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The Cost of SELinux, Audit, & Kernel Debugging

Michael Larabel

Published on 13 August 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 6 of 6 - 29 Comments

dcraw slowed down when it came to using kernel-debug.

It is the same story with SQLite.

Ending off our testing, the kernel-debug package led to a massive performance drop when testing the PostgreSQL performance using pgbench. Disabling SELinux / Audit led to about a 5% gain.

Well, the area where SELinux / Audit and the debugging-enabled kernel really impacted the performance was with the disk and database tests (along with Apache). In the other Linux desktop benchmarks, there was a smaller margin, with some being more noticeable than the others. Disabling SELinux and Audit will certainly improve the performance of Fedora, while running a kernel with all of the debugging code enabled will cost you quite a bit in the way of performance. For developers, having this kernel debugging support is important, while for security-oriented users, having Security Enhanced Linux and system-call auditing support is important and worth the low cost, even with Intel Atom hardware.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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