More Patches To Improve Linux Desktop Responsiveness
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 26 August 2010 at 07:49 PM EDT. 41 Comments
About one month ago we reported on the emergence of patches that may fix the Linux desktop responsiveness problems, which is an issue that's been experienced by many Linux desktop users in recent years. For Linux users it may take many seconds for a menu to appear when clicking on it or a half-minute to do a VT switch, but fortunately it's becoming a thing of the past with these patches working well for many users and has since been integrated into the mainline Linux kernel. The story though is not over as even more patches have just been published to further improve the Linux desktop responsiveness.

Nokia has funded some development work that has resulted in a set of eleven patches for exposing CFS low-latency features. These patches were done by Mathieu Desnoyers and Peter Zijlstra. According to Mathieu, "With this patchset, I got the following results with wakeup-latency.c (a 10ms periodic timer), running periodic-fork.sh, Xorg, make -j3 and firefox (playing a youtube video), with Xorg moving terminal windows around, in parallel on a UP system (links to the test program source in the dyn min_vruntime patch). The Xorg interactivity is very good with the new features enabled, but was poor originally with the vanilla mainline scheduler."

These patches exposing the new low-latency CFS features for the Linux kernel to further enhance the desktop responsiveness can be found on LKML.org. Though due to the current position of the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, this likely will not be a candidate for merging until the Linux 2.6.37 kernel comes about.

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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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