It's been about a month since releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 (codenamed "Lyngen"), so now it's time to shed some details about the next major release.
It was on the 5th of June 2004 that I had founded Phoronix and it was two years ago that version 1.0 of the Phoronix Test Suite (codenamed "Trondheim") was officially released. So happy 6th birthday to Phoronix and this can also be celebrated as the 2nd birthday of our open-source automated benchmarking software.
The first and perhaps only point release for Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 "Lyngen" is now available. This 2.6.1 release, which is coming about two weeks after the availability of Phoronix Test Suite 2.6.0, largely brings bug-fixes but it also presents support for anonymously reporting installed software/hardware.
A month ago we began reporting some Linux hardware statistics from those Phoronix Test Suite users that utilize Phoronix Global for uploading their test results publicly so that they can share their benchmark scores with others and make it very easy for their friends or colleagues to compare their performance numbers via the Internet. In an effort to better track such hardware / software statistical information of the installed Linux base (as well as for other operating systems where the Phoronix Test Suite is supported), we are rolling out a new feature to expand upon this information.
The third -- and potentially final -- beta release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 "Lyngen" is now available. This release contains various fixes, more updates to the new PTS Results Viewer, graphing improvements, a new Phodevi sensor architecture, a Phodevi sensor that serves as a GPU fence counter, and a couple of other changes. There's also random bug-fixes.
If you've been noticing on Phoronix over the past day or so when loading pages, occasionally a large, horizontal ad loading on the left side of the web-site where the vertical "skyscraper" ads are appearing, please let us know. We haven't been able to reproduce this problem ourselves and our ad provider, IDG TechNetwork, has only had limited success in reproducing this problem -- it seems to mainly affect European readers. However, this certainly does obstruct the viewing process and is indeed a bug that we are looking for our ad provider to address as soon as possible.
For those looking to run any sort of automated benchmarks on Linux, Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, BSD, or even Windows 7 x64, the beta 2 release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 "Lygen" has been released this morning.
On Phoronix Global we have more than 25,000 benchmark result submissions from independent users around the world since launching the public version of the Phoronix Test Suite back in early 2008. As I have been hinting at for several months, with the launch of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 by the end of this year, Phoronix Global will be getting its long overdue overhaul and there are some revolutionary features being worked on as it concerns benchmarking and collaborative testing. This evening, however, there are some hardware statistics to share for the more than 25,000 existing result uploads.
Since early November when we shared that the Phoronix Test Suite would be ported to Windows 7 we have been working it into a state where it's now possible to compare the performance of Windows vs. Linux and also Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenSolaris too. Last month we then shared we were beginning to prepare for a Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comparison with a great number of tests.
For those of you not Phoronix Premium subscribers, between now and the first of May, when you visit a new article or news posting you may be greeted by a landing/welcome overlay screen with an advertisement courtesy of SAP. While this may not be the most ideal for browsing, this ad will only ever appear once per IP address and can be easily closed using the link that says "Close Window", or you can also visit the advertiser. It's that simple and will not infer with any other browsing experience.
This morning the 2.6 release of the Phoronix Test Suite that's codenamed Lyngen has reached its first beta milestone. With that there are now about a dozen test profiles compatible with the Phoronix Test Suite on Windows 7 x64 operating systems plus many other improvements to other areas of our automated testing framework and open-source benchmarking software.
This week at Phoronix has been busy with more articles (and news posts) than usual. In fact, most days have had more than one new article. The week began by benchmarking the AMD FirePro V8800, then providing four years of Ubuntu benchmarks via their Long-Term Support testing, offering a look at Fedora 13 Beta, file-system benchmarks with the Linux 2.6.34 kernel, ATI graphics in Fedora 13, the need for Nouveau driver power management, and this morning was testing out the Btrfs system rollbacks in Fedora 13. The week is not over and there will be at least one more Phoronix article before the week is out and certainly more news items too.
It's been three weeks since Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 Alpha 2 was released (compared the usual two weeks, due to the tour of Chernobyl), but the third alpha release for this next release codenamed "Lyngen" is now available.
While most Linux users are fine with just using the kernel supplied by their distribution vendor, there are some enthusiasts and professional users who end up tweaking their kernel configuration extensively for their needs, particularly if they are within a corporate environment where the very best performance and reliability is demanded for a particular workload.
You may notice Phoronix taking a really long time to load this morning or the pages even timing out. This is because of the Chernobyl photographs that were posted yesterday and they are now on SlashDot.
As previously mentioned, today I am leaving for Kyiv, Ukraine to tour the Chernobyl disaster site of the terrible nuclear accident almost 24 years ago (just a few days shy of its anniversary).
