Linux benchmarks

As the Linux operating system continues to grow in size and in power, it has become a significant enterprise play. Linux finds strong support not only in the user/developer community, but in many commercial vendors' portfolios. IBM, HP, Sun, and many other companies have strong programs building hardware and software for Linux. If you are working with Linux systems or wish to compare them both to other Linux systems and to other platforms (operating systems), there are several benchmarks that you may wish to consider trying.

  • Version 2.0 of Byte Magazine's BYTEmark benchmark has been ported to Linux. At

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  • http://www.tux.org/˜mayer/linux/bmark.html you will find the software to download, and some results reported by previous testers. This benchmark will give you CPU, FPU, and RAM performance.
  • The LLCbench test (for Low-Level Characterization) has several routines. In the benchmark portfolio you will find MPBench for measures messaging performance, CacheBench for L1/L2 and main memory bandwidth tests, and BLASBench for floating point measurements testing cache and main memory.
  • There are several I/O benchmarks you may wish to try. One site that lists some of these benchmarks is http://www.acnc.com/benchmarks.html, which is a RAID vendor's compilation of many of the most common operating systems.
  • The HPL benchmark tests distributed systems, and emulates the LinPack benchmark.

A long general listing of Linux benchmarks may be found at the Linux Benchmark Suite Homepage. Keep in mind that many of these benchmarks run equally well on other versions of Unix as well.

Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.

This was first published in December 2002

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