DragonFlyBSD Kernel Gets Major SMP Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 17 October 2013 at 10:55 AM EDT. 17 Comments
The latest multi-threading improvements to the DragonFlyBSD kernel involve reducing SMP contention for allowing the BSD operating system to better utilize large multi-core systems.

For years DragonFlyBSD has been working on multi-core improvements, largely by Matthew Dillon, the leader of this FreeBSD fork. We have looked at the BSD CPU scaling performance in the past but since then they have continued to work on performance improvements.

The latest work by Matthew Dillon is on reducing SMP contention with having worked out a name-cache shared lock fix, greater use of shared spinlocks in pmap, a file-system syncer improvement, fork and fork/exec code-paths are more efficient with much less lock contention, the per-CPU process reaper now uses a per-CPU token rather than a global token, and PID-related improvements.

For multi-core systems, the DragonFlyBSD performance should be a lot better for process-related activities, particular those relying upon fork/exec like in the make command or shell scripts.

Matthew Dillon ended his exciting announcement on the DragonFlyBSD mailing list with "I consider this a fairly major milestone for the project. We aren't finished, but this is a major leap in our ability to fully utilize the resources on larger multi-core systems."

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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