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Benchmark Results: Java And Moonlight

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: Running The Linux Circuit

GUIMark Java

Firefox wouldn't run the GUIMark Java 5 Swing test. It appeared to begin loading the test, but after more than 20 minutes, no progress was made.

Opera beats Google Chrome in this benchmark, though by a very minor fraction of a frame. Both browsers perform well in this test and the placing remains the same from our Windows 7 results, with the Ubuntu scores just slightly lower.

Encog Silverlight Benchmark

Since there is no Microsoft Silverlight for Linux, we are actually testing the performance of Novell's Moonlight, an open source project that makes use of Silverlight on Unix-like systems. Unfortunately, a cross-browser comparison isn't possible because Mozilla Firefox is the only Web browser to have a Moonlight plug-in.

The current version of Moonlight is actually a few versions of Silverlight behind as well. What the following chart shows is the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight running on Windows 7 versus the the open source implementation of an older version of Silverlight running on Ubuntu 10.04. While that introduces a number of variables, this is also the only way it works right now. The Firefox result on Ubuntu reflects the most up-to-date performance for Silverlight applications running on Linux. We include this benchmark not so much as a performance measurement, but as a litmus test of where we are on the Silverlight front in Linux today. This result obviously will not count in Mozilla's favor in our final results.

In the Encog Silverlight Benchmark, lower is better, and Firefox with Moonlight on Ubuntu earns nearly a full point less than Firefox with Silverlight on Windows.

All of the browsers running in Windows 7 are within less than a half point from each other. Until I can find a real-world killer app for Silverlight 2.x (that works on Linux) to actually demonstrate an improvement, there are just too many factors going on here to include this result in the Windows versus Linux side of the conclusion.

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