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Graphics/Benchmarks

Benchmarking Ubuntu's Low-Latency Kernel & Liquorix Post-Meltdown

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Security
Ubuntu

The Ubuntu low-latency kernel is designed for, well, low-latency workloads like audio processing/recording. The lowlatency kernel compared to the generic Linux x86_64 kernel enables IRQ_FORCED_THREADING_DEFAULT, disables TREE_RCU in favor of PREEMPT_RCU, disables OPTPROBES, enables UNINLINE_SPIN_UNLOCK while disables the INLINE_*_UNLOCK tunables, enables PREEMPT support, changes to 1000Hz tick from 250Hz, and enables LATENCYTOP support.

The Liquorix kernel continues to be a bit more unique and among its alterations compared to a generic kernel is Zen interactive tuning, making use of the MuQSS process scheduler, hard kernel preemption, BFQ I/O scheduler by default, network optimizations, and more as outlined at Liquorix.net. Liquorix also defaults to CPUFreq on Intel CPUs and uses the ondemand governor rather than the other tested kernels defaulting to P_State powersave.

For these tests were benchmarks of 4.13.0-25-generic (the current default Ubuntu 17.10 kernel with KPTI patched), 4.14.13-041413-generic as the latest upstream stable kernel from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA, 4.14.13-041413-lowlatency as the equivalent low-latency Ubuntu kernel, and then 4.14.0-13.1-liquorix as the latest Liquorix kernel via its Launchpad PPA. All of these kernels had KPTI protection present and enabled, none of them currently have the (currently out-of-tree) Retpoline support.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10.1 ISOs available with corrupting BIOS fix

GCC 8.0 vs. LLVM Clang 6.0 On AMD EPYC

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

At the beginning of January I posted some early LLVM Clang 6.0 benchmarks on AMD EPYC while in this article is comparing the tentative Clang 6.0 performance to that of the in-development GCC 8.0. Both compilers are now into their feature freeze and this testing looked at the performance of generated binaries both for generic x86_64 as well as being tuned for AMD's Zen "znver1" microarchitecture.

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Debian vs. Ubuntu vs. CentOS vs. openSUSE vs. Clear Linux Post-Meltdown Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With Linux distributions being patched since last week's Meltdown and Spectre disclosure, here are benchmarks on some of the prominent distributions looking at their performance impact since being patched. Tested from an Intel Core i7 8700K system was CentOS, Clear Linux, Debian, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

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Linux and Graphics (Phoronix)

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Systemd 237 Will Have Support For WireGuard

    The next release of systemd, v237, will introduce support for WireGuard. WireGuard as a reminder is the effort to provide a fast, modern and secure VPN tunnel that eventually plans to be part of the mainline Linux kernel.

    Systemd's networkd component recently merged patches for supporting WireGuard that have been in the works since September 2016. From the systemd perspective it's implementing support for the new "wireguard" interface type and supporting key management.

  • Some Of The Other Changes Slated For Linux 4.16

    There's still a week and a half to go until the Linux 4.15.0 stable kernel release is expected and that rings in the Linux 4.16 merge window. On top of various Linux 4.16 changes already talked about, here's a look at some of the other kernel features/additions expected for this next release cycle.

  • Wayland 1.15 & Weston 4.0 Planning For Release Next Month

    Ongoing Wayland/Weston release manager Bryce Harrington of Samsung's Open-Source Group has laid out plans for the next releases of Wayland and the reference Weston compositor.

    It's been a half-year since the release of Wayland 1.14 and Weston 3.0, so Bryce is trying to build up interest in getting out new releases in the weeks ahead.

  • NVIDIA Contributes Some New Tegra/Nouveau Patches

    It's not any re-clocking code or magical improvements for Nouveau's Pascal support, but on the Tegra side a NVIDIA developer has volleyed some new open-source patches.

  • Initial Intel Ice Lake PCH Support Posted
  • The Linux Graphics Stack Gets Further Meson-ized: Now With Libdrm Support

    The work on adding optional Meson build system support to the Linux graphics stack and other key open-source projects continues...

    Going back to last September has been work for Meson-izing Mesa as an alternative build system rather than Autotools, CMake, or SCons within Mesa. It's been delivering fast results and since the initial port landed more Mesa components have become supported by the Meson build.

  • Server-Side GLVND Updated While X.Org Server 1.20 Drags On

    Adam Jackson of Red Hat has sent out the second version of the ongoing patches for providing server-side GLVND functionality for the X.Org Server.

