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Graphics/Benchmarks

Benchmarking The Experimental Bcachefs File-System Against Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS & ZFS

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Bcachefs is the file-system born out of the Linux kernel's block cache code and has been worked on the past several years by developer Kent Overstreet. Our most recent benchmarking of Bcachefs was last year, so with the prospects of Bcachefs potentially being staged soon in the mainline Linux kernel, I ran some benchmarks using the latest kernel code for this next-generation file-system.
Those unfamiliar with this copy-on-write file-system can learn more at Bcachefs.org. The design features of this file-system are similar to ZFS/Btrfs and include native encryption, snapshots, compression, caching, multi-device/RAID support, and more. But even with all of its features, it aims to offer XFS/EXT4-like performance, which is something that can't generally be said for Btrfs.

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Graphics: Weston 6.0.1, GPUs in OpenStack, Panfrost and Vulkan

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • weston 6.0.1
    Weston 6.0.1 is released with build system fixes to smooth the
    transition to Meson. Other miscellaneous bugfixes are also included.
    
    Note that the PGP signing key has changed to 0FDE7BE0E88F5E48.
    
    - (1):
          zunitc: Fix undeclared identifier 'NULL'
    
    Alexandros Frantzis (1):
          clients/simple-dmabuf-egl: Properly check for error in gbm_bo_get_handle_for_plane
    
    Antonio Borneo (2):
          clients: close unused keymap fd
          log: remove "%m" from format strings by using strerror(errno)
    
    Daniel Stone (2):
          weston: Properly test for output-creation failure
          compositor: Don't ignore --use-pixman for Wayland backend
    
    Fabrice Fontaine (1):
          Fix build with kernel < 4.4
    
    Harish Krupo (4):
          meson.build: Fix warning for configure_file
          window.c: Don't assume registry advertisement order
          data-device: send INVALID_FINISH when operation != dnd
          Fix: clients/window: Premature finish request when copy-pasting
    
    Kamal Pandey (1):
          FIX: weston: clients: typo in simple-dmabuf-egl.c
    
    Luca Weiss (1):
          Fix incorrect include
    
    Marius Vlad (3):
          meson.build/libweston: Fix clang warning for export-dynamic
          compositor: Fix invalid view numbering in scene-graph
          compositor: Fix missing new line when displaying buffer type for EGL buffer
    
    Pekka Paalanen (7):
          meson: link editor with gobject-2.0
          meson: link cms-colord with glib and gobject
          meson: link remoting with glib and gobject
          meson: DRM-backend demands GBM
          meson: dep fix for compositor.h needing xkbcommon.h
          build: add missing dep to x11 backend
          libweston: fix protocol install path
    
    Scott Anderson (1):
          compositor: Fix incorrect use of bool options
    
    Sebastian Wick (1):
          weston-terminal: Fix weston-terminal crash on mutter
    
    Silva Alejandro Ismael (1):
          compositor: fix segfaults if wl_display_create fails
    
    Simon Ser (1):
          build: bump to version 6.0.1 for the point release
    
    Tomohito Esaki (1):
          cairo-util: Don't set title string to Pango layout if the title is NULL
    
    git tag: 6.0.1
    
  • Wayland's Weston 6.0.1 Released With Build System Fixes & Other Corrections

    Weston 6.0 was released back in March with a remote/streaming plug-in and Meson becoming the preferred build system among other improvements. Weston 6.0.1 was released today by Simon Ser with various fixes to this reference Wayland compositor.

    Weston 6.0.1 is mostly made up of Meson build system fixes/improvements to ensure a good Meson experience. There is also a fix for building with pre-4.4 kernels and a variety of other smaller fixes.

  • OpenStack Stein feature highlights: vGPU support coming in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15

    Red Hat is working on the next release of the supported enterprise distribution of OpenStack, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15, based on the Stein community release. In this multi-part blog series, we’ll be examining some of the features that Red Hat and the open source community have collaborated on–starting with a look to future workloads, such as artificial intelligence.

    "How does OpenStack enable next generation workloads?" you ask. When it comes to computer-driven decision making, machine learning algorithms can provide adaptable services that can get better over time. Some of these workloads, such as facial recognition, require GPUs to ingest and process graphical data in real time. But the more powerful GPUs often used for machine learning and such are expensive, power-hungry, and can take up a lot of room in the servers' chassis. When working with GPUs at scale, optimized utilization is key to more cost effective machine learning.

