Thursday, September 17, 2009

Phoronix Test Suite on Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 (draft in progress)

A bunch of Dell desktops landed in my possession about last week. That is now a total of four-(4) machines that I can pick and choose from for my ultimate gaming and workhorse :-)

Dell Dimension XPS Gen4
Dell Dimension 9200 (2)
Dell Precision 470

Now these machines are about four-(4) years old and I have absolutely no plans on upgrading them except for possibly RAM and hard disk space. My main interest is which of them houses a better graphics card; secondary would be the

Graphics Cards:
ATI Radeon
nVidia 7900 GS

Intel Xeon
Intel Core 2 Duo

My initial tests using Windows were inconclusive, and most of the tests I saw required a purchase. I don't plan to test for the rest of my life or monetize this, so a free version is preferred. This is were I stumbled upon PTS.

After burning the Desktop Live version which was noted to be a pre-release, the final decision was since Ubuntu Jaunty desktop was already installed then just install PTS from the repositories. Boy was I wrong, it is now taking a little more than just a few clicks and root password! The sizes of the test packages are enormous particularly since the test we are after is phoronix-test-suite install gaming. Detailed below is my progress to get this going.

The repository package for PTS is outdated at version 1.0. Thats not what we need so need to install from downloads particularly the Ubuntu .deb package.

Make sure that the system is prepped to have all the compiling environments just in case: sudo apt-get install build-essential

We'll need the basic PHP packages and extensions that will allow us to save the results in the future as .PDF or .PNG
sudo apt-get install php5-cli php5-gd php-fpdf php5-ming

The Demo Live DVD has all the GUI front-ends needed, it doesn't seem to be the case with the downloadable v2.0 update. We'll need to install PHP-GTK, There is an unofficial .DEB installation and that also should work according to some reports. You can also try: sudo apt-get install php5-gtk2

If all else fails you can install PHP-GTK by hand. NOTE: It may be needed to run Step #5 and edit php.ini to get the everything working after all.

In case that doesn't work there's also a good install flow here, just make sure to also visit the official download to fix the login issues when using CVS.

OK, so far this is where I am at and will update as things progress.

One issue that seemed to pop out was that due to the huge amount of downloads of the same stuff for several systems it may make sense to consider having a cacheing proxy installed in your network path. This led me down an alternate idea of speeding up and securing my network with Squid Proxy.

So far the downloads have taken 24-hours using AT&T UVerse speeds, 256-bit AES PLC, and an old 3Com hub.

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