Ubuntu 12.10 Performance Comparison : 64-bit vs 32-bit

It has been known that the X86 64bit architecture outperform 32bit architecture. However, little is known whether 64-bit Ubuntu installation outperforms its 32-bit counterpart significantly as the latter is marked as recommended download from Ubuntu website.

Luckily [Phoronix] had answered these questions for us. In its latest article, [Phoronix] compares the performance between 64-bit Ubuntu installation and 32-bit Ubuntu installation on a Intel Core i5 2520 (4 cores) with 4GB RAM.

Audio File Encoding Performance (less is better)

Server Workload Performance (more is better)

The result concludes that Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit performs better on overall compared to 32-bit, especially on video/audio encoding/decoding tasks. Ubuntu 12.10 also performs better with server workloads.

My thoughts:
Although Canonical still marks Ubuntu 12.10 32-bit as the recommended download. It seems that 64-bit installation offers greater performance even without the advantage of having greater memory. Some might argue that PAE still allows 32-bit Ubuntu to access more than 4GB RAM, PAE access on 32-bit is still significantly slower when compared to 64-bit memory access. Personally, I use Ubuntu 64bit for my development machine as all of my hardware has opensource drivers.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin Latest New Features

The latest Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is going to be released in (28 April 2012), that is less than a week! The latest features of Precise Pangolin are:

1. Linux Kernel
Ubuntu 12.04 will use a kernel based on the 3.2.12 upstream Linux kernel, which include a patch that makes Linux powered laptop consumes more efficiently

2. HUD – Intelligent search feature in Ubuntu 12.04
Stands for Heads-up Display, HUD can be used to search for items in the menu bar in most applications. For example, if you are looking for a particular menu (or functionality) in GIMP, but can’t quite recall its position, you can use HUD to search it. Pictured here here is an attempt to search for ‘Blur’ filter for GIMP.

Ubuntu HUD

Currently HUD only works with application that supported Global menu, which means you can’t use it in LibreOffice.

3. Rhythmbox replaced Bansee as the default multimedia player
A decision came during the last Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS). This move is connected to the new community decision to remove Mono and any application that depends on it from the default installation.

Another casualty is Tomboy note-taking application and gbrainy (game) which also depends on Monoi

**personally, I find depending on Mono application could be problematic, moreover those applications aren’t taking advantage of the ‘portability’ of the .NET platforms (It can’t be used on Microsoft Windows either, not without extensive hacking). So what’s the use of including Mono application on Ubuntu, except for bloating distros?

4. Global Privacy Settings
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS features “Privacy” option in the System Settings screen. The new Privacy Menu gives users the option of turning off History recording for users activities with a click of a menu.

Privacy 1

Privacy 2

Users may also disable activity recording for a specific group of applications (Instant Messaging, Web browsing, Office Documents, Emails and Multimedia), note that this option *MAY* only work on application that comes with Ubuntu default-installation.

5. Ubuntu *.ISO installer will exceed CD-ROM size
CD-ROM was used as installers on computer platform since 1994, back then the 650MB storage was larger than the average hdd capacity of around 320MB-500MB. The practice of releasing CD-sized ISO have since followed Linux distro for years, well after DVD drive and DVD-writers have become common.

Starting with Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04 LTS), Ubuntu *.iso sizes will not fit CD-ROM anymore. it’s ISO size is estimated to be around 750MB to 800MB. Users may burn the ISO on DVD or use utilities such as UNetBootin to create bootable USB Drive.

My Thoughts
I think Ubuntu is going strong on this release with vast improvements on the usability, especially on the aspect of the UI user-friendliness to those who are new to GNU/Linux. However, I still thinks that Unity UI (and to the extend, the Ubuntu Software Center) is VERY SLOW even when running on a modern system as it took about 10 seconds to load Ubuntu Software Center.

Frankly, I think Ubuntu and the general GNU/Linux desktop community should improve the perceived latency of its UI first in order to persuade people to use open source operating system.

