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!
I had intended for Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Beta 2 to be the last development build for this release codenamed Lenvik, but things have changed. After continuing to do intensive, last minute work on Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 since the Lenvik Beta 2 release four days ago, a third beta has been warranted.
Just a week ago Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 went into beta, but now the second (and potentially last) beta release is available. Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" brings a multitude of new features that are discussed in various Phoronix articles -- image quality comparison capabilities, support for mobile device/phone platforms, initial Windows support, and literally many other advancements to this benchmarking framework. However, I have decided to hold off on pushing a bulk of the Microsoft Windows 7 support until the Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 cycle at this point in time 2.4 Lenvik is in a rather clean and optimal state so I am pressed to release this major update a bit early.
As the inaugural Phoronix Test Suite release for 2010, we have just released the first beta of the upcoming Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" milestone. Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 is set to deliver initial Windows support, support for Palm webOS and other mobile devices, new test profiles, image quality comparison support, and many other new features that are detailed in this article.
For those of you attending the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) next month in Los Angeles, Matthew Tippett and I will be hosting a talk. This talk is entitled "5 Stages of Benchmark Loss: PTS and You" and, of course, covers the Phoronix Test Suite software and its capabilities and more for autonomously testing Linux and other operating systems.
While I am technically away on a sabbatical that is focused on providing support for Microsoft Windows in the Phoronix Test Suite, which will make PTS the first full-featured, open-source testing framework that is compatible with Linux / BSD / OpenSolaris / OS X / Windows operating systems and its numerous test profiles, work on a new benchmark has also commenced.
Nearly two months ago I showed off the Phoronix Test Suite running on Windows 7 and later confirmed that the first bits of Windows compatibility within this leading open-source testing software would arrive with Phoronix Test Suite 2.4. The Windows 7 support is just the latest that is coming after the Linux, OpenSolaris, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD operating systems are already well supported.
Last week there was the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Alpha 2 and that was the last planned development release of "Lenvik" for 2009, but this evening a third alpha release has been made available. Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.0 Alpha 3 doesn't bring anything too exciting for end-users over the second alpha release, but most of the changes are internal to the pts-core benchmarking engine. This third alpha release is being put out in preparation for a big Windows push that will be announced tomorrow and then happen over the coming weeks.
Last week we rolled out Phoromatic Tracker as the public interface to our test farm and with the Phoromatic Tracker launch we made it possible for other projects and companies to build their own performance/regression trackers using our Phoromatic software in conjunction with the Phoronix Test Suite. Our initial reference implementation of Phoromatic Tracker was in the form of our kernel tracker that autonomously benchmarks the latest Linux 2.6 kernel code on a daily basis with about 50 benchmarks.
While the plan was to release PTS Desktop Live 2009.4, the quarterly update to our Linux-based benchmarking operating system from a Live DVD/USB environment, shortly after the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2, this has not happened and it is not going to happen. I have decided not to make the release public of PTS Desktop Live 2009.4 (formerly codenamed "Loderhof"). I am just too bottlenecked at the moment and therefore cannot be certain that this OS update will far exceed my own personal goals and expectations for this release. Instead, these efforts will be diverted to ensuring a rock-solid release of PTS Desktop Live 2010.1, which is codenamed Anzhofen.
As of this morning the second alpha release for Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" is available for PC benchmarking and testing. Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 Alpha 2 brings many changes, including but not limited to, GTK GUI improvements, test result merging improvements, new command options (analyze-image-delta and analyze-linear-tracker), support for soon-to-be-announced Phoromatic features, and many enhancements to bilde_renderer (our image rendering library that's used for generating the JPG/PNG/SVG/SWF graphs) and in particularly vastly improving the SVG renderer back-end.
When shopping online this holiday season, don't forget to use our shopping links (always available from the home-page) for NewEgg and Amazon. Additionally, if you want to get yourself something, consider a Phoronix Premium subscription for yourself that will let you view Phoronix and the Phoronix Forums without any advertisements, are able to view multi-page articles on a single page, and this is also a gift to us (or you can also make a tip/donation in being able to better support all of our Linux hardware efforts (we have some exciting announcements planned for this week!).
Back in October we made it possible to autonomously find performance regressions in a project's code-base by leveraging the Phoronix Test Suite atop Git's bisect command. A new Phoronix Test Suite module was created that would automatically run a binary search on a defined code-base and keep running the specified test(s) on each revision and then traverse to the next using Git bisect until the lone commit causing the defined regression was located. In that article we demonstrated this module by finding the commit that caused a serious performance drop for EXT4 by default in the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. While this feature is great for finding a regression that occurred at some point in the past, with the Phoronix Test Suite you can find regressions nearly in real-time now that Phoromatic is available to the public.
To those of you reading Phoronix that are locating in Japan or Korea, we have a new survey we kindly ask that you take. IDG TechNetwork, which handles the graphics advertising responsibilities for Phoronix.com, is in the process of ramping up their efforts in Japan and Korea. This is a very short survey and can be found on this web-page. The survey is to just collect some statistics about the Phoronix reading population in Korea/Japan so that IDG will be able to better fit some advertising campaigns towards your interests. Thanks for participating.
