The Linux desktop is about to get a LOT faster

Summary:The patch, created by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith, is 233 lines long and tweaks the kernel scheduler and cutting down latency by a whopping factor of ten.

Linux is already fast, but it's about to get a whole lot faster thanks to a new patch that's been developed.

The patch, created by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith, is 233 lines long and tweaks the kernel scheduler and cutting down latency by a whopping factor of ten.

Phoronix has some demo videos showing the improvements the patch offers. Here is the before video:

And here is the after video:

Even Linus Torvalds, who is arguably the father of Linux, is impressed:

Yeah. And I have to say that I'm (very happily) surprised by just how small that patch really ends up being, and how it's not intrusive or ugly either.

I'm also very happy with just what it does to interactive performance. Admittedly, my "testcase" is really trivial (reading email in a web-browser, scrolling around a bit, while doing a "make -j64" on the kernel at the same time), but it's a test-case that is very relevant for me. And it is a _huge_ improvement.

It's an improvement for things like smooth scrolling around, but what I found more interesting was how it seems to really make web pages load a lot faster. Maybe it shouldn't have been surprising, but I always associated that with network performance. But there's clearly enough of a CPU load when loading a new web page that if you have a load average of 50+ at the same time, you _will_ be starved for CPU in the loading process, and probably won't get all the http requests out quickly enough.

So I think this is firmly one of those "real improvement" patches. Good job. Group scheduling goes from "useful for some specific server loads" to "that's a killer feature".

When Linus calls this a "real improvement," and a "killer feature" then it's probably time for the rest of us to shut up and pay attention to this patch.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Software

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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