  • Panfrost Gallium3D Picks Up Yet More Features Thanks To Collabora's Summer Internship

    Just a few days ago I wrote how the Panfrost Gallium3D driver continues making incredible progress for this community-driven, open-source graphics driver targeting Arm Bifrost/Midgard graphics. There's yet another batch of new features and improvements to talk about.

    Most of this feature work continues to be done by Panfrost lead developer Alyssa Rosenzweig who is interning at Collabora this summer and appears to be spending most of her time working on this reverse-engineered Arm graphics driver supporting their recent generations of IP.

  • Vulkan 1.1.112 Released While Open-Source ANV + RADV Drivers Continue Marching Along

    Vulkan 1.1.112 was outed this morning as the newest documentation update to this high performance graphics and compute API.

    Vulkan 1.1.112 is quite a mundane update with just documentation corrections and clarifications this go around and not any new extensions. But at least the clarifications should help out some and other maintenance items addressed by this Vulkan 1.1.112 release. It's not a surprise the release is so small considering Vulkan 1.1.111 was issued just two weeks ago.

Benchmarking The Intel Performance Change With Linux FSGSBASE Support

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Graphics/Benchmarks

As covered last week, the Linux kernel is finally about to see FSGSBASE support a feature supported by Intel CPUs going back to Ivybridge and can help performance. Since that earlier article the FS/GS BASE patches have been moved to the x86/cpu branch meaning unless any last-minute problems arise the functionality will be merged for the Linux 5.3 cycle. I've also begun running some benchmarks to see how this will change the Linux performance on Intel hardware.

See the aforelinked article for more background information on this functionality that's been available in patch form for the Linux kernel going back years but hasn't been mainlined -- well, until hopefully next month. FSGSBASE should help in context switching performance which is particularly good news following the various CPU vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Zombieload that have really hurt the context switching performance.

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Kernel: Rants, PulseAudio 12, Valve-Related Bug and Mesa 19.1.1 RC

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • 'Bulls%^t! Complete bull$h*t!' Reset the clock on the last time woke Linus Torvalds exploded at a Linux kernel dev

    Linux kernel chieftain Linus Torvalds owes the swear jar a few quid this week, although by his standards this most recent rant of his is relatively restrained.

    Over on the kernel development mailing list, in a long and involved thread about the functionality and efficiency of operating system page caches, firebrand-turned-woke Torvalds described Aussie programmer Dave Chinner’s arguments in the debate as "bullshit," "complete bullshit," and "obviously garbage."

    To be fair to the open-source overlord, this is a far less personal attack than previous outbursts, such as the time he slammed "some security people" as "just f#cking morons," or that unforgettable straight-to-the-point detonation: "Mauro, SHUT THE F**K UP."

  • It Looks Like PulseAudio 13.0 Will Be Releasing Soon

    It's been a year since the release of PulseAudio 12 and even eleven months since the last point release but it looks like the next PulseAudio release will be out very soon.

    The next PulseAudio release has been under discussion with the sorting out of when the release will take place and any blocker bugs. As it stands now, there is just one blocker bug remaining and that is addressing a regression.

  • A One Line Kernel Patch Appears To Solve The Recent Linux + Steam Networking Regression

    As a follow-up to the issue reported on Friday regarding the latest Linux kernel releases causing problems for Valve's Steam client, a fix appears pending that with changing around one line of code does appear to address the regression.

    Linus Torvalds got involved and pointed out a brand new kernel patch that may solve the issue. That patch was quickly reaffirmed by Linux gamers as well as prominent Valve Linux developer Pierre-Loup A. Griffais.

  • Mesa 19.1.1 release candidate
    Hello list,
    
    The candidate for the Mesa 19.1.1 is now available. Currently we have:
     - 27 queued
     - 0 nominated (outstanding)
     - and 0 rejected patch
    
    
    The current queue consists mostly in fixes for different drivers (RADV, ANV,
    Nouveau, Virgl, V3D, R300g, ...)
    
    The queue also contains different fixes for different parts (Meson build, GLX,
    etc).
    