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This week at Phoronix we did our usual roundabout with X.Org / Linux graphics news coverage along with sharing new work on our benchmarking software, and we also broke the news that Samsung is sponsoring the development of Enlightenment. Another popular story was that Fedora 13 may support system rollbacks via Btrfs.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the creation of Phorogit.com. Phorogit is the Git repository that is sponsored by Phoronix Media to house the development of a few free software projects.
It was just a week ago that we confirmed the Phoronix Test Suite is being ported to Windows, then on Monday delivered Phoronix Test Suite 2.2, and a day after that announced a major advancement for Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 "Lenvik" and that was image quality comparison and analysis support to take our benchmarking software to the next level. Today we are continuing on this roll by announcing the Phoronix Test Suite is coming to mobile phones! To assist those in optimizing their software on mobile phones and devices for not only the pure performance but also matters like monitoring the battery power consumption, the Phoronix Test Suite has made the jump into the mobile space.
Some of the notable news items we covered this week at Phoronix included a new GRUB 2.0 release, Mesa / Gallium3D coming to Android netbooks, exclusive word from a former Namesys employee that Reiser4 may go after mainline Linux inclusion in 2010, GNOME 3.0 being officially delayed to September, and a virtual Gallium3D driver coming for VMware.
If you haven't already, head on over to this page to take the 2009 Linux Graphics Survey. This annual survey gives X.Org and driver developers -- along with distribution vendors and other interested users -- a better idea of the graphics hardware in use, leading interests by end-users, driver information, and other important data. This brief survey ends at the end of the month so be sure to complete it before there's no more time.
As was eluded to last week, the Phoronix Test Suite will be supported under Microsoft Windows operating systems in the very near future. Version 2.2 "Bardu" of the Phoronix Test Suite is arriving next week, but we will now confirm that version 2.4 will contain initial support for Windows 7 (Windows 7 will be our only focus, but earlier versions such as XP and Vista should work too). Phoronix Test Suite 2.4 is codenamed "Lenvik" (with regards to the Phoronix Test Suite "Rostock" screenshots showed off last week, that is another version of PTS being worked on) and will be released in the first quarter of 2010.
Last week we finally went into a public beta for Phoromatic, our server software that allows individuals and organizations to quickly and easily build their own benchmarking test farm(s), and also shared that Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 "Bardu" was on track for being released this month. Today it is now officially confirmed that Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 will be released next Tuesday, the 17th of November.
Last week we launched the third annual Linux Graphics Survey to poll Linux users about the graphics hardware and drivers they use, their interests as it pertains to Linux graphics with Mesa / Gallium3D / X.Org, and other questions to help both developers and end-users. This survey is running through the end of the month so there is still time to submit your answers.
...but what about two pictures?
Running Phoronix.com and developing the Phoronix Test Suite software consumes much time and is an enormous undertaking. You can support our Linux efforts already by joining Phoronix Premium, supporting our advertisers, making a donation, or using our Amazon.com affiliate link when shopping. For those that do not use Amazon for any online shopping (technology related or not), we have now partnered up with NewEgg and their affiliate program.
It was just last week that Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 entered beta, but now the second beta of "Bardu" is ready and with the changes continuing to roll in for our multi-platform benchmarking / testing software. The official change-log for Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Beta 2 is listed below, but some of the highlights include support for logging the test's installation script within the results file, more updates to the PTS module architecture, new test suites, various bug fixes in pts-core and Phodevi, and official support for the Phoromatic module.
This week at Phoronix most of our articles and news postings were about... you guessed it! X.Org and Linux graphics, to no surprise. However, outside of this niche of ours, Ubuntu 9.10 was released so we did publish some comparative Ubuntu benchmarks from an old ThinkPad. We also launched the first Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 beta on Tuesday, which carries a horde of new features and improvements for all the Linux benchmarking junkies. We also reported on the possibility of Windows 7 benchmarking with our flagship open-source testing software along with the first details on PTS Desktop Live 2009.4, our Linux-based, performance-oriented, benchmarking OS.
With Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 now in beta and this update offering a nice set of features with the official release landing in late November or December (chances are the third week of November), it's time to start talking about the PTS Desktop Live update. PTS Desktop Live, the Linux distribution that we designed to carry out automated Linux benchmarking from a LiveDVD environment that launched in conjunction with Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, will receive its first update shortly.
One of the most common questions that gets brought up with regard to the Phoronix Test Suite is whether support for Microsoft Windows will ultimately come to our open-source benchmarking platform. After all, even on Windows there really is no public software readily available (as far as we know) that is quite like what we have designed with an extensible test profile architecture/framework, support for uploading of any tests to a central repository (Phoronix Global), full automation of the testing process, remote test management (Phoromatic), etc. In future releases there will be several more unique capabilities that further distinguish the Phoronix Test Suite. The short answer is that Windows support for the Phoronix Test Suite could come.
Our news coverage this week at Phoronix started out by reporting on the X Server 1.7.1 RC2 release, which ended up going gold on Friday after a few days of testing. This X.Org work was followed by the first X Server 1.8 snapshot, and an October 2010 release target for X.Org 7.6.
531 Phoronix news articles published on Phoronix.