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Ubuntu 11.04: i686 vs. i686 PAE vs. x86_64

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Ubuntu

At the end of 2009 I published benchmarks comparing Ubuntu's 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit Linux kernels. Those tests were carried out to show the performance impact of using 32-bit with PAE (Physical Address Extension) support, which on the plus side allows up to 64GB of system memory to be addressable from 32-bit machines, but is still significantly slower than a 64-bit kernel and user-space. In this article the tests have been carried out on modern hardware and with the latest Ubuntu 11.04 packages to see how the three kernel variants are performing in 2011.

While nearly all desktop/notebook hardware shipping has been 64-bit capable for some time, Canonical continues pushing Ubuntu 32-bit as the "recommended" version of Ubuntu. 64-bit Linux itself and nearly all major open-source programs have been in great x86_64 shape for years, but Canonical is likely still recommending 32-bit Ubuntu for the few binary-only programs out there that work better in a 32-bit environment, namely Adobe Flash and the Java web plug-in. There are 64-bit plug-ins available, but they are not generally updated at the same pace as the 32-bit version, for example. There are also open-source alternatives such as Lightspark and Gnash that natively support i686, x86_64, and even other architectures too. So it is becoming somewhat odd that Canonical is still pushing 32-bit Ubuntu over the 64-bit version even when they still will not ship Adobe Flash and other binary blobs by default so that they can remain a free software distribution.

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today's leftovers

  • Readers Say ‘No’ to Antivirus on Linux
    A few weeks back when Ken Starks wrote an anecdotal column on an experience with a false positive from Avast antivirus on GNU/Linux, we started thinking. We run antivirus on our LAMP servers with the intent of protecting poor suckers on Windows, but on our Linux desktops and laptops? Pretty much, no. Some of us had tried the open source ClamAV at one time or another, mainly out of curiosity, but none of us had stuck with it. To our knowledge, until Starks wrote his column none of us even knew anybody who had ever run proprietary AV on Linux boxes.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2016/4 & 5
  • Almost weekend again – what’s in store
    I updated my packages for calibre and chromium with new versions. I updated the set of “compat32” packages for a multilib setup on slackware64-current to match the Slackware packages contained in the new Slackware 14.2 Beta 2.
  • Slackware 14.2 Beta 2 Announced
    Good news for everyone. Slackware 14.2 is getting close to release as Pat now announced Slackware 14.2 Beta 2 on the latest changelog. This update also brings some security changes for all supported Slackware releases back to Slackware 13.0!!!
  • Make a $40 Linux or Android PC with this tiny new Raspberry Pi 2 rival
    If you want to build a powerful $40 Linux or Android PC with 4K video support, consider Hardkernel’s Odroid-C2 computer. The developer board is an uncased computer like the popular Raspberry Pi 2, which sells for $35. But South Korea-based Hardkernel claims Odroid-C2 has more horsepower than its popular rival and can be a desktop replacement.

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Unikernels
    When Linux applications have bugs that are difficult to diagnose (EG buffer overruns that happen in production and can’t be reproduced in a test environment) there are a variety of ways of debugging them. Tools such as Valgrind can analyse memory access and tell the developers which code had a bug and what the bug does. It’s theoretically possible to link something like Valgrind into a Unikernel, but the lack of multiple processes would make it difficult to manage.
  • Robert Hallock: GPUOpen is AMD’s Long-Term Open Source Strategy
    Last week AMD completed a major step in its initiative to open things up to the public under GPUOpen — a collection of tools for graphics, high performance compute and heterogeneous computing – as open source under the MIT license model. So when a company does something out of the ordinary, especially one with a large indirect influence in the mobile community, it’s worth looking further into it. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robert Hallock, AMD’s Head of Global Technical Marketing, and ask a few questions about what this all means.
  • A Ton Of Direct3D 9 "Nine" State Tracker Improvements Hit Mesa
  • xf86-video-geode 2.11.18
    Yesterday, I pushed out version 2.11.18 of the Geode X.Org driver. This is the driver used by the OLPC XO-1 and by a plethora of low-power desktops, micro notebooks and thin clients. This release mostly includes maintenance fixes of all sorts. Of noticeable interest is a fix for the long-standing issue that switching between X and a VT would result in a blank screen (this should probably be cherry-picked for distributions running earlier releases of this driver). Many thanks to Connor Behan for the fix!

Leftovers: Software

  • Kodi 16.0 "Jarvis" Gets Third RC Build, Fixes Possible DVD Menu Problems
    The Kodi development team has just announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the third RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Kodi 16.0 "Jarvis" media center.
  • Support for 8/10/12 bit color depths in HandBrake!
    HandBrake is now using a freshly built x265 library that enables full color depth support at 8, 10 and 12 bits. You can now convert videos in these format! This has been enabled in the 64 bit builds of the x265 library; for both Fedora 23 and CentOS/RHEL 7.
  • bitmath-1.3.0 released
    It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any bitmath updates (bitmath is a Python module I wrote which simplifies many facets of interacting with file sizes in various units as python objects) . In fact, it seems that the last time I wrote about bitmath here was back in 2014 when 1.0.8 was released! So here is an update covering everything post 1.0.8 up to 1.3.0.
  • Docker 1.10 Linux Container Engine Brings over 100 Changes, Removes LXC Support
    Docker, the open-source and powerful Linux container engine software, has reached today, February 4, a new milestone, version 1.10, which promises to introduce a whole lot of fresh features.