Small Linux Kernel Patch Brings Massive Speed Boost


An upcoming Linux kernel patch has Linux patriarch Linus Torvalds very excited about the huge performance boost it promises. His enthusiasm is not unfounded either. The 233 line patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith  punches way above its weight by reducing maximum desktop latency by over ten times and average latency by a factor of 60, paving the way for a faster, more responsive desktop experience.

“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. 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,” Torvalds said in an email.

“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".

According to Linux-centric site Phoronix , the wonder patch has been designed to “automatically create task groups per TTY in an effort to improve the desktop interactivity under system strain.” As the Linux 2.6.37 nearing a second release candidate milestone, users will have to wait until 2.6.38 to tap into the huge speed boost.

Meanwhile, you can watch the two demo videos Phoronix posted to elucidate the tremendous performance boost this scheduler patch provides.

Video 1: Without the Patch

Video 2: With the Kernel Patch Enabled

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