Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Graphics/Benchmarks

The Combined Impact Of Retpoline + KPTI On Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
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.

Read more

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.

Benchmarking Clear Linux With KPTI + Retpoline Support

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Yesterday Intel landed KPTI page table isolation and Retpoline support in their Clear Linux distribution. Given that one of the pillars of this Intel Open-Source Technology Center platform is on delivering optimal Linux performance, I was curious to see how its performance was impacted. Here are before/after benchmarks on seven different systems ranging from low-end Pentium hardware to Xeon servers.

Read more

Benchmarking Linux With The Retpoline Patches For Spectre

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

While the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) patches were quick to land in the mainline Linux kernel for addressing the Meltdown CPU vulnerability, the "Retpoline" patches are still being worked on as the leading approach on the Linux side for dealing with the Spectre CPU vulnerability. The Retpoline patches are said to have little impact on performance, but here are our benchmarks of these kernel patches for seeing how they affect a variety of AMD and Intel systems.

Read more

Kernel and Graphics: LightNVM, Year 2038 and More

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • LightNVM 2.0 Support Being Prepped For Linux 4.16

    LightNVM is the abstraction layer within the Linux kernel for supporting open-channel NVM Express solid-state drives. LightNVM 2.0 is on the way.

    LightNVM 2.0 is on the way and is currently available as a public draft specification. This updated specification will be released soon for dealing with these SSDs that leave management up to the operating system rather than the drive itself.

  • Input Drivers Are Being Prepped For Year 2038 Safety

    While kernel developers are busy with Spectre and Meltdown bugs right now, 20 years from now is the big "Year 2038" problem. Kernel developers are still working through the massive codebase to allow it to function past this "Unix Millenium Bug."

    The Year 2038 problem is when on 19 January 2038 that Unix systems storing time as a 32-bit integer will wrap around. Developers for years have been working on Year 2038 fixes but the kernel isn't quite tidied up yet.

  • Radeon+Ryzen CPUFreq CPU Scaling Governor Benchmarks On Linux 4.15

    Taking a break from KPTI and Retpoline benchmarks, here are some tests recently conducted with Linux 4.15 when it comes to trying out the different CPUFreq scaling governors with this latest kernel and running various games with a Radeon RX 580 Polaris graphics card.

  • VK9, the project to get Direct3D 9 applications to run with Vulkan reached another milestone

    In late December last year, the developer of the VK9 project emailed us about hitting another milestone with their project to get Direct3D 9 applications to run with Vulkan.

Standards/Graphics: Alliance for Open Media (AOM), Vulkan 1.0.67, Mega/RadeonSI

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Apple joins Alliance for Open Media to support online video compression

    Iphone flogger Apple has quietly joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), a consortium focused on developing next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies

  • Vulkan 1.0.67 Released With Conservative Rasterization Extension

    The Khronos Group has released their first Vulkan graphics/compute programming specification update of 2018.

    Vulkan 1.0.67 is the newest specification for this nearly two-year-old standard. It's been over one month since the Vulkan 1.0.66 update but now there's finally v1.0.67 to ring in the new year. While there's been a lot of time, this update mostly consists of documentation fixes and only one new extension.

  • Marek Working On 32-bit GPU Pointers For RadeonSI

    Well known open-source AMD 3D driver developer Marek Olšák has published a set of new patches featuring his latest optimization work: 32-bit GPU pointers.

    15 patches sent out this Saturday plumb into RadeonSI/Gallium3D support for 32-bit heaps, a 32-bit virtual memory allocator in the Radeon Winsys, and other changes for supporting 32-bit GPU pointers. These Mesa patches also depend upon two yet-to-be-merged LLVM patches in their AMDGPU back-end.

Linux KPTI Tests Using Linux 4.14 vs. 4.9 vs. 4.4

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Yet another one of the avenues we have been exploring with our Linux Page Table Isolation (KPTI) testing has been looking at any impact of this security feature in the wake of the Meltdown vulnerability when testing with an older Linux Long Term Support (LTS) release. In particular, when using a kernel prior to the PCID (Process Context Identifier) support in the Linux kernel that is used to lessen the impact of KPTI.

