Skip to content

Intel's Clear Linux: First Impressions

Jeremy Morgan on October 05, 2019

I've been using Linux since 1996, and I've used so many distributions I've lost count. In fact, I'm kind of weirdo about it. I love spinning up new... [Read Full]
markdown guide

What about package, kernel and security updates, like Debian and Ubuntu? Do you have to wait years for Intel engineers to get around to updating to the latest production versions of common applications, or for them to apply upstream security fixes? This was a problem with RedHat and CentOS, and even Ubuntu to some degree. Package authors would push updates to their sources in Debian, but it would take years to see the updates in the other distros, or it would never happen at all. What about library dependencies for development? Is there a "testing" distro that can be used in Jenkins to inform developers about necessary future changes? Otherwise software deployments get stuck on a legacy distro version as the world moves on, and eventually can't get security fixes anymore for the aging o.s.


Not sure if you know it already, you won't get LXDE anymore, it's discontinued and has been sort of morphed into LXQT which is great!


I tried installing Clear a few months ago but couldn't get it to work. Is it even possible to dual boot it alongside Windows?


It is possible to dual boot alongside Windows 10.
Only thing is it doesn't work on legacy PC's


Good article. I've been thinking of trying Clear too. For the Blender test, I think that's a Linux vs Windows thing, and not a Clear thing. There was a YouTube video a 3D artist posted comparing Linux and Windows with similar results, and I think he was using Ubuntu.


minor edit needed (I think) on the Geekbench you've got 5 listed 3 times and 4 only listed once. I think it was meant to be 5, 5, 4, 4 but instead it's 5, 5, 4, 5

I suppose I'll echo others with concerns about Intel keeping this up-to-date. I Also use VirtualBox so no-bueno if that won't work. I'm not a fan of stacks. When I want stacks, I'll make them myself.

I wonder how easy it will be for the community to reverse the intel performance boost changes to other distro's and what learnings there are.

Thanks for the write-up, not often you see these for Linux outside of Phoronix


Why did you compare Clear Linux with Windows 10 in performance?
Wouldn't make more sense to compare it with other linux distributions? like Ubuntu, Arch or Gentoo.


Mostly time constraints. I'm really busy right now and it's the best I could commit to.

However next month, I plan on doing exactly that on Twitch. I'm going to take a single VM and install various different distros on it, and benchmark them just to see what differences there are.

I did a little random testing a while back, but nothing too formal. For instance, on the same machine the geekbench results are pretty different:

Clear Linux
Arch Linux

Clear Single Core: 2202 Multi-Core 3098
Arch Single Core 1936 Multi-Core 2472

I know they've done a lot of benchmarking and optimizations within the distro, enough to see a visible difference. I don't know that you would feel that on the desktop very much, but if I were setting up workloads that took some real power, Clear VMs would be my first choice.


Thanks for the reply. That's a significant difference, I will have to check if that translates to a real world speedup in common programs or if only affects some concrete tasks.

btw nice post.


Hi Jeremy,

Happily using Clear from end of May this year. For Oracle VirtualBox Clear offers a page to use it.

code of conduct - report abuse