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Test System Specs And Methodology

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed
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We based the qualitative side of our review on the overall end-user experience with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS running on five separate test systems: a 64-bit desktop, a 32-bit desktop, a notebook, a netbook, and a USB flash drive. For the quantifiable half, we put the 10.04 LTS desktop system through an updated set of OS benchmarks versus the previous LTS release, 8.04 “Hardy Heron.”

64-bit Desktop Test System Specs

Operating System 1

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (64-bit)

Operating System 2

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Desktop Edition (64-bit)

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @ 2.0 GHz (dual-core)

Motherboard

Biostar NF61S-M2 TE

Memory

4GB DDR2 @ 800MHz (2 x 2GB)

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (896MB GDDR3), PCIe 1.0

Storage

Western Digital WD2500KS 250GB SATA 3 Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache

Optical

Asus DVD-RW 1814-BLT-BULK-BG

Power Supply

Corsair TX750W (750W max)


32-bit Desktop Test System Specs

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit)

Processor

Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.0 GHz

Motherboard

Biostar P4M80-M4

Memory

768MB DDR-333

Graphics

Asus V8170 GeForce MX440 (128MB, AGP)

Storage

Western Digital Caviar WD400, 40GB EIDE, 7,200 RPM

Optical 1

Hitachi-LG DVD GDR-8163B

Optical 2

Hitachi-LG CD-RW GCE-8483B

Power Supply

Enlight HPC-300-101 (300W Max)


Notebook Test System Specs

Model

HP Pavilion dv6700

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit)

Processor

AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 @ 2.0 GHz (dual-core)

Memory

2GB DDR2-667

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce Go 7150M 128MB (shared)

Storage

Western Digital Scorpio WD2500, 250GB SATA, 5,400 RPM

Optical

DVD+/-RW w/ LightScribe


Netbook Test System Specs

Model

Dell Inspiron Mini 10v

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Netbook Edition

Processor

Intel Atom N270 @ 1.6 GHz

Memory

1GB DDR2-533

Graphics

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950

Storage

120GB 2.5-inch 5,400 RPM SATA HDD


USB Test System Specs

Model

Kingston DataTraveler 128GB

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS  Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit) – Live, Persistent

Storage

8GB Total, 4GB EXT2 File System for Persistence


Our USB thumb drive in the file copy tests is a 1GB Kingston DataTraveler 2.0. We also used a 4GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro for moving essential benchmarking files to the test machines.

Methodology

Whenever we rely on a stopwatch to get time trial results, we run the test for more iterations than when our results are measured by the benchmark. Because differences are amplified on a smaller time scale, we run additional iterations for tests that take less time to complete. 

We use clean and updated installations. This means that we do a full install (not upgrade) of the operating systems to the hard drive. While we use virtual machines (VMs) to capture a lot of our screen shots and to quickly reference features, no testing is done on a VM.

We like to run our operating system benchmarks using the default settings of each OS. This means that we leave preference settings (other than disabling screensaver/power management) the way they are configured immediately after a clean installation. However, we had to make some exceptions on this article. For Lucid, the Hardware Drivers utility in the System/Administration menu automatically detected the Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 and installed Nvidia driver version 195.36.15, the latest available for that OS. The Hardy test system did not detect the video card at all. This left us with no choice but to manually install the latest Nvidia drivers in order for Hardy to recognize our card. The driver version used on Hardy is slightly newer than the version used for Lucid testing (195.36.24). We had to break even further from defaults in our graphics-heavy benchmarks in the area of desktop effects due to the use of a newer Nvidia driver on the older system. See our UNiGiNE Heaven benchmarks for a full rundown of the situation.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    ksa-_-jed , May 26, 2010 11:12 AM
    beriguuMy Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard and mouse didn't work with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop x64 on VMWare Workstation 7.01. It works in the beginning with text screen, but once it goes to GUI screen keyboard function is lost. ;_;

    Don't blame the OS blame Logitech because the don't support Linux with good drivers
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2010 6:40 AM
    My Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard and mouse didn't work with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop x64 on VMWare Workstation 7.01. It works in the beginning with text screen, but once it goes to GUI screen keyboard function is lost. ;_;
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , May 26, 2010 6:40 AM
    There's lots of talk on the Phoronix forums about how Ubuntu + nVidia binaries don't play nicely, while some other distros don't have that problem. This was reflected in an Ubuntu vs. Arch bench-off: surprisingly, Arch only really thrashed Ubuntu in the games and everything else was about even. This might be behind those pitiful scores with the game benchmarks.
    Compiz also has a measurable, negative effect on game benches with nVidia, but not so much with ATI hardware/drivers. I'm not surprised that turning off desktop effects changed the game so much.

