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GCC 10 vs. GCC 11 Compiler Performance On AMD Zen 3

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After recently looking at the early LLVM Clang 12 compiler performance on the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, in today's benchmarking is a look at how the GCC 11 compiler performance is looking in its near final state compared to GCC 10 under a variety of build CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS configurations on the AMD Zen 3 desktop.

This round of compiler benchmarking is focused on the GCC 10.2 versus GCC 11.0.0 (20210207 development snapshot) performance with the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. Both GNU Compiler Collection releases were built in the same release configuration mode. The tested CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS under each compiler included...

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What Is the Best Compression Tool in Linux?

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In this article, we will compare all the best and most popular Linux compression tools. This will include benchmark tests to see which compression method performs the best, and we'll also weigh the pros and cons of compatibility and other areas. Compression methods covered will be gzip, xz, bzip2, 7zip, zip, rar, and zstd (Zstandard).

Linux gives us a lot of options when we need to compress files. While that's definitely a good thing, it can lead to confusion about which one should be used. Let's start by comparing each method across a few key areas.

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Libinput 1.17.0

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libinput 1.17.0 is now available.

A bunch of changes to the libinput record and libinput replay tools and some
general cleanup and a new tool, see below. The library itself is basically
the same it was with the last RC though.

A new debugging tool has been added: libinput analyze recording.
This tool takes the files produced by libinput record and prints the content
in a tabular form. The goal here is to make it easier to analyze and
understand what type of data a device sends.

As is traditional, the RC1 announcement email with the changes since 1.16.x
so I don't have to retype them:

The big new feature is tap-and-drag with two and three fingers. Previously,
tap-and-drag could only be used to left-click and drag, it is now possible
to right/middle-click tap and then drag with one finger while the button is
held logically down.

Wacom's AES tablets no longer have smoothing enabled, it looks like those
devices don't need it. This should make the tablets more responsive and

The quirks system has a few new attributes that make it easier to quirk
broken devices without recompiling.

As you've seen on the 1.16.x releases, the "your system is too slow" is now
ratelimited to merely 5 an hour. There's nothing a user can usually do about
this anyway, so not spamming the logs seems a bit more user-friendly.

A new debugging tool: libinput analyze touch-down-state
This tool visualises the touch state over time (using a libinput record
log as input), making it easier to debug stuck touches or hw issues where
ghost touches are detected.

Other than that, the fixes are all over the place and it's hard to narrow it
down to useful groups. Please see the git shortlog below for details.

Peter Hutterer (18): drop the dummy config data and use copy: true instead consolidate all man pages
      tools/record: correct the evdev data format in the man page
      tools/record: de-inline our functions
      tools/record: fix outdated comment
      tools/record: print a header as first line
      tools/replay: search for the first event with a timestamp
      tools/replay: Enter quits if there are no events
      tools/record: simplify the behavior to emulate Python's join()
      utils: add a safe version of basename
      tools/record: use safe_basename() to get to the hid report descriptor
      tools/record: reword parts of the man page
      tools/record: switch record over to using epoll
      tools/record: use a helper function to get the next event for a device build libinput replay as well
      tools: add a tool to print a libinput recording as a table
      tools/record: fix two coverity complaints
      libinput 1.17.0

satrmb (1):
      test: add test cases for 2/3 finger movement after drag-lock

yuri1969 (1):
      Fix worng quirk name in doc

git tag: 1.17.0

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Libinput 1.17 Brings New Debugging Tool, 2/3 Finger Tap-And-Drag

Kernel Space: systemd, remote direct memory access (RDMA), and ZLUDA

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  • systemd 248 RC1 Released With New "System Extension Images" Concept

    The first release candidate of systemd 248 is now available with a number of improvements ranging from a new "system extensions images" concept to the out-of-memory daemon (OOMD) being declared stable.

  • RDMA Changes For Linux 5.12 Add DMA-BUF Support For Peer-To-Peer Transfers With GPUs - Phoronix

    The changes within the remote direct memory access (RDMA) subsystem for Linux 5.12 are deemed "quite small" but there is one interesting addition courtesy of Intel.

    Covered last year on Phoronix was the Intel-led work on DMA-BUF support for RDMA for supporting peer-to-peer transactions over PCI Express between RDMA-enabled NICs and other PCIe devices, such as graphics cards. That peer-to-peer support via DMA-BUF with a focus on GPU support is what's coming in Linux 5.12.