Read more

Graphics: Etnaviv, RADV, NVIDIA and Mesa

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Etnaviv DRM Updates Roll Out For Linux 4.16

    Lucas Stach has submitted the DRM driver updates for Etnaviv that are requested to be pulled for Linux 4.16.

    This open-source, reverse-engineered Vivante graphics driver continues getting better. Besides some basic fixes, the Etnaviv-Next 4.16 changes include occlusion query buffer support in their command stream validator, fixes/cleanups needed to turn on GPU performance profiling, and prep work for hooking in to the DRM GPU scheduler.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Picks Up Support For ETC2 Textures

    RADV developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen has wired in support for ETC2 texture compression to this Mesa-based, open-source Radeon Vulkan driver.

    The textureCompressionETC2 device feature is now supported by the RADV driver with the latest patches. This ETC2 lossy texture compression support is handled by Radeon GPU hardware with Stoney Ridge APUs or Vega "GFX9" GPUs and newer, including Raven Ridge.

  • Solus Experimenting With Qt Wayland Compositor, NVIDIA EGLStreams Support

    Solus taking a break from their Steam Linux integration improvements and their other open-source desktop innovations has been experimenting with their own Qt Wayland compositor over the holiday period.

    The Solus team shared some holiday experiments they were doing with a QtWayland-based Wayland compositor with their Budgie 11 desktop environment. Interestingly, they made use of NVIDIA proprietary driver support with EGLStreams.

  • NVIDIA Gaming Performance Minimally Impacted By KPTI Patches

    Earlier this week when news was still emerging on the "Intel CPU bug" now known as Spectre and Meltdown I ran some Radeon gaming tests with the preliminary Linux kernel patches providing Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support. Contrary to the hysteria, the gaming performance was minimally impacted with those open-source Radeon driver tests while today are some tests using the latest NVIDIA driver paired with a KPTI-enabled kernel.

  • NVIDIA 390.12 Linux Driver Reaches Beta

    NVIDIA has released their first beta driver in the long-awaited 390 series.

    This driver update is notable in that it should have a workaround for the recent vRAM memory leakage. Additionally, the 390 series will be the last supporting 32-bit.

  • 10-bit Color Visual Support Lands In Mesa

    Mario Kleiner's work on plumbing Mesa for handling 10-bit colors has landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git.

    These patches have been floating around for a few months for getting Mesa/Gallium3D ready for 10-bit color visuals that go from 256 luminosity levels per color/channel with 8-bit color to 1024 levels with 10-bit. Many GPUs support 10-bit color while the number of monitors so far supporting 10-bit color isn't too common, at least not yet.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Being Prepped With Fixes For RADV Vulkan, Unreal Engine 4 Games

    For those of you riding the Mesa 17.3 stable train, the second point release is expected for release this weekend with many fixes.

    The release candidate for Mesa 17.3.2 was issued today by Collabora's Emil Velikov who continues serving as Mesa's primary release manager. So far there is just over one dozen patches queued up but over one dozen more still being reviewed.

  • RADV Supports Android Native Buffer, Increasing Likelihood Of Chrome/Android AMD Device

    The open-source Mesa RADV Vulkan driver, RADV, now has patches for supporting VK_ANDROID_native_buffer.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 release candidate

VM Performance Showing Mixed Impact With Linux 4.15 KPTI Patches

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

The initial benchmarks of these security patches published yesterday were focused on Intel desktop hardware following all the media attention around this "Intel CPU bug" now known as Meltdown and Spectre following the disclosure today by Google's Project Zero.

In those initial benchmarks most of the overhead from these page table isolation patches to improve the Linux kernel security were found to slowdown select I/O workloads. Our continued testing through today has found for desktop-type hardware to mostly be impacted on that front with no severe slowdowns in other common desktop workloads. I provided a summary this afternoon of further analyzing the performance on more systems.