    Most of you faithful Phoronix readers should be familiar with GLVND, the OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library. That's the effort led by NVIDIA and supported by others in the ecosystem for improving the "Linux OpenGL driver ABI" by allowing for multiple OpenGL drivers to happily co-exist on the same system without fighting over libGL.so. and the like. That's been going well but server-side GLVND for the X.Org Server takes things a step further.

  • A Look At Linux Hardware/Software Trends Over The Past Seven Years

    Here are some Linux hardware and software statistics going back to 2011.

Linux, Linux Foundation, and Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Wires In DEVFREQ Re-Clocking Support

    Freedreno open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver creator Rob Clark has sent in the set of updates for the MSM DRM driver targeting the Linux 4.16 kernel.

    The MSM Direct Rendering Manager updates for DRM-Next to go into Linux 4.16 are a bit late for the DRM staging, but these changes are mostly small. Besides some bug fixes and other minor code changes, the main feature addition for MSM in Linux 4.16 is DEVFREQ support for controlling the GPU clock frequency.

  • The Linux Foundation Announces New Linux on Azure Training Course [Ed: The Linux Foundation works for Microsoft now. Corrupted by the money. Microsoft meanwhile attacks Linux with patents.]
  • Automotive Grade Linux gets support from Toyota and Amazon as it eyes autonomous driving

    Open-source software was once something that large businesses shied away from, but over the course of the last few years, it’s made inroads into virtually every enterprise company. With Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), the Linux Foundation hosts a project that aims to bring open source to the car industry. As the AGL group announced at CES in Las Vegas today, Toyota and Amazon have now signed up to support the project, as well.

    Toyota, which is using AGL in the 2018 Camry, is joining as a platinum member, while Amazon opted for the silver level. Indeed, you may have seen another Toyota and Amazon mashup today, which is probably no coincidence.

  • R600 Gallium3D Gets More Fixes, Experimental SB Tessellation Support

    If you are still running with a pre-GCN AMD graphics card, a number of R600 Gallium3D commits landed in Mesa Git over night as well as an interesting patch series on the Mesa mailing list.

    Hitting Mesa 17.4-dev Git a few hours ago were a number of R600 Gallium3D fixes. This time around the various fixes come courtesy of VMware's Roland Scheidegger, a long time Mesa developer. They are a variety of minor fixes. It's nice to see nevertheless as R600g doesn't get too much action these days.

  • xf86-video-intel Gets Coffee Lake Support

    The xf86-video-intel DDX driver now has support for the first "Coffee Lake" processors.

  • The Current CPU Driver Usage Difference Between RADV/RadeonSI & NVIDIA

    Yesterday I posted some fresh GPU/driver benchmark results for discrete AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. These were some of the most competitive numbers yet we've seen out of the open-source RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV drivers while using the latest Linux 4.15 kernel, especially for the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle. In the comments were requests to see some CPU utilization numbers, including from one of the Radeon Linux developers, so here is a look at how the CPU usage compares.

    With having some spare cycles this morning on that Core i7 8700K "Coffee Lake" desktop, I ran a CPU usage comparison with various Linux games when using the Radeon RX 580 (on Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev + LLVM 6.0 SVN) vs. the comparable GeForce GTX 1060 (on Linux 4.15 + NVIDIA 390.12) for showing the latest CPU utilization difference for both OpenGL and Vulkan games.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Now Supports VK_EXT_discard_rectangles

    RADV co-founder Bas Nieuwenhuizen has landed support for the Vulkan VK_EXT_discard_rectangles extension within Mesa 17.4-dev.

  • RADV Gets Another Optimization For Micro-Benchmarks

    David Airlie and Bas Nieuwenhuizen's work on the RADV open-source Vulkan driver is quite relentless. David has posted yet another patch working on further optimizing the performance of this unofficial Radeon Vulkan driver living within Mesa.

  • The NVIDIA 390 Driver Is Playing Nicely With Linux 4.15 Kernel

    For those NVIDIA Linux users reliant upon the proprietary driver and wanting to upgrade to the Linux 4.15 kernel that will be officially released within the next two weeks, the 390.12 driver is playing nicely.

    Earlier NVIDIA driver releases ran into compatibility issues with the Linux 4.15 interfaces following the merge window (not due to KPTI, as some other FUD previously passed around by others). But with last week's NVIDIA 390.12 beta it has been working fine atop the Linux 4.15 Git kernel, including when Kernel Page Table Isolation is enabled for Meltdown prevention. (Retpoline support has yet to be mainlined, haven't tested the NVIDIA driver there yet to formally confirm if any breakage may happen.)

