1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Volatile Ranges Still Being Tried For The Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 02 January 2014 07:41 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
1 Comment

The Volatile Ranges feature for the Linux kernel is now in its third year of being developed and a new set of sixteen patches were published today but there's still no sign that the code is ready for merging in the near-term.

Volatile Ranges is another option for Linux application developers to notify the kernel that a range of pages can be discarded from the system's RAM rather than being swapped out to the disk. When the system is suffering from memory pressure, the kernel can first attempt to evict these "volatile ranges" rather than swapping it to the disk. When the application needs the data later, if it was flushed away, the application will be responsible for recreating the lost data. If there was no memory pressure, everything continues to be smooth sailing.

One of the major use-cases for this work is web browsers where volatile ranges can be easily marked and the data regenerated if needed. Volatile Ranges can also be of benefit to memory-constrained mobile devices, but there's also other similar approaches already on Linux for flagging memory that should first be discarded in situations of low memory.

The patches published this morning by Minchan Kim are up to the tenth revision of the most recent Volatile Ranges design. This latest version will work on the Linux 3.12 kernel and has numerous other changes.

Those interested in the new Linux Volatile Ranges patches can find them on the Linux kernel mailing list. There's still greater code review needed and items left on the feature's TODO list, so don't expect the feature to be merged for the Linux 3.14 kernel.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  2. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  3. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  4. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  5. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  6. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  7. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  8. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
  9. VDPAU Updated To v0.9
  10. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. Are there an app using HSA ?
  4. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  5. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  8. Bench specific mount point