    Take a look at section "Mesa stable queue" for more information
    
    
    Testing reports/general approval
    --------------------------------
    Any testing reports (or general approval of the state of the branch) will be
    greatly appreciated.
    
    The plan is to have 19.1.1 this Tuesday (25th June), around or shortly after
    10:00 GMT.
    
    If you have any questions or suggestions - be that about the current patch queue
    or otherwise, please go ahead.
    
    
    Trivial merge conflicts
    -----------------------
    commit 25a34df61439b25645d03510d6354cb1f5e8a185
    Author: Kenneth Graunke 
    
        iris: Fix iris_flush_and_dirty_history to actually dirty history.
    
        (cherry picked from commit 64fb20ed326fa0e524582225faaa4bb28f6e4349)
    
    
    Cheers,
        J.A.
    
  • Mesa 19.1.1 Is Coming Next Week With A Variety Of Fixes

    Debuting two weeks ago was the Mesa 19.1 quarterly feature update while due out early next week is the first bug-fix point release.

    Mesa 19.1 is a huge update over 19.0 and earlier. Mesa 19.1 brought multiple new Gallium3D drivers as well as a new Vulkan driver (TURNIP), performance optimizations, new Vulkan extensions, mature Icelake support, and a variety of other features as listed in the aforelinked article.

AMD Navi and Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • More AMD Navi GPUs show up in a Linux driver

    A since-deleted commit for a Linux driver update hints at 4 new AMD Navi GPUs.

  • Libdrm Picks Up Support For AMD Navi

    As another one of the prerequisites for landing the AMD Radeon RX 5000 series "Navi" support in Mesa, the libdrm bits have just been merged.

    Libdrm is the Mesa DRM library that is needed for sitting between the Linux kernel Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) interfaces and the user-space components (depending upon the driver, as is required by like RadeonSI). Libdrm also ends up being used by the DDX drivers like xf86-video-amdgpu and other components as well depending upon the driver. As of a short time ago, the Navi bits landed in libdrm Git.

    The Navi support here isn't all that exciting and mostly boilerplate code for a new generation for a new family ID, a new member for a tile steering override for GFX10, GDDR6 as a new video memory type, and the largest addition is simply the new tests for VCN 2.0 video decode support.

The Latest Linux 5.2 + Mesa 19.2 Radeon Performance Against NVIDIA With Mid-Range GPUs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the Linux 5.2 kernel a few weeks out from its stable release and now being in the middle of the Mesa 19.2 development cycle for the RADV Vulkan and RadeonSI OpenGL drivers, here are some fresh results looking at the latest open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver stack compared to the latest NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver. In this article the focus is on the mid-range (Polaris) line-up against the NVIDIA competition while similar tests on the high-end are currently being carried out.

These mid-range Linux GPU gaming benchmarks are intended to provide some fresh figures with the current open-source RadeonSI/RADV performance compared to NVIDIA. Beyond the upcoming high-end tests, next month of course is the Radeon RX 5700 series launch where we'll be providing launch-day Linux benchmarks. The mid-range cards tested for today's comparison included the Radeon RX 560, RX 570, RX 580, and RX 590. On the NVIDIA side was the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1650, GTX 1660, and GTX 1660 Ti.

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Wayfire Brings Compiz Bling Back to the Linux Desktop

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Miss those crazy Compiz effects of old? If you’re a Linux user of a certain vintage you likely do — but hey: nothing is gone forever in open-source!

Wayfire is a promising open-source project attempting to resurrect some of the Compiz-era coolness and bring to the modern Linux desktop via Wayland.

We’re talking wobbly windows, over the top window animations, and, of course, a revival of the famous 3D cube — but all implemented in a way that doesn’t demand oodles of system power.

In fact, Wayfire aims to be lightweight in performance but a heavyweight in eye candy — which is pretty sweet!

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Also: Cool Sites That Discuss About Linux, Ubuntu, and Foss!

Graphics: GAPID, HDR and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Google's Graphics API Debugger 1.6 Adds Stadia Support

    Google's GAPID, also known as the Graphics API Debugger, continues serving as an interesting open-source and cross-platform Vulkan debugger. On Thursday version 1.6 of GAPID was released.

    The GAPID 1.6 release adds Stadia support so developers working on porting their games to run on Google's cloud gaming service can use GAPID for debugging any Vulkan problems.