  • ZLUDA v2 Released For Drop-In CUDA On Intel Graphics - Phoronix

    One of many interesting and original open-source projects to be started in 2020 was ZLUDA, an open-spurce drop-in CUDA implementation for Intel graphics. ZLUDA - developed independent of Intel and NVIDIA - is built atop Intel's oneAPI Level Zero interface (hence the name, ZLUDA) and allows for unmodified CUDA applications to run on Intel UHD/Xe Graphics hardware with near-native performance. Well, that's the goal at least but with the initial ZLUDA release were a number of support limitations.

    Out today is ZLUDA Version 2 that has been focused on ensuring it works well with the Geekbench CUDA test cases as an interesting stressor for CUDA on Intel graphics. Additionally, the Microsoft Windows support for ZLUDA has been improved while continuing to provide first-rate Linux support.

Kernel: Mir and Linux 5.12 Changes

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  • Build smart displays with mir 2.3.2 | Ubuntu

    mir was designed to help systems on chips (SoCs) to reduce their development and maintenance investment in Linux graphics drivers. Today, mir works across the whole stack of devices, from desktop computers, tablets and phones, to IoT devices. You can find mir in industry GUI applications to smart mirrors, enabling developers to design innovative user interfaces. Canonical is launching mir 2.3.2, a new version of mir that improves the desktop experience, especially working with X11 based applications. 

  • Microsoft Contributes Integrity Improvements To Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

    Microsoft engineers continue increasing their contributions to the Linux kernel where it makes business sense for them, such as in the case of securing the Azure cloud given that around 50% or more of the instances run Linux. With Linux 5.12 there are integrity subsystem improvements coming from Microsoft.

  • AMDGPU With Linux 5.12 Sees Last Minute Duty Cycle Scaling, Other Bits

    Sent in last week were some AMDGPU "fixes" for Linux 5.12. While there are some fixes as part of the series, there are some new (minor) features enabled.

    In addition to the previously covered DRM graphics driver features for Linux 5.12 like the Radeon RX 6000 series OverDrive, there are some more patches that were sent in last Thursday as fixes for Linux 5.12.

Arch-Based SalientOS + EndeavourOS Take On Clear/Fedora/Ubuntu With The Ryzen 9 5900X

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Given the recent release of Arch Linux based EndeavourOS and a Phoronix Premium supporter recently pointing out SalientOS as another interesting Arch-based Linux distribution, here are benchmarks showing how these easy/quick to deploy Arch based operating systems with sane defaults compare to that of Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, and Intel's own Clear Linux. This round of February 2021 Linux benchmarking was carried out on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop stemming from premium member feedback.

EndeavourOS earlier this month saw its first ISO refresh of 2021 with upgrading to Linux 5.10 and other updated packages for this distribution that has been of increasing popularity since the end of Antergos Linux.

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Graphics: NVidia, ROCm, and Mesa

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  • NVidia Cripples Proprietary Graphics Driver In Order To Sell Specialized Crypto-Mining Cards

    The American technology giant Nvidia has announced that their closed-source graphics driver now features a intentional digital restrictions management (DRM) bug that cripples performance on certain specific workloads such as mining digital Ethereum (ETH) currency. Nvidia story, which does not hold water, is that they are doing this to ensure retail-availability of their RTX 3060 graphics card.

  • The State Of ROCm For HPC In Early 2021 With CUDA Porting Via HIP, Rewriting With OpenMP - Phoronix

    Earlier this month at the virtual FOSDEM 2021 conference was an interesting presentation on how European developers are preparing for AMD-powered supercomputers and beginning to figure out the best approaches for converting existing NVIDIA CUDA GPU code to run on Radeon GPUs as well as whether writing new GPU-focused code with OpenMP device offload is worthwhile.

  • Mesa Lands New Single File Cache To Help Steam's Pre-Compiled Shaders, Space Savings

    Mesa's on-disk shader cache, which is used for speeding up game load times by avoiding the redundant recompiling of shaders on successive loads and also helping performance for software that compiles shaders on-the-fly, is seeing a big improvement with Mesa 21.1. Mesa 21.1-devel merged this weekend the new single file cache implementation.

    Mesa's new single file shader cache has been in the works by Valve contractor Timothy Arceri the past few months. The single file cache doesn't help with load times any further beyond the existing multi-file cache layout but can help in space savings. By tucking all the cached shaders into a single file is the possibility of better on-disk space savings. Arceri estimates the multi-file cache behavior as is used right now inflates disk usage by more than 3x of the single file cache.

mesa 21.0.0-rc5

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Hi list,

This is very delayed, but mesa 21.0.0-rc5 is now available. RC5 has
roughly two weeks of work in it, so there's a lot that's changed since
RC4. We've got a few issues left open blocking the relase, but hopefully
we can get those all taken care of by next week for a .0 release.