While a slight deviation from our usual roundabout with Linux news, benchmarks, and graphics driver articles, two weeks from today I have the unique opportunity to tour the Chernobyl disaster site and surrounding areas like the deserted Pripyat and Red Forest. As those into technology (like those reading Phoronix) seem to have interest in Chernobyl whether it be due to computer games they have played that are based around the Chernobyl site or simply due to the history and fascination by nuclear power and the unfortunate disaster in Ukraine, I will be posting some photographs and HD videos from what Chernobyl looks like in 2010. This will be on Phoronix and potentially a new Phoronix Media site for hosting the high resolution versions and the media may be potentially CC-BY-NC-ND licensed.
I don't generally like to push out software updates over the weekend, but this morning when looking at the patch from 2.6 Alpha 1 (that was released 11 days ago) to the current Git master, it amounts to about 10,500 lines / 400kb. There's really not a lot of code reorganization or other trivial changes, so we are overdue for a new alpha release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.6, a.k.a. Lyngen.
Just yesterday we unleashed Phoromatic 1.0 with a horde of improvements to our remote test management system and as part of that introduced the Phoromatic Ubuntu Tracker, which benchmarks Ubuntu on a daily basis looking for performance regressions across multiple systems. Earlier today we then called out for benchmarking requests as what we should track next using our testing and execution framework (so far the likely contender is seeing how Wine's performance is evolving on a per-commit basis, but let us know what you think). Now to end out this week of announcements I have something else to share that's particularly interesting.
With Phoromatic we make it easy to build a test farm for benchmarking and automated regression management and to prove it we began monitoring the Linux kernel performance on a daily basis where we track the performance of the latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis using multiple systems. This has been going on for months and then yesterday we announced that Phoromatic reached a 1.0 status and that we have launched Phoromatic Ubuntu Tracker, a way to monitor the performance of Ubuntu Linux as a whole on a daily basis by benchmarking the most recent development packages. A day has passed so now we are already thinking of what next to add to our test farm for continuous performance tracking.
Following in the success of the Phoronix Test Suite, last month we launched Phoromatic as a remote test management system targeted for enterprise users of the Phoronix Test Suite that allows the automatic scheduling of tests, remote installation of new tests, and the management of multiple test systems all through an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface. Whether you are looking to build a test farm or just benchmark systems around the world, Phoromatic can turn this otherwise taxing work into a really easy process with turn-key deployment capabilities. As an extension of Phoromatic, we then wrote Phoromatic Tracker that is designed to track any software component (either on a timed or per-commit basis) and automatically execute a set of tests each time around all in an autonomous matter and then pump the data back to the Phoromatic server and showcase it on the Phoromatic Tracker interface.
It's been just a month since releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 and that was followed by the release of our PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 operating system, but since then work has been flowing into the next release of the Phoronix Test Suite and related benchmarking technologies. The next release, Phoronix Test Suite 2.6, is codenamed Lyngen and will be officially available in May. Today the first alpha release for Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 is available.
There's a surprising number of people curious about what the Phoronix office looks like from where hardware is tested and the Phoronix Test Suite developed, so here are a few humble photographs from last month that display this area.
For those out there using the Phoronix Test Suite, the first (and likely only) point release for the 2.4 Lenvik release is now available. The 2.4.1 release incorporates a variety of bug-fixes and other work that was back-ported to Lenvik over the past two weeks.
As a reminder, this weekend is the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) that is being held in Los Angeles, California. This three day affair that's sponsored by the likes of Google and IBM has a wide array of talks, including one of our own. As the last talk on Saturday for Track C prior to the day's evening reception is a presentation by Matthew Tippett (the former ATI Linux manager) and myself entitled "Five Stages of Benchmark Loss: PTS and You."
One of the most common areas of feedback on Phoronix and also by those using the Phoronix Test Suite has been over the graphs that show our test / benchmark results. They're simple yet effective, however, as of late more parties have become interested in having these graphs display greater detail about the test results and other information. Fortunately, one of the major areas already being planned for Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 (to be introduced by the end of 2010) is a totally overhauled graphing interface.
Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" was released earlier this month, but the first (and likely only) point release for this major release that brought many changes should be released. Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.1 will consist of various small fixes and cosmetic improvements that have been committed since the 2.4.0 Lenvik release. There may also be a new test profile if AMD commits its new OpenCL test in time.
Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 (codenamed "Lenvik") was released on Tuesday. Since then we have been quite pleased with the adoption of this new quarterly update and the new features and enhancements that it provides. There are also many new uploads on Phoronix Global, new registrations on Phoromatic, etc.
Tomorrow we will be formally releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" as a quarterly update to our testing software that brings many major improvements. Later this month we will be releasing PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 "Anzhofen" as the second release of our Linux LiveDVD/USB distribution that is designed to carry out Linux benchmarking in a completely standardized software stack. This release is likely coming prior to our benchmarking talk in California. Anzhofen is the successor to PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 "Gernlinden", but for those unfamiliar with our benchmarking OS, here is an excerpt from our documentation:
Since earlier this month I have received at least two dozen emails from individuals looking for a refund on software they claim to have purchased from us... What software? The Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and other software projects developed by Phoronix Media are free software. All of them claim it's for anti-virus software!
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