Improving Linux performance under heavy workloads

Last year Mike Galbraith came up with a 200-lines kernel patch that brought the promise of improving Linux performance under heavy workloads. A lot of people got excited about it, including Linus Torvalds and the Phoronix team. In fact, this patch is already included in the 2.6.38 kernel, currently under development.

Soon after, Lenart Poettering claimed that a 4-lines script and a couple of bash commands can have the same practical effect that the 200-lines patch. Some benchmarks showed that, indeed, Poettering’s script was even more efficient than Galbraith’s patch.

Next thing was Torvalds and Poettering discussing whether this improvements should be implemented in kernel space or in user space. Well, apparently, there are some guys suggesting we can do both.

In any case, while waiting for the release of the new kernel, you can try this script that automatises the implementation of Poettering’s method in Debian and its derivatives (such as Ubuntu).