  • AMDGPU Queues More Fixes For Linux 4.16

    AMD sent in a fair number of AMDGPU updates slated for Linux 4.16 but now hitting the cut-off for major feature updates for DRM-Next code looking to make it into 4.16, AMD has submitted some fixes.

KPTI + Retpoline Linux Benchmarking On Old Laptops

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Over the past week and a half of running many benchmarks looking at the performance impact of the Linux KPTI and Retpoline patches for Spectre and Meltdown mitigation, one of the most common test requests is some thorough benchmarks on older systems. Why that's important is with older (pre-Westmere) CPUs there isn't PCID (Process Context Identifier) support that's used by KPTI, which helps offset some of the performance loss. So for some test results to share today are two old ThinkPads from the Clarksfield and Penryn days compared to a newer Broadwell ThinkPad in looking at the performance difference.

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What Linux storage benchmarking tools are best?

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The Linux hdparm tool enables administrators to establish a basic, low-level measure of disk performance. Using hdparm with the -t option takes advantage of the Linux disk cache, while the -t option also accesses the disk through the cache, but doesn't pre-cache the results. Low-level Linux storage benchmarking tools such as hdparm are very sensitive to file systems and other higher level constructs, however, so results can vary dramatically.

Admins often use the Linux dd -- data duplicator -- command for tasks such as backup and copy, but its interaction with storage can also enable sequential throughput for storage performance.

Flexible I/O Tester (FIO) is perhaps the most versatile and popular tool for benchmarking hard disk drive and solid-state drive devices. It enables administrators to run sequential read/write tests with varied I/O block sizes and queue depths.

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NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance At The Start Of 2018

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Here is a fresh look at the NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon Linux graphics card performance as we start 2018. Testing was done using the latest Linux 4.15 Git kernel -- including the KPTI page table isolation support -- as well as using the newest Mesa 17.4-dev driver code for RadeonSI/RADV and on the NVIDIA side is their brand new 390.12 beta driver.

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The Combined Impact Of Retpoline + KPTI On Ubuntu Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Ubuntu

Over the past week I have posted many KPTI and Retpoline benchmarks for showing the performance impact of these patches to combat the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. But with my testing so far I haven't done any showing the combined impact of KPTI+Retpoline on Ubuntu versus a completely unpatched system. Here are some of those results.

Similar to the Benchmarking Clear Linux With KPTI + Retpoline Support, these tests are similar but with a few different systems and looking at the performance when testing from Ubuntu 17.10. The comparison on each system was to a stock Linux 4.14.0 kernel compared to the Linux 4.14 kernel with the upstream KPTI patches paired with the Retpline v5 patches that have yet to be merged for mitigating Spectre.

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Linux, the Linux Foundation, and Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linux 4.17 To Likely Include Intel DRM Driver's HDCP Support

    Back in November a Google developer proposed HDCP content protection support for the Intel Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Linux driver that is based upon their code from Chrome OS / Chromium OS. It looks like that High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection support in the i915 DRM driver will come for Linux 4.17.

    It's too late to happen for Linux 4.16 considering it would be too tardy for it to be comfortably added to DRM-Next. Google developer Sean Paul who has been spearheading this HDMI/DisplayPort HDCP support for the open-source Intel DRM driver believes the code is now ready for merging.

  • Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Miltos Tsatsakis

    The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program, which is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that's hungry for your skills.

    How well does the certification prepare you for the real world? To illustrate that, we will be highlighting some of those who have recently passed the certification examinations. These testimonials should help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Release Notes / January 8, 2018

    Mesa 17.3.2 is a bug fix release which fixes bugs found since the 17.3.1 release.

    Mesa 17.3.2 implements the OpenGL 4.5 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don't support all the features required in OpenGL 4.5. OpenGL 4.5 is only available if requested at context creation because compatibility contexts are not supported.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Released With The Latest Stable Fixes

    While Mesa 18.0 will premiere later this quarter as the first feature update of 2018, Mesa 17.3.2 is now available as the second bug-fix release for last quarter's Mesa 17.3 series.

  • NVIDIA Rolls Out New Vulkan Beta Driver With Conservative Rasterization Support

    NVIDIA is sticking to their pledge of being quick with delivering support for new revisions of Vulkan support in their Windows and Linux drivers.