Source:

Goodbye 2.6.x – A downloadable archive of all Linux 2.6.x kernel releases

Linus Torvalds has announced Linux kernel 3.0-rc1, this marks the end of 2.6.x series line which has 40 releases since late 2003.

To mark this event, Con Kolivas has made a tarball archive (163MB) of all 2.6.x releases available for download. The archive uses lrzip compression which can be installed from the standard Ubuntu apt-get repository.

Note that the size of of the archive after decompression would reach 10.3 GB!

Happy downloading, and hello Linux 3.0!

Book Giveaway: Linux Module Programming Guide

Free !

Listen up!

UbuntuGeek is giving away the “Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide” e-book for free! The book contains guides and tutorial on how to write loadable Linux kernel module and drivers.

According to its official description:

“An excellent guide for anyone wishing to get started on kernel module programming. The author takes a hands-on approach starting with writing a small “hello, world” program, and quickly moves from there. Far from a boring text on programming, Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide has a lively style that entertains while it educates”

Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide

Download now: Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide (PDF)

Ubuntu 10.04 fix for USB Drive not mounting on pc with Floppy Drive

Here’s a quick fix for an Ubuntu 10.04 bug that prevents USB Drive from mounting on a PC with Floppy drive (wow, these things still exist?)

The solution is to remove the floppy drive module from linux kernel and you will be able to mount usb drive.
sudo modprobe -r floppy

Should you ever need the module again, you can issue
sudo modprobe floppy
to load the module back (alongside with the annoying bug).

Hope this will help!

p/s: To be fair, my office Dell Optiplex machine (with Pentium 4 HT 2.80GHz, 2005 issue) still has those floppy drives, although I haven’t use them ever since they assigned it to me (back in 2008).

Linus Torvarlds starts blogging

The title said it all. Linus Torvalds, the man behind the Linux kernel finally started his own blog at http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com.

There’s nothing much in there as the blog is still…. well new, but one of the quote from the blog that caught my attention was

Why? Because I’ve always noticed that my own projects get so much better if others are involved, even if it’s just as a user…

Visit Linus’ Blog

Subscribed to Linux Hater’s Blog : Funny and hillarious blog

After discovering Linux Hater’s blog from Google Reader and Technorati, I decided to subscribe it as it was a funny and hillarious blog. It make fun of people who are using Linux for the wrong reasons (such as trying to act cool) and how some things in Linux are not better than any other operating system.

Linux Tux Logo

Other than that, it contains criticism of the Linux community in general, mainly directed towards fanboys and developers, although one can easily surmise that the author himself is a Linux user who has experience in writing applications, and presumably using a Debian-derived Linux distro.

Well I might be wrong, but Linux Haters Blog is a must read if you are a Linux user yourself because it offer insights of the overall of how GNU/Linux operating system compare to other OS and what would make Linux a better OS

Putting Colors to GRUB Bootloader menu

Some distro like Ubuntu installs a plain white on black color scheme of GRUB on your computer. Nothing wrong with it, only it look like as if the computer is running with a monochrome monitor. Rest assured, there are ways you can do to spruce up your GRUB menu

Grub Ubuntu mypapit.net

Add colors to GRUB menu
The easiest way is to add colors to the plain vanilla grub menu. First edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst using your favorite editor.

Then, uncomment the line
# color cyan/blue white/blue

GRUB Color Explanation
cyan/blue = color of the GRUB menu
whte/blue = color when a particular menu item is highlighted

It follows this format : foreground/background … cyan/blue

Finally, save the file and reboot. You shall see your new colorize GRUB menu. Other color combination you might want to try are :

# black
# blue
# green
# cyan
# red
# magenta
# brown
# light-gray

Foreground color :
# dark-gray
# light-blue
# light-green
# light-cyan
# light-red
# light-magenta
# yellow
# white

GRUB boot menu similar to OpenSUSE and Linspire
Alternatively you can use themeable GRUB boot menu similar to those of OpenSUSE and Linspire bootloader. To do this you need to install gfxboot and grub-gfxboot package.

Follow the instruction from ubuntuforums.org, Howto : GfxBoot ( Grub menu like suse )