Read more

Initial Benchmarks Of The Performance Impact Resulting From Linux's x86 Security Changes

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Over the past day you've likely heard lots of hysteria about a yet-to-be-fully-disclosed vulnerability that appears to affect at least several generations of Intel CPUs and affects not only Linux but also Windows and macOS. The Intel CPU issue comes down to leaking information about the kernel memory to user-space, but the full scope isn't public yet until the bug's embargo, but it's expected to be a doozy in the data center / cloud deployments. Due to the amount of interest in this issue, here are benchmarks of a patched kernel showing the performance impact of the page table isolation patches.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

  • Mesa 17.3.3 Released With RADV & ANV Vulkan Driver Fixes
    Mesa 17.3.3 is now available as the latest point release for the Mesa 17.3 stable series. This bi-weekly point release to Mesa presents several RADV Vega/GFX9 fixes, various Intel ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a DRI3 fix, and random fixes to the OpenGL drivers like RadeonSI, Etnaviv, and even Swrast.
  • R600g "Soft" FP64 Shows Signs Of Life, Enabling Older GPUs To Have OpenGL 4 In 2018
    Most pre-GCN AMD graphics cards are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support at this time due to not supporting FP64. Only the HD 5800/6900 series on R600g currently have real double-precision floating-point support working right now so at present they are on OpenGL 4.3 rather than 3.3, but those other generations may be catching up soon thanks to the "soft" FP64 code.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets More Raven Ridge Improvements, Audio Fixes
    Harry Wentland of AMD has sent out the latest batch of patches for the AMDGPU DC display code stack. Fortunately it lightens up the DRM driver by about six thousand lines thanks to removing some unused code. Besides gutting out a chunk of unused code, the DC code has a few audio fixes (no word yet on supporting newer audio formats with DC), fixes on driver unload, a "bunch" of continued Raven Ridge display updates, and various other code clean-ups.
  • AMDGPU Firmware Blobs Updated For Video Encode/Decode
    There are updated AMDGPU microcode/firmware files now available for recent Radeon GPUs. The updated firmware files now available via the main linux-firmware.git repository are centered around the video blocks: UVD video decoding, VCE video encode, and the new VCN video encode/decode block with Raven Ridge.

Games: DRAG, Geneshift, Balloonatics and More

Tumbleweed Update

  • Tumbleweed Rolls Forward with New versions of Mesa, Squid, Xen
    This week provided a pretty healthy amount of package updates for openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed. There were three snapshots released since the last blog and some of the top packages highlighted this week are from Mesa, Squid, Xen and OpenSSH. The Mesa update from version 17.2.6 to 17.3.2 in snapshot 20180116 provided multiple fixes in the RADV Vulkan driver and improvements of the GLSL shader cache. The Linux Kernel provides some fixes for the security vulnerabilities of Meltdown in version 4.14.13 and added a prevent buffer overrun on memory hotplug during migration for KVM with s390. The snapshot had many more package updates like openssh 7.6p1, which tightened configuration access rights. A critical fix when updating Flatpak packages live was made with the gnome-software version 3.26.4 update. File systems package btrfsprogs 4.14.1 provided cleanups and some refactoring while wireshark 2.4.4 made some fixes for dissector crashes. Xen 4.10.0_10 added a few patches. Rounding out the snapshot, ModemManager 1.6.12 fixed connection state machine when built against libqmi and blacklisted a few devices to include some Pycom devices.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Rolls To Mesa 17.3, Linux 4.14.13
    OpenSUSE has continued rolling in the new year with several key package updates in January. Exciting us a lot is that openSUSE Tumbleweed has migrated from Mesa 17.2 to now Mesa 17.3. Mesa 17.3.2 is the version currently in openSUSE's rolling-release.

India Digital Open Summit 2018