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DragonFlyBSD Kernel Gets Major SMP Improvements

BSD

Published on 17 October 2013 10:55 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD
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."

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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