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Also: Mesa 21.0-RC5 Released For Testing This Q1'2021 OpenGL/Vulkan Driver Collection - Phoronix

OpenGL vs. Vulkan Performance For Portal 2 With Radeon Linux Graphics

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With Valve's Portal 2 having added a Vulkan renderer by way of DXVK for converting Direct3D calls to Vulkan, here are some initial benchmarks with several different AMD Radeon graphics cards for seeing the performance of this nearly decade old game on Linux with the existing OpenGL rendering path compared to that of the new Vulkan rendering option.

This weekend article is just offering an initial look at the Portal 2 OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance on Linux using the initial update that introduced this new option. More benchmarks will be coming after Portal 2's next imminent update coming out next week. Likewise, NVIDIA GeForce Linux benchmarks should be coming at that point too barring any issues.

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Graphics: Zink and Radeon

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  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Notes

    I’ve been getting a lot of pings over the past week or two about ES 3.2 support.

    Here’s the deal.

    It’s not happening soon. Probably.

  • With OpenGL 4.6 Achieved, Zink Working CTS Fixes, Substantial Performance Gains - Phoronix

    Now that Mesa 21.1 has OpenGL 4.6 support for Zink, the attention is turning to fixes for the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite and juicing as much performance as possible out of this OpenGL on Vulkan driver layer within Mesa.

    Most active Zink developer Mike Blumenkrantz, working under contract for Valve, has been working on the CTS fixes and performance improvements now that mainline Mesa has the Zink GL 4.6 support. Besides OpenGL 4.6, OpenGL ES 3.1 is also now possible with Zink.

    Over the coming days and month or so, he is planning to land improved barrier support, removing explicit pre-fencing, descriptor caching, and various bug fixes. Even this morning a number of the Zink patches were merged.

  • Radeon "GFX90A" Added To LLVM As Next-Gen CDNA With Full-Rate FP64 - Phoronix

    It looks like the open-source driver support to the next-generation CDNA GPU / MI100 "Arcturus" successor is on the way. Hitting mainline AMDGPU LLVM is a new "GFX90A" target adding new interesting features for compute.

    The AMD GFX90A target is a big addition and was quickly and quietly merged this week... So much so that it generated some concerns and criticism in the review from other upstream LLVM developers that the merge request was just for a short time (a little more than one hour) before merging it, not allowing sufficient time for code review on such a large patch. To which one of the responses in return was over "we needed this upstreamed and no time was given to him to break it up into reasonably sized piece [across multiple patches that are easier for code review]." Code outside of the AMDGPU LLVM back-end isn't touched but understandably some of the upstream developers are put off by the rushed process not allowing for any open-source code review prior to landing such a massive addition.

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla Leftovers

  • Firefox 86 brings multiple Picture-in-Picture, “Total Cookie Protection”

    In December 2019, Firefox introduced Picture-in-Picture mode—an additional overlay control on in-browser embedded videos that allows the user to detach the video from the browser. Once detached, the video has no window dressing whatsoever—no title bar, min/max/close, etc. PiP mode allows users who tile their windows—automatically or manually—to watch said video while consuming a bare minimum of screen real estate. Firefox 86 introduces the concept of multiple simultaneous Picture-in-Picture instances. Prior to build 86, hitting the PiP control on a second video would simply reattach the first video to its parent tab and detach the second. Now, you can have as many floating, detached video windows as you'd like—potentially turning any monitor into something reminiscent of a security DVR display. The key thing to realize about multi-PiP is that the parent tabs must remain open—if you navigate away from the parent tab of an existing PiP window, the PiP window itself closes as well. Once I realized this, I had no difficulty surrounding my Firefox 86 window with five detached, simultaneously playing video windows.

  • This Week in Glean: Boring Monitoring [Ed: Mozilla insists that it is not surveillance when they call it "data science" and "big data"]

    Every Monday the Glean has its weekly Glean SDK meeting. This meeting is used for 2 main parts: First discussing the features and bugs the team is currently investigating or that were requested by outside stakeholders. And second bug triage & monitoring of data that Glean reports in the wild. [...] It probably can! But it requires more work than throwing together a dashboard with graphs. It’s also not as easy to define thresholds on these changes and when to report them. There’s work underway that hopefully enables us to more quickly build up these dashboards for any product using the Glean SDK, which we can then also extend to do more reporting automated. The final goal should be that the product teams themselves are responsible for monitoring their data.