    What do you think is going on with 7zip, an ext4 issue?
  • 1 Hide
    jsowoc , May 26, 2010 7:04 AM
    With 10.10 planning btrfs and GnomeShell, it's a sure recepie for tragedy :-). Very nice article.
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , May 26, 2010 7:11 AM
    @WheelsOfConfusion:
    RE: desktop effects - I'll be adding an ATI card to the mix a little earlier than I had intended in order to look at the desktop effects issue. Stay tuned.
    RE: Gaming FPS - The interesting thing is that the actual games didn't have that big of an impact from desktop effects. It was the unigine benchmarks that showed seriously significant drops in frame rates with them enabled.
    RE: 7z - I suppose it could be EXT4, but I believe EXT4 is the reason for the speed gains in all other comp/decomp tests, as well as the copy time tests. Comprehensive filesystem and archiving benchmarks under the same release should tell us whether or not it's an EXT4 issue.
  • 9 Hide
    apoq , May 26, 2010 7:28 AM
    Why no benchmark against Windows. You yourself said Ubuntu should be aiming to convert Windows users more than Mac users (and I whole heartedly agree with you). I love Ubuntu and I use most of the time, but every time I boot into Windows (7) I am left with the feeling of a way snappier OS. I think this is where Ubuntu is really lacking.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , May 26, 2010 7:43 AM
    Linux still doesn't have the software I need so I can't use it. However I've noticed a sharp decrease in stupid problems in the past three years (prolly thanks to Ubuntu). Currently my favorite distro is Mint but I remain a Windows user mainly because of a lot of software I own and am proficient in.
    As for the latest Ubuntu, why can't they have a bland business-like theme? Are the Phoenix Suns now paying them to use their colors?
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2010 9:28 AM
    For your Skype visibility issues, go to Skype settings and change theme to GTK+. Did the trick for me.
  • 2 Hide
    samspqr , May 26, 2010 9:30 AM
    looks nice, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like:
    * will it play 1080p24 H.264 videos smoothly, with GPU acceleration?
    * will it play vimeo/youtube high-res videos smoothly?
    given how good you say it is on the other fronts, I'll give it a try and see for myself (I'm currently on 8.04, so convincing me to spend an afternoon updating my systems is no small feat)
  • -4 Hide
    zybch , May 26, 2010 10:33 AM
    So, will this year be another "Year of Linux on the Desktop" like its been claiming for the past decade year in year out? Or will it remain a niche OS which people needing to do actual work on 'real' programs can continue to dismiss out of hand?
  • 1 Hide
    flightmare , May 26, 2010 10:52 AM
    You can set the minimize, close and maximize buttons to the right again in gconf-editor. Browse to apps/metacity/general and edit button_layout to your likings.
  • 12 Hide
    ksa-_-jed , May 26, 2010 11:12 AM
    beriguuMy Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard and mouse didn't work with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop x64 on VMWare Workstation 7.01. It works in the beginning with text screen, but once it goes to GUI screen keyboard function is lost. ;_;

    Don't blame the OS blame Logitech because the don't support Linux with good drivers
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2010 11:13 AM
    Skype in Lucid Lynx, Gnome: options-> choose style: GTK +
  • 1 Hide
    haplo602 , May 26, 2010 11:30 AM
    Adam, please have a look at Phoronix for their 10.04 tests. It seems there's some issue with X and the Nvidia drivers. Can you set up the same tests with an ATI card and compare Hardy and Lucid again ?
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , May 26, 2010 11:47 AM
    apoqWhy no benchmark against Windows. You yourself said Ubuntu should be aiming to convert Windows users more than Mac users (and I whole heartedly agree with you). I love Ubuntu and I use most of the time, but every time I boot into Windows (7) I am left with the feeling of a way snappier OS. I think this is where Ubuntu is really lacking.

    Really, just the opposite here, Win 7-64 Ubuntu 10.04-64 on same machine.
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , May 26, 2010 12:01 PM
    I am not much of a Linux user but Mint is nice and comes preloaded with the basics which is nice. My K6-2+ rig is just to slow though. :( 
  • 5 Hide
    zoemayne , May 26, 2010 12:02 PM
    Thank you for this review
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2010 12:09 PM
    there is undoubtedly one thing in which ubuntu far ahead in cimparision with windows 7.
    If my PC is turn on for few hours i download some files,surf on internet later on PC is unusable sooooooooooo damn slow no problems with ubuntu
    After few months on windows i install/uninstall program system starts to compete with turtle in speed - boot slow, performance slow and of course i do maintainance - start up programs, services and still for me every half max one year reinstallation is a must.
    Again no problems in this matter with ubuntu
    Windows is just a big bin which takes everything and it doesnt matter how much RAM you have - takes it all
    And i have quit high-end ring - 4 gb ram and core2duo@3,4
    Windows for games and windows - only application - for daily use UBUNTU!
  • 1 Hide
    Stardude82 , May 26, 2010 12:13 PM
    Ubuntu doesn't include out of the box the wireless driver for the Mini 10 because of open source purity/licensing reasons. You have to use a wrapper and load the windows drivers which some people think is pure evil. Conversely, why Broadcom doesn't just provide open source drivers is also stupid.

    Windows 7 runs so well on the new Atom platform, I doubt Netbook remix will make much inroad. Both Canonical and Microsoft have released some slick pieces of software.
  • 3 Hide
    shubham1401 , May 26, 2010 12:17 PM
    Next time, Pls have benchmarks against Windows :) 
  • 0 Hide
    azhardware , May 26, 2010 12:24 PM
    beriguuMy Logitech Wireless Wave keyboard and mouse didn't work with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop x64 on VMWare Workstation 7.01. It works in the beginning with text screen, but once it goes to GUI screen keyboard function is lost. ;_;


    I had the same problem with my Dinovo Edge and Mini. Check out for a fix.

    Personally, I felt Lucid fell a little short again. Beriguu's issue with the keyboard is one thing. Another is my X-fi soundcard only playing out the left speaker, this seems to be a widespread issue. I know this is largly because creative won't release driver specs but it's just another reason why I can't run all my PCs on linux. I've got a great linux server running in the basement, dual boot on my main pc and vista on my home theater pc. I wish I could put linux on the last one though :( 
    And oh yeh, Bluray? Again, not really ubuntu's fault but I want my HD movies and until I can play them I won't be running linux for anything other than software development. Multimedia stuff will stay on windows :( 
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