  • Intel Graphics Driver Ready For HDR Support In Linux 5.3, Other Last-Minute Features

    While there still is a few weeks until the Linux 5.2 kernel will debut and thus the opening of the Linux 5.3 merge window, due to DRM-Next halting new feature code from merging prior to that point, in preparation Intel open-source developers sent in their final batch of feature work aiming for Linux 5.3.

    Intel developers already had sent in multiple feature updates for 5.3 while Wednesday was their last scheduled update.

  • RadeonSI Gets Some Tidying Ahead Of Navi/GFX10 Support (Radeon RX 5700 Series)

    Well known open-source AMD developer Marek Olšák sent out a set of eight RadeonSI Gallium3D patches this morning that appear mostly mundane and namely come down to some minor code alterations. This work though is in stepping towards the actual Navi/GFX10 support we expect to be dropped incredibly soon.

    The eight patches alone aren't anything to get excited about just prep work. At least the eighth patch for renaming/re-documenting cache flush flags does make mention of changes with the GFX10 hardware.

Optane SSD RAID Performance With ZFS On Linux, EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, F2FS

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This round of benchmarking fun consisted of packing two Intel Optane 900p high-performance NVMe solid-state drives into a system for a fresh round of RAID Linux benchmarking atop the in-development Linux 5.2 kernel plus providing a fresh look at the ZFS On Linux 0.8.1 performance.

Two Intel Optane 900p 280GB SSDPED1D280GA PCIe SSDs were the focus of this round of Linux file-system benchmarking. EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, and F2FS were tested both on a single Optane SSD and then in RAID0 and RAID1 with two of these high performance drives. Additionally, ZFS On Linux 0.8.1 was tested on this system both with a single drive and in RAIDZ. For putting the Optane SSD performance in reference, there is also a standalone result provided of a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe SSD with EXT4. In case you missed out earlier Optane 900P benchmarks on Linux from 2017, see them here for this still very competitive SSD. While there are now the 905P SSDs, the 900P models remain available and cheaper hence why going for those when picking up two of them for this round of Linux RAID testing. All of the file-systems were tested using the Linux 5.2 Git kernel and running with their stock/default mount options. The EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID was tested using Linux MD RAID while the Btrfs and ZFS RAID were using their file-system's native RAID capabilities.

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Benchmarks Of OpenMandriva's AMD Zen Optimized Linux Distribution Against Ubuntu, openSUSE, Clear Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Released this week was OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 as the latest major release for this Linux distribution of Mandriva/Mandrake heritage and continues on the interesting trend of innovations. In addition to continuing to use the LLVM Clang compiler by default rather than GCC, among other changes that position it more uniquely than many other Linux distributions out there, their 4.0 release has a "znver1" spin that is optimized for AMD Ryzen/Threadripper/EPYC processors. Here are benchmarks comparing not only OpenMandriva 4.0's x86-64 and Znver1 options but also how that performance compares to the likes of Ubuntu 19.04, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Intel's Clear Linux.

OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 is the first distribution in recent times that is catering towards AMD platform optimizations. The primary difference is all of OpenMandriva's packages have been re-built when enabling the "znver1" compiler optimizations to cater towards the AMD Zen microarchitecture along with other tweaks they hope lead to better AMD performance. But this approach isn't nearly as much as what's employed by Clear Linux as part of Intel's open-source group where they relentlessly optimize all levels of the stack in trying to seek maximum performance out of modern x86-64 hardware, primarily their own microarchitectures. Obviously OpenMandriva doesn't have as many resources as Clear Linux but still an interesting foray for this Linux distribution with AMD currently not backing their own Linux distribution.

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Games: TheoTown, Prison Architect and More

  • Retro themed city-builder 'TheoTown' has now added Linux support

    TheoTown, developed by blueflower is a city-builder with a retro style that looks to be inspired by the classic Sim City 2000 and it's now available on Steam for Linux. Released on Steam earlier this month, TheoTown is also available on mobile but the PC version is a full and proper game with no in-app purchase nonsense. On Android at least, the game is very highly rated and I imagine a number of readers have played it there so now you can pick it up again on your Linux PC and continue building the city of your dreams. So far, the Steam user reviews are also giving it a good overall picture.

