August 14, 2009

Phoronix Releases PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 - Benchmarking Live-DVD

Good news for all of you benchmarking junkies out there. Phoronix has recently released PTS Desktop Live 2009.3, a live-DVD version of the Phoronix Test Suite for use in benchmarking Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OSX systems. Along with the live-DVD, they have also announced version 2.0 of the Phoronix Test Suite. A link to the changelog is here.

To provide a little history about the Phoronix testing suite, Phoronix has been on the forefront of Linux benchmarking for several years. The original intent of the testing suite was to provide a uniform set of benchmarking tools for the Linux/BSD/OpenSolaris/OSX crowd, as the tools that were previously available, such as glxgears, were not as informative as Phoronix would have liked. Since no tools existed, they decided to make their own internal tools in 2004. Eventually they realized that the public had the same needs, so they decided to release a public version of the testing suite, as well. Their initial public release (0.2.0) of the Phoronix testing suite was released on April 2, 2008, and they have been providing a steady stream of updates to the testing suite since then. I had used early versions of this testing suite, and I had found it a little clunky and difficult to manage on an installed Linux system, so this live-DVD provides a real landmark in the usability of these benchmarking tools. Also, since every system will be running the live DVD, it provides a certain measure of standardization to the testing process, as the Live DVD makes the test environment standardized among different systems.

System Requirements of the PTS Live DVD are:


- Intel / AMD x86_64 CPU
- 2GB+ of RAM Recommended
- Internet Connection Recommended
- ATI, NVIDIA, or Intel Graphics

A link to the download is here. Hosting is being provided by Softpedia at the moment. The MD5 is 93a7a9cc202b146162c211d41bbeaa99.

Phoronix is not resting on its laurels, either. They are planning on releasing the Phoronix Certification & Qualification Suite (PCQS), a stress test for use in validating system hardware on Linux system, sometimes later this year. It will be another useful tool for Linux system administrators.

Another tool that is in beta testing with Phoronix is Phoromatic, a remote management tool for the Phoronix Testing Suite. Starting with version 2.0 of the Phoronix Testing Suite, remote management will be available through an account on (or via a LAN version of the phoromatic software). No news on the intergration with the live DVD, but I'm thinking there is a good chance it will be able to do that, too. The following description comes directly from the site:

Phoromatic is a remote management system for the Phoronix Test Suite. Phoromatic allows the automatic (hence the name Phoromatic) scheduling of tests, remote installation of new tests, and the management of multiple test systems all through an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface. Tests can be scheduled to automatically run on a routine basis across multiple test systems. The test results are then available from this central, secure location.

Phoromatic is able to communicate with any system running Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 or newer whether it be running Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, or OpenSolaris. Creating a single-user account at is free, easy, and can then connect to one or even dozens of test systems running the Phoronix Test Suite. Phoromatic can also be installed on a LAN / intranet for professional support customers of the Phoronix Test Suite.



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