Intel's Clear Linux Taps -O3 For Its Kernel Builds

Written by Michael Larabel in Clear Linux on 12 August 2022 at 05:50 AM EDT. 49 Comments
CLEAR LINUX --
While Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux rolling-release distribution is known for its aggressive performance optimizations, their kernel build had been going with the default "-O2" optimization but last week did switch over to rolling their kernel with -O3.

The upstream kernel has dropped the dedicated -O3 option but higher optimization levels can still be passed to the kernel via the compiler flags, which is what Clear Linux is doing.

Following a ticket about having the kernel built with the higher -O3 optimization level, Clear Linux's kernel package has switched to -O3 for hopefully juicing a bit more out of the kernel.


Granted, from my own recent -O3 kernel build benchmarks, most kernel-sensitive workloads tended to have just minor gains if at all. In any case it will be interesting to see how well the -O3'ed kernel works for Clear Linux on top of all their other speed optimizations for maximizing Linux x86_64 performance. Meanwhile their kernel "-march=" target continues to be Westmere as at the bottom end of their Intel hardware support spectrum.
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