  • William Lachance: Community @ Mozilla: People First, Open Source Second [Ed: Is this why Mozilla pays its CEO over 3 million dollars per year (quadruple the older sum) while sacking even its own people and spying on Firefox users (people)?]

    It seems ridiculously naive in retrospect, but I can remember thinking at the time that the right amount of “open source” would solve all the problems. What can I say? It was the era of the Arab Spring, WikiLeaks had not yet become a scandal, Google still felt like something of a benevolent upstart, even Facebook’s mission of “making the world more connected” sounded great to me at the time. If we could just push more things out in the open, then the right solutions would become apparent and fixing the structural problems society was facing would become easy! What a difference a decade makes. The events of the last few years have demonstrated (conclusively, in my view) that open systems aren’t necessarily a protector against abuse by governments, technology monopolies and ill-intentioned groups of individuals alike. Amazon, Google and Facebook are (still) some of the top contributors to key pieces of open source infrastructure but it’s now beyond any doubt that they’re also responsible for amplifying a very large share of the problems global society is experiencing.

LXTerminal 0.4.0 released.

Terminal emulator of LXDE had no releases for more than two years. Not much was added, not much was fixed but still some work done. Could be more of course but what we can do with our forces, that we do. Let hope we can do more later. Read more

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (firefox and tor), Oracle (stunnel and xterm), Red Hat (virt:8.2 and virt-devel:8.2 and xterm), SUSE (avahi, gnuplot, java-1_7_0-ibm, and pcp), and Ubuntu (openssl).

  • Why not rely on app developer to handle security? – Michał Górny

    One of the comments to the The modern packager’s security nightmare post posed a very important question: why is it bad to depend on the app developer to address security issues? In fact, I believe it is important enough to justify a whole post discussing the problem. To clarify, the wider context is bundling dependencies, i.e. relying on the application developer to ensure that all the dependencies included with the application to be free of vulnerabilities. In my opinion, the root of security in open source software is widely understood auditing. Since the code is public, everyone can read it, analyze it, test it. However, with a typical system install including thousands of packages from hundreds of different upstreams, it is really impossible even for large companies (not to mention individuals) to be able to audit all that code. Instead, we assume that with large enough number of eyes looking at the code, all vulnerabilities will eventually be found and published. On top of auditing we add trust. Today, CVE authorities are at the root of our vulnerability trust. We trust them to reliably publish reports of vulnerabilities found in various packages. However, once again we can’t expect users to manually make sure that the huge number of the packages they are running are free of vulnerabilities. Instead, the trust is hierarchically moved down to software authors and distributions. Both software authors and distribution packagers share a common goal — ensuring that their end users are running working, secure software. Why do I believe then that the user’s trust is better placed in distribution packagers than in software authors? I am going to explain this in three points.

  • Sysdig Donates Module to CNCF to Improve Linux Security

    Sysdig announced today it has donated a sysdig kernel module, along with libraries for the Falco security platform for Kubernetes, to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as part of an effort to advance Linux security.

  • Linux Foundation Announces DizmeID Foundation to Develop and Enable a Self-Sovereign Identity Credential Network

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the DizmeID Foundation and technical project with the intent to support digital identity credentialing. The effort will combine the benefits of self-sovereign identity with necessary compliance and regulation, with the aim to enable wallet holders with ownership and control over their digital identity and data access and distribution.

  • Linux Foundation Announces DizmeID Foundation to Develop and Enable a Self-Sovereign Identity Credential Network

Best Free And Open Source Photoshop Alternatives

Photoshop is quite synonymous with Graphics design nowadays, but it is not the only king in the room. Photoshop doesn’t come with a friendly interface for beginners. No doubt photoshop offers you freedom of using features quite independently, but everything comes at a cost. There are some other options too that are worth considering for users who are looking for open source and free photoshop alternatives. These free and open source photoshop alternatives are not only useful for beginners but also useful for professionals who are thinking of switching from photoshop. And the good thing is that these free applications make no compromise with the quality of work. So, what to do if you are a bit tight on budget and want to learn to design without paying the monthly subscription as in Photoshop. Well, I have prepared a list of free and open-source applications like photoshop to create awesome designs without compromising quality. Read more