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Linux 4.0 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

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  • Linux 4.0 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

    Phoronix: Linux 4.0 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

    Our latest in benchmarking the Linux 4.15 kernel is seeing how the performance has changed since Linux 4.0 and all subsequent releases on the same system. Here are those tests driven by curiosity, especially in light of the performance changes as a result of KPTI page table isolation and Retpoline additions.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=25918

  • #2
    Can someone explain what changed between Linux 4.5 and 4.6 that almost doubled the kernel boot time?

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    • #3
      The boot time increase in kernel 4.6 seems concerning. Was it known to the community, or did this slip by quietly?
      I would hope there are some automated benchmarks to verify performance (including boot time) after each commit. That's the easiest way to catch regressions.

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      • #4
        I have a suspicion that it might be some new functionality that newer versions of systemd can make use of, which did not exist in earlier kernel versions. Hence, boot time is slower, as systemd would be initialising and making use of the new features. If my suspicion is true, then older kernels are only faster due to missing functionality. Kinda like OpenGL benchmarks were a lot faster back when Mesa did not have proper MSAA/antialiasing support.

        This is just a suspicion though. No idea if true. My memory does not last that far back and I haven't been tracking systemd (I use OpenRC). Does anyone remember if any major software functionality got introduced in kernel 4.6?

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        • #5
          Kernel-devs rarely care about boot time. Obviously if something is out of order theyre gonna track it down but its not highest priority to make linux the fastest booter.
          Even the 3D apps that are able to offer some type of performance feedback aren't too interesting since theyre not a manual to making linux faster.
          There is some hope with vulkan, but thats a couple years away before it takes off and starts making linux more competitive.

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          • #6
            Thanks, very interesting to see these changes over time. I hope some of the kernel developers read these articles and can identify what has happened when changes over time go for lower performance.

            If it is not too much work for Michael, it would also be interesting to see a similar analysis for Zen (Ryzen/Threadripper/Epyc). From what I've read there should be some optimizations for Zen beginning with 4.15.

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            • #7
              So server performance is becoming worse.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sabriah View Post
                Thanks, very interesting to see these changes over time. I hope some of the kernel developers read these articles and can identify what has happened when changes over time go for lower performance.

                If it is not too much work for Michael, it would also be interesting to see a similar analysis for Zen (Ryzen/Threadripper/Epyc). From what I've read there should be some optimizations for Zen beginning with 4.15.
                i 2nd this.
                but lets wait to 4.17 as 4.10 was first useful zen kernel.

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                • #9
                  The decline in the Apache and NGINX benchmark scores is remarkable. What's the story there?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cj.wijtmans View Post
                    So server performance is becoming worse.
                    Yes, just continuing the trend:
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critic...el_performance
                    "Citing an internal Intel study that tracked Linux kernel releases, Bottomley said Linux performance had dropped about two per centage points at every release, for a cumulative drop of about 12 per cent over the last ten releases. "Is this a problem?" he asked Linus Torvalds.
                    -We're getting bloated and huge. Yes, it's a problem"

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