Linux I/O Optimizations, AMD Improvements, NVIDIA GBM Excited Linux Users Last Month | #linux | #linuxsecurity


It was an exciting October even amid the ongoing pandemic as at least Linux/open-source enthusiasts were able to enjoy the Ubuntu 21.10 debut, ongoing Linux I/O optimizations many of which are now coming to mainline in 5.16, numerous AMD driver enhancements, NVIDIA’s proprietary driver stack finally introducing GBM support, X.Org Server 21.1 released, and much more.

Below is a look at the most popular content on Phoronix during the month of October. If enjoying the daily, original content please consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium. You can also follow our content via Facebook and Twitter.

The most popular Linux news for October included:

Axboe Achieves 8M IOPS Per-Core With Newest Linux Optimization Patches
It was just last week that Linux optimizations were leading to possible 6M IOPS per core and then at the start of this week new patches pushed Linux past 7M IOPS per-core with an ideal hardware configuration as well. In ending out the week, 8M IOPS has been reached!

Linux 5.15-rc5 x86 Changes Aim To Fix “Yet Another Hardware Trainwreck”
Sent in this morning were an urgent set of x86 updates for the Linux 5.15-rc5 kernel due out later today.

Sony Has Begun Accelerating Their Contributions To Open-Source / Linux
At last week’s Linux Foundation Open-Source Summit / Embedded Linux Conference there was a Sony presentation about their history with open-source/Linux and how since last year they have been “accelerating” their open-source contributions.

PinePhone Pro Announced As New Linux Smartphone
The PinePhone Pro is being announced this morning as the organization’s new smartphone building upon the successes and experience of the original PinePhone Linux smartphone.

NVIDIA 495 Linux Beta Driver Released With GBM Support
NVIDIA 495.29.05 is out today as the first public Linux driver in the 495 series.

Linux To No Longer Enable AMD SME Usage By Default Due To Problems With Some Hardware
Being sent in as a fix for the Linux 5.15 kernel this morning and to be back-ported to existing stable series is a behavior change that the Linux kernel will no longer use AMD Secure Memory Encryption (SME) by default on supported hardware but rather making it now opt-in due to shortcomings of some platforms.

AMD Publishes Open-Source “GPUFORT” As Newest Effort To Help Transition Away From CUDA
I’ve just been informed by AMD that they have now made their code public to a new project called GPUFORT. This new GPUFORT project will live under the Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) umbrella and is their latest endeavor in helping developers with large CUDA code-bases transition away from NVIDIA’s closed ecosystem.

It Appears FUTEX2 Will Land For Linux 5.16
Barring any last minute reservations it appears the initial “FUTEX2” work that is of much interest to Linux gamers enjoying Steam Play / Proton will find that kernel functionality in Linux 5.16.

IBM Proposing A CPU Namespace For The Linux Kernel
IBM engineer Pratik Sampat published an early prototype of a CPU namespace interface for the Linux kernel. This CPU namespace was devised to address coherency issues with current means of viewing available CPU resources as well as addressing possible security issues stemming from understanding resource access/positioning on the system.

Ubuntu 21.10 Released With GNOME 40 Desktop, Many Underlying Improvements
Ubuntu 21.10 “Impish Indri” is now officially available as the latest six-month update to Ubuntu Linux and also serving as the last release prior to the next long-term support cycle, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

An Early Look At The GCC 12 Compiler Performance On AMD Zen 3
GCC 12 isn’t seeing its stable release until around March~April as usual, but with feature development slowly wrapping up as approaching the next stage of development next month to focus on fixes, recently I wrapped up some preliminary benchmarks for how GCC 12.0 is currently performing against GCC 11.2 on an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Zen 3) system.

Linux 5.16 Will Be A Great Christmas Gift For Open-Source Fans With Many New Features
While Linux 5.15 isn’t even making its debut for another week or two, there is already a lot to look forward to when it comes to Linux 5.16. Here is a look at some of the new features expected for the 5.16 cycle.

Intel Contributes AVX-512 Optimizations To Numpy, Yields Massive Speedups
Intel has contributed AVX-512 optimizations to upstream Numpy. For those using Numpy as this leading Python library for numerical computing, newer Intel CPUs with AVX-512 capabilities can enjoy major speed-ups in the range of 14~32x faster.

SiFive Has A New RISC-V Core To Improve Performance By 50%, Outperform Cortex-A78
SiFive just shared word that at today’s Linley Conference they teased their Performance P550 successor that will “set a new standard for the highest efficiency RISC-V processor available.”

Trying Out Ubuntu’s New Flutter+Curtin-Powered Desktop Installer Was Disappointing
An effort going on for a while at Canonical has been to develop a new desktop installer for Ubuntu. With the recent Ubuntu 21.10 release they are still using their classic Ubiquity installer by default but have published a new preview build of Ubuntu 21.10 with their new desktop installer option. Here is a look at Ubuntu’s forthcoming new installer.

NVIDIA 495.44 Linux Driver Released With GBM Support
Following the NVIDIA 495 beta Linux driver from earlier this month, NVIDIA 495.44 is out today for Linux users as the stable release.

OpenBSD 7.0 Released With RISC-V 64-bit Port, Better Apple Silicon Support
Not only is Ubuntu 21.10 releasing today but over on the BSD side of the table is the debut this morning of OpenBSD 7.0.

System76 Laptops To See Some Useful Improvements With Linux 5.16
Patches queued this week into the platform-drivers-x86 “for-next” branch ahead of the Linux 5.16 merge window will provide some useful improvements to System76 laptop owners.

Asahi Linux On The Apple M1: “Usable As A Basic Linux Desktop” Sans GPU Acceleration
The Asahi Linux project that has been working nearly the past year on bringing up Apple M1 support under Linux has issued their September 2021 porting and reverse engineering report.

Wine 6.20 Released With More Modules Switching To The PE Format
Wine 6.20 was released today as the latest bi-weekly development release of this open-source software for enjoying Windows games and applications on Linux and other platforms.

And the most popular featured articles / Linux hardware reviews:

Intel Core i9 11900K: Five Linux Distros Show Sizable Lead Over Windows 11
Now that Windows 11 has been out as stable and the initial round of updates coming out, I’ve been running fresh Windows 11 vs. Linux benchmarks for seeing how Microsoft’s latest operating system release compares to the fresh batch of Linux distributions. First up is the fresh look at the Windows 11 vs. Linux performance on an Intel Core i9 11900K Rocket Lake system.

Ubuntu 21.10 Radeon Gaming With KDE Plasma vs. GNOME Shell + Wayland vs. X.Org
With last week’s release of Ubuntu 21.10, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Linux gaming performance on this new release while testing both the GNOME Shell 40 default desktop to that of its KDE Plasma 5.22 based option. Both the X.Org and Wayland sessions for KDE and GNOME were benchmarked for seeing how the Linux gaming performance compares with the Radeon open-source GPU driver stack.

Ubuntu 19.10 To 21.10: AMD Zen 2 + Radeon Performance On Linux Over Two Years
With Ubuntu 21.10 due for release this week I’ve been running various Ubuntu Linux performance comparisons across a variety of hardware and overall this new release is looking to be in great shape. One of the tests I recently carried out for curiosity is seeing how the AMD Zen 2 performance has evolved now over the past two years on Linux going from Ubuntu 19.10 to Ubuntu 21.10.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance
Today AMD is officially launching the Radeon RX 6600 graphics card as a trimmed down model from the Radeon RX 6600 XT that launched back in August. This new (non-XT) model has a suggested price of $329 USD and here is a look at how well this RDNA2 graphics card is performing under Linux.

The “What If” Performance Cost To Kernel Page Table Isolation On AMD CPUs
Made public this week by CPU security researchers at Graz University of Technology and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security was the research paper published “AMD Prefetch Attacks through Power and Time”. The paper points to AMD CPUs suffering from a side-channel leakage vulnerability through timing and power variations of the PREFETCH instruction. The paper argues that AMD CPUs should activate stronger page table isolation by default. AMD has now published their security response where they are not recommending any mitigation changes at this time. But what if Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI/PTI) proves necessary for AMD CPUs? Here are some initial benchmarks showing what that performance impact could look like.

Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance Rising Even Higher With Newest Open-Source Driver
Just one week ago was the public launch of the Radeon RX 6600 as the newest offering in the RDNA2 GPU line-up. While in our Radeon RX 6600 Linux review the performance was good on AMD’s well regarded open-source driver stack and standing ground against the likes of the GeForce RTX 3060 with NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver, it turns out the RX 6600 Linux performance can be even better already. Here are benchmarks of the Radeon RX 6600 on Linux across six different driver configurations.

Radeon Software 21.30 PRO vs. Mesa 21.3-devel + Linux 5.15 Gaming Performance
For those wondering how AMD’s latest-generation Radeon RX 6000 series is competing now between the Linux driver options of AMD’s official Radeon Software for Linux 21.30 “PRO” driver stack and the latest upstream, fully open-source driver components from Mesa and the mainline Linux kernel, here is a fresh comparison.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX / ASUS ROG Strix G15 Is A Nicer Experience On Ubuntu 21.10
Earlier this week I posted benchmarks showing how Intel Tiger Lake performance has improved nicely for Ubuntu 21.10 compared to Ubuntu 21.04. Of course, readers immediately wondered whether this also applied on the AMD laptop side… So here are some tests using an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with the ASUS ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage laptop under Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and then also looking at running Linux 5.15 + Mesa 21.3-devel Git for an even more bleeding edge experience.

Intel Tiger Lake Performance Across Five Autumn 2021 Linux Distributions
Earlier this month were benchmarks looking at how Intel Tiger Lake performance has improved from Ubuntu 21.04 to Ubuntu 21.10, but how does Canonical’s latest Linux offering compete with other autumn 2021 distributions? In this article from the Dell XPS Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake notebook are benchmarks of Ubuntu 21.10 going up against Arch Linux, Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 35, and openSUSE Tumbleweed for getting an idea how the performance compares with this latest-generation Intel EVO notebook.

9-Way H2’2021 Linux OS Performance Comparison On Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake
While we recently looked at autumn 2021 Linux distributions on Intel Tiger Lake for seeing how these various latest distributions are competing on client platforms, in today’s article is a look at how well the latest Linux distributions perform when using the latest-generation Intel Xeon Scalable 3rd Gen “Ice Lake” server hardware with two Xeon Platinum 8380 processors. AlmaLinux, Arch Linux, CentOS Stream, Clear Linux, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu were battling it out on this Intel reference server.





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