[pts] Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 "Selbu" Alpha 1

Michael Larabel Michael at phoronix.com
Mon Feb 16 15:17:25 CST 2009

With about a month having passed since the release of Phoronix Test 
Suite 1.6 "Tydal", the first alpha development release to its successor 
is now available. Phoronix Test Suite 1.8 "Selbu" will focus on a number 
of underlying improvements and further polishing from where Tydal was 
left off. There will also be quite a bit of preparatory work for 
Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. Selbu is expected for release in the second 
quarter of 2009.

So what's there worth checking out in Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1? 
Well, quite a bit of random new features scattered throughout. One of 
the features that has been sought after by a number of users is the 
ability to merge many test results (more than two) simultaneously. That, 
for example, is now possible. The test result merging code has been 
rewritten so it's now possible to run "phoronix-test-suite merge-results 
test1 test2 test3 test4" and the results will be merged cleanly and 
efficiently. This new code is also being used to power a revised version 
of Phoronix Global for facilitating real-time result merging/comparisons 
from the web browser. The module framework for pts-core in Selbu has 
become a lot more powerful, but that isn't exposed much to the user at 
this time but certainly will be the case with Phoronix Test Suite 2.0.

The OpenSolaris code paths have received a number of enhancements for 
the first Selbu alpha release. On OpenSolaris there is now support for 
monitoring the CPU usage, improved multi-CPU detection, Sun Studio 
compiler detection, and various other improvements. In addition to Sun 
Studio compiler recognition, Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1 is able 
to detect an installed LLVM compiler.

For those writing test profiles, Selbu Alpha 1 now makes it possible to 
monitor the CPU or memory usage during testing and then to report that 
(its average, minimum, maximum, or delta) as the result. This is done 
through the new $SYSTEM_MONITOR_START and $SYSTEM_MONITOR_STOP variables 
exported to test profile scripts. For more information on the 
capabilities and how-to, check out this forum thread @ 

Beyond those pts-core changes plus many other fixes and new features, a 
few test profiles have also received updates. One Phoronix Test Suite 
change that may interest some users is that 
~/.phoronix-test-suite/user-config.xml is now associated with an XSL 
style-sheet that explains each of the user-configurable options. XSL 
style-sheets have also been added for the PTS external dependency files, 
test profiles, and test suites. These XSL style-sheets cleanly show some 
basic information from these XML files in the web-browser. Another user 
request has been fulfilled with the pts_Graph component of the Phoronix 
Test Suite now rendering an arrow on the bar graphs indicating which 
direction is preferred.

Below is the official change-log for Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1. 
Download the latest release @ 

*Phoronix Test Suite 1.8.0 Alpha 1
February 16, 2009*
- pts-core: Allow modules to be installed and loaded locally from 
- pts-core: Add support for "user run commands" stored within PTS modules
- pts-core: Rewrite test result merging code to use new 
pts_result_file_merge_manager and pts_result_file_merge_test objects
- pts-core: Allow an unlimited number of test result files to be merged 
at once using pts_merge_test_results() (compared to previous limit of 2)
- pts-core: Allow more than two test result files to be merged at once 
using the merge-results option
- pts-core: Setup PTS_PATH define for phoronix-test-suite directory
- pts-core: Don't reinstall a test only when the reported CPU frequency 
changes, but the CPU model remains the same
- pts-core: With result-file-to-pdf save the PDF to the home directory
- pts-core: Rename function files that aren't loaded by default to use 
pts-includes- prefix
- pts-core: Expand capabilities for pts_module_option
- pts-core: Save system logs when running in batch mode
- pts-core: Save system logs to system-logs/ instead of system-details/
- pts-core: Add fall-back support in OpenSolaris detection for CPU 
manufacturer when rest of processor detection fails
- pts-core: Don't prefix "-" to memory string before memory speed when 
memory type isn't detected
- pts-core: Drop OS_PREFIX support from beginning of test profile names, 
since it's not being used and there's better ways to handle it
- pts-core: Improve estimated run-time reporting when running multiple 
instances of the same test
- pts-core: When there is a local test profile installed, compare it to 
the in-PTS version and use whatever one is newer
- pts-core: When there is a local test suite installed, compare it to 
the in-PTS version and use whatever one is newer
- pts-core: Remove SCTP (Self-Contained Test Profile) support until it's 
- pts-core: Fix warnings related to array merging of non-arrays
system monitoring capabilities for test profiles
- pts-core: Add support for reading the CPU usage on OpenSolaris
- pts-core: Fix for recursively handling of nested suites for batch and 
default modes
- pts-core: Provide smarter caching during make-download-cache process
- pts-core: Don't show suites in list-suites that contain no supported 
- pts-core: Improve multi-CPU detection support on OpenSolaris
- pts-core: Add Sun Studio compiler detection support
- pts-core: Add LLVM compiler detection support
- pts-core: Fix for generating download cache when destination is not 
- pts-core: Use pts_Chart overview chart when using result-file-to-pdf
- pts-core: Don't copy XSL result viewer file on each time a graph is 
- pts-core: When running a PTS module command of .help with no function 
being implemented, list all available commands
- pts: Update compress-pbzip2 test profile to pbzip2 1.0.5
- pts: Update memory-bandwidth test profile to version 0.15
- pts: Nexuiz test profile doesn't need build-utilities
- pts: Add mesa test suite for graphics tests that should be compatible 
with the Mesa 3D drivers
- pts: Fix external dependencies typo in qgears2 test profile
- pts: Fix external dependencies typo in render-bench test profile
- pts: Add graphics-magick to nevada test profile
- pts: Start on OpenSolaris support for specviewperf9 and specviewperf10 
test profiles
- pts: Add XSL stylesheet for PTS External Dependency XML files
- pts: Add XSL stylesheet for test suite XML specification
- pts: Add XSL stylesheet covering most of the XML test profile 
- pts: Add XSL stylesheet for the user-config.xml file
- pts: Add Name tag to PTS External Dependency XML specification
- pts_Graph: Render an arrow to indicate graph proportion for higher or 
lower results being better
- pts_Graph: Add option to graph-config.xml for specifying the renderer 
to use by default
- pts_Graph: Add pts_Chart object for rendering charts
- bilde_renderer: Require and implement renderer_supported() function 
for renderers
- bilde_renderer: Require and implement html_embed_code() function to 
provide HTML markup for embedding the renderer's file

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