    Vulkan 1.0.67 was released on Friday and while it's mostly a mundane maintenance update, it does include one new extension: VK_EXT_conservative_rasterization. This extension adds a conservative rasterization mode to Vulkan and is similar to the GL_NV_conservative_raster OpenGL extension (more details on conservative rasterization here).

  • VC5 Gallium3D Driver Is Onto Pushing More Triangles In Simulator

    The VC5 open-source Gallium3D driver designed to support the next generation of Broadcom VideoCore graphics hardware is onto rendering more triangles, at least with the hardware simulator.

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Red Hat News

More on Librem 5 Phone Update

  • Purism Post First Librem 5 Phone Update
    Purism has delivered its first progress report on development of the Librem 5 Phone, which it successfully crowdfunded last year.
  • Purism Says Its Privacy-Focused Linux Phone Will Use Wayland and i.MX8 ARM CPU
    Two and a half months after it successfully crowdfunded its Librem 5 privacy-focused, end-to-end encrypted Linux smartphone, Purism released today the first update on the development progress. Librem 5's crowdfunding campaign ended with more than $2 million funds raised from thousands of backers. Then, Purism promised to put all that money to good use in the manufacturing process of the Linux-powered smartphone, which should have started as soon as they find a company willing to build it.

Fedora: Updated F27 Live ISOs, Synergy 2.0, Bodhi 3.2.0, Announcing Flapjack

  • F27-20180112 Updated Live Isos Released
    The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated 27 Live ISOs, carrying the 4.14.13-300 kernel.
  • synergy-2.0.0 is in Fedora updates-testing
    I have packed the latest stable version, 2.0.0, for Fedora 27, 26 and EPEL 7. No EPEL 6 update this time as it requires CXX14, which EL6 does not provide.
  • Bodhi 3.2.0 released
  • Announcing Flapjack
    Here’s a post about a tool that I’ve developed at work. You might find it useful if you contribute to any desktop platform libraries that are packaged as a Flatpak runtime, such as GNOME or KDE. Flatpak is a system for delivering desktop applications that was pioneered by the GNOME community. At Endless, we have jumped aboard the Flatpak train. Our product Endless OS is a Linux distribution, but not a traditional one in the sense of being a collection of packages that you install with a package manager; it’s an immmutable OS image, with atomic updates delivered through OSTree. Applications are sandboxed-only and Flatpak-only.
  • Flapjack Helps Developers Work On Components Inside Flatpak

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Latvia's e-health system hit by cyberattack from abroad
    Latvia said its new e-health system was on Tuesday hit by a large-scale cyberattack that saw thousands of requests for medical prescriptions pour in per second from more than 20 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the European Union. No data was compromised, according to health officials, who immediately took down the site, which was launched earlier this month to streamline the writing of prescriptions in the Baltic state. "It is clear that it was a planned attack, a widespread attack—we might say a specialised one—as it emanated from computers located in various different countries, both inside the European Union and outside Europe," state secretary Aivars Lapins told reporters. "We received thousands of requests in a very short space of time. That's not the normal way the system works," he said, adding that an investigation is under way.
  • Linux Lite Developer Creates Automated Spectre/Meltdown Checker for Linux OSes
    The developer of the Ubuntu-based Linux Lite distribution has created a script that makes it easier for Linux users to check if their systems are vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws. As we reported last week, developer Stéphane Lesimple created an excellent script that would check if your Linux distribution's kernel is patched against the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that have been publicly disclosed earlier this month and put billions of devices at risk of attacks.
  • Purism Releases Meltdown and Spectre Patches for Its Librem Linux Laptops
    Purism, the computer technology company behind the privacy-focused, Linux-based Librem laptops and the upcoming smartphone, released patches for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities. The company was one of the first Linux OEMs and OS vendor to announce that it's working on addressing both the Meltdown and Spectre security exploits on his Linux laptops. Meltdown and Spectre have been unearthed in early January and they are two severe hardware bugs that put billions of devices at risk of attacks.
  • Facebook Awards Security Researchers $880,000 in 2017 Bug Bounties
    Facebook is hardly a small organization, with large teams of engineers and security professionals on staff. Yet even Facebook has found that it can profit from expertise outside of the company, which is why the social networking giant has continued to benefit from its bug bounty program. In 2017, Facebook paid out $880,000 to security researchers as part of its bug bounty program. The average reward payout in 2017 was $1,900, up from $1,675 in 2016.
  • Multicloud Deployments Create Security Challenges, F5 Report Finds