Linux/Unix nbench

This page is about my port to Linux/Unix of release 2 of BYTE Magazine's BYTEmark benchmark program (previously known as BYTE's Native Mode Benchmarks). These are Native Mode (a.k.a. Algorithm Level) tests; benchmarks designed to expose the capabilities of a system's CPU, FPU, and memory system. It was originally posted at BYTE's benchmark page at, however this link is dead (as of the end of 2010). There are some partial snapshots of some of the pages available at, I kept some of them as PDFs, and also kept a copy of the original source codes (click here).

The benchmark program takes less than 10 minutes to run (on most machines) and compares the system it is run on to two benchmark systems (a Dell Pentium 90 with 256 KB cache running MSDOS and an AMD K6/233 with 512 KB cache running Linux). The archive contains the complete source, documentation, and a binary (Linux elf). The source has been successfully compiled on various operating systems, including SunOS, DEC Unix 4.0, DEC OSF1, HP-UX, DEC Ultrix, MS-DOS, and of course Linux.

retrieve viasourcelinux software map entry
HTTP nbench-byte-2.2.3.tar.gz nbench-byte-2.2.3.lsm

If you run this benchmark then you can mail me your results for posting (see the file README.submit in the archive) at Uwe F. Mayer ( There are quite a few results already. However, if you have run the test, then by all means send me your results. Submitted results will be posted. If you use MkLinux then please tell me in your submission whether you use libmoto or not (in the past libmoto gave a boost to performance, but now the GNU C library seems to have caught up, and libmoto might actually slow down your program). Also tell me if you do anything fancy, like over-clocking your CPU, for example. Here are the results submitted so far:

AMD K6/233 baseline: All itemized results.

There also is a comparison of running the benchmark with different compilers and operating systems on the same hardware: see Compiler/OS influences.

Finally, here is a message for all Digital Unix users on how to figure out what version you are using, and also a message for IRIX users about compiler flags. It also seems that starting with gcc-4.3.3 the default flags in the Makefile no longer work, see this message (while this is an issue, I did not feel I wanted to make a full new release for the suite because of this, though I may change my mind on this in the future).

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First posted: 12/16/96
Last updated: Mon Jan 2 12:17:30 PST 2017