster With Clear Linux – Six Linux Operating Systems Benchmarked


Following the initial launch benchmarks earlier this week of the Intel 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable “Cascade Lake” 8280 processors, I proceeded to run some benchmarks of different Linux distributions (operating systems) to ensure the Linux support panned out across the major platforms and while at it also comparing the performance between these different flavors of GNU/Linux. With this powerful Gigabyte Server sporting dual Xeon Platinum 8280 processors for a combined 56 cores / 112 threads, 12 x 32GB DDR4-2933MHz memory, and Samsung NVMe storage, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 19.04 Beta, Fedora 29, CentOS 7, Debian 9.8, and Clear Linux were tested to look at the performance of the brand new Cascade Lake.

Benchmarks looking at the performance (and compatibility) with the BSDs (namely FreeBSD and DragonFlyBSD) are being worked on for next week as well as seeing how the performance compares to Windows Server 2019, but for your viewing pleasure this Friday are some cross-Linux distribution benchmarks from these six operating systems tested this week. The Gigabyte S451-3R0 server platform has been the basis for our Cascade Lake testing thus far with this 4U chassis providing plenty of ventilation while sporting thirty-six SATA/SAS drive bays and dual 1200 Watt 80 PLUS power supplies. With all of the Linux distributions tested thus far, everything has “just worked” fine without any installation woes or other troubles.

Then again, for many years now Intel hardware — and especially their server/workstation platforms — have been greeted by great launch-day Linux support. This is especially the case with Cascade Lake supporting existing Xeon Scalable motherboards, etc. From the CPU side, if you are looking forward to “-march=cascadelake” / AVX-512 VNNI targeting, that support is present in the soon-to-be-released GCC 9.1 as one exception. Also for the Intel Optane DC Memory / NVDIMMs, the very latest kernels continue to evolve that support but at the moment we don’t have any of the new Optane persistent memory modules for testing to verify. But overall, Linux support shouldn’t be an issue for Cascade Lake with any recent major Linux distribution releases.

The operating systems benchmarked using clean installs of each on this powerful Xeon Platinum server included:

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS – The latest point release of the Ubuntu Bionic Beaver has the Linux 4.18 kernel, GCC 7.3, EXT4 file-system.

Ubuntu 19.04 Beta – This next release of Ubuntu due out later this month is on the Linux 5.0 kernel, GCC 8.2.0, EXT4 file-system.

Fedora Workstation 29 – Fedora 29 with all available updates has the Linux 5.0 kernel, GCC 8.3.1, EXT4 file-system.

CentOS 7 – The CentOS 7 / EL7 installation with current updates is on its patched Linux 4.10 kernel, the very old GCC 4.8.1 kernel, and XFS by default.

Debian 9.8 – While Debian 9 will be replaced by Debian 10 later this year, this current Debian release has the Linux 4.8 kernel, GCC 6.3, and EXT4.

Clear Linux 28660 – Intel’s rolling-release Linux distribution has the Linux 5.0 kernel, GCC 8.3.1 by default, and EXT4.

All of these Linux distributions were tested out-of-the-box with the same hardware: 2 x Intel Xeon Platinum 8280, Gigabyte S451-3R0, 384GB of RAM, and Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe SSD storage.

All of these Linux benchmarks of Intel Cascade Lake were carried out using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite.