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Linux macro benchmark tool stabilizes

Jun 6, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

A software tool aimed at helping users administer macro benchmarks like kernel compile time tests has achieved its first stable release. Version 1.0 of the Phoronix test suite can download and compile various well-known open source packages, or users' own software, generating detailed XML/HTML reports.

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Phoronix aims to help hobbyists, hardware vendors, and software vendors measure system performance, the project says. A command-line tool written partly in the PHP5 scripting language, it is available as source code, or in a deb package. It depends on libt1-5, php5-common, php5-gd, php5-cli, and libgd2-xpm. The software is released under the GPLv3, although not all available tests use that license. Commercial support for the tools is available from Phoronix Media.

The phoronix-test-suite is extensible, meaning that users can write test profiles for their own applications, following a well-documented XML schema. Alternatively, they can use the framework with dozens of included tests, most aimed at measuring how long applications like apache, mplayer, and the Linux kernel take to compile.

Phoronix test suite report
(Click to enlarge)

Once tests have been run, the software generates a detailed report in XML format. The report can be viewed in a web browser. Results from multiple iterations are graphed. Additionally, a “PTS Global” online component lets users share and compare results online.

Additional touted features include:

  • 57 test profiles
  • 23 test suites
  • Automatic detection of installed hardware and software
  • Support for housing multiple tests within a test suite
  • Automatic installation of tests
  • Support for running tests in batch mode
  • Unified system (thermal, fan speed, voltage) monitoring while tests are running
  • Automatic control of ambient services such as power management and screensaver
  • Side-by-side results comparison viewer
  • Integrated visual graphing support of test results
  • Online results repository via PTS Global
  • Test profiles compatible across Linux distributions, architectures

Michael Larabel, project founder and lead developer, stated, “The Suite [provides] a platform for conducting tests in an autonomous, reproducible, and standardized environment.”

Andrew Scholfield, contributing developer, stated, “The Suite makes it easy to create complex testing configurations and still have the results presented in a readable and understandable fashion.”

A biologist by trade, Scholfield adds, “Even a relatively simple molecular dynamics simulation can take a whole day of CPU time to only produce a couple nanoseconds of the simulation. The Phoronix Test Suite should be able to offer insight into what machine configurations perform the best at different tasks.”

Carla Schroder, author of the Linux Cookbook and Linux Networking Cookbook, stated, “[The Suite] has an especially interesting and useful feature that I believe is unique: a public repository for sharing and comparing test results, and replicating tests performed by other users.”


The Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 can be downloaded at here. The next major release is planned for the fourth quarter. Commercial support for the suite is available from Larabel's venture, Phoronix Media.

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