  • Reminder: Update your PC info for the next round of statistics updates

    This is your once a month reminder to make sure your PC information is correct on your user profiles. A fresh batch of statistics is generated on the 1st of each month.

  • Prison Architect gains a new warden with Double Eleven, free update incoming

    After Paradox Interactive acquired the rights to Prison Architect from Introversion Software, they've now announced that Double Eleven will be handling future updates. Double Eleven are a well-known developer and publisher of quite a number of titles, with them also previously been responsible for the console versions of Prison Architect so it seems like a pretty good fit as they already worked with the game.

  • Steam To Drop Support For Ubuntu

    Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and that’s why it gets the attention of big companies like steam to design software for it. But recently, Linux community is kind of unhappy over Canonical decision on dropping Ubuntu 32-bit packages. The community already discussed that in case Ubuntu drops 32-bit packages support in upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 or future releases, it’d create big problems including Wine users and Linux gamers. And here comes the first news from Steam, the gaming platform. Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve tweeted that Ubuntu 19.10 or any future Ubuntu releases will not be officially supported by Steam. He also said that the team will work on to minimize the breakage for existing users and thinking to focus on any other Linux distribution.

  • Canonical to Continue Building Selected 32-Bit i386 Packages for Ubuntu 19.10, Azul Systems Announces Zulu Mission Control v7.0, Elisa v. 0.4.1 Now Available, Firefox Adds Fission to the Nightly Build and Tails Emergency Release

    After much feedback from the community, Canonical yesterday announced it will continue to build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. The statement notes that Canonical "will also work with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and gaming communities to use container technology to address the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries; it should stay possible to run old applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. Snaps and LXD enable us both to have complete 32-bit environments, and bundled libraries, to solve these issues in the long term."

  • OpenVIII, an in-development open source game engine for Final Fantasy VIII

    Any fans of Final Fantasy VIII reading? You're going to want to keep an eye on the in-development game engine OpenVIII. While it doesn't seem like it's currently playable, plenty of work has already gone into OpenVIII to work with "video support, music support, audio support, in-game menu" and more. The project is currently classed by the developer as a "pre-prototype" so don't go getting any hopes up yet about playing Final Fantasy VIII natively on Linux.

  • Littlewood hasn't been out for long, but this peaceful RPG has a lot to like about it

    Entering Early Access last week, Sean Young's peaceful RPG Littlewood is a game for those who like to relax a little. Note: Key provided directly by the developer. What happens after the world has been saved, after all the major battles have already been fought? That's exactly what Littlewood is all about, you saved the world and lost your memory so you're helping to re-build the town. In some ways, it actually reminds me of my experience with Forager. It's small, it's sweet and it doesn't feel like it's constantly begging for attention. Quite different in setting though of course, more along the lines of Stardew Valley but with less emphasis on constant farming. I love the building interface too, while it's quite simplistic it allows you to pick up trees, stones and move everything out of your way. Nothing feels annoying, so it's really sweet.

  • Cyberspace first-person shooter 'Black Ice' just had a massive upgrade

    Currently in Early Access, it has been a long time since Black Ice had an update to the "stable" version but the developer hasn't been sat idle. A massive update to the entire game just landed. Featuring some of what I showed off recently, Black Ice has come a very long was since the initial few releases making it a vastly more interesting game. One of the biggest changes, is an overhaul to the entire world design full of new areas, combat arenas with even more to come. Additionally, there's now some random events that will happen to also make the world seem a bit more lively. One server might try to hack another, so you can jump in and fight them all or sit back and watch the fireworks.

Android Leftovers

KDE Plasma 5.16.2 Desktop Environment Released with More Than 30 Bug Fixes

Coming just one week after the first point release, the KDE Plasma 5.16.2 maintenance update is here to add yet another layer of bug fixes with the ultimate goal to make the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment more stable and reliable for users. In particular, this second point release introduces a total of 34 changes across various core components and apps. "Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.2. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a week's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: Plasma 5.16.2

Stable kernels 5.1.15, 4.19.56, and 4.14.130

  • Linux 5.1.15
    I'm announcing the release of the 5.1.15 kernel. All users of the 5.1 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 5.1.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.1.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
  • Linux 4.19.56
  • Linux 4.14.130