Tip of the Trade: Phoronix Test Suite

There is a large but scattered collection of benchmarking utilities for Linux, so doing any kind of benchmarking means hunting down and capturing the tool that meets your needs. If you're looking for a comprehensive, extensible suite, consider giving the Phoronix Test Suite a try. This is the brainchild of Michael Larabel of Phoronix fame. Phoronix serves up Linux and Solaris reviews that cover both hardware and software, and Phoronix Test Suite is based on custom benchmarking scripts have refined over the years for their own testing and evaluation. Need to run some Linux benchmarks? The Phoronix Test Suite eliminates the need to search out benchmarking utilities. The comprehensive and easy-to-use test suite is designed to be both customizable and extensible.

Phoronix Test Suite is licensed under the GNU GPLv3. It consists of a lightweight core that supports custom XML-based profiles and scripts. The test suite is designed to be customizable and extensible as well as easy to use. In addition to being able to run many tests on both hardware and software, it has a unique feature: the PTS Global site, which hosts a database of user-contributed tests and test results. PTS comes with a special command for replicating and comparing tests and for easily uploading results. Having this giant shared database means you can easily compare your tests with other admins and get answers to that chronic and perplexing question: Is this how my system is supposed to behave?

As of the 1.0 release this month, PTS includes:

  • Graphing of test results
  • Automated installation
  • 57 test profiles
  • 23 test suites
  • Batch testing
  • A viewer for side-by-side comparison of results

Another nice feature is that PTS will automatically shut down screensavers and power management while tests are running. It will then restore them when the tests are finished. Visit Phoronix Test Suite for downloads, loads of documentation and professional support services.

This article was originally published on Jun 23, 2008
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