New Patches Aim To Boost Linux 9p Performance By ~10x

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 19 December 2022 at 03:00 AM EST. 7 Comments
A new set of patches posted for the Plan 9 (9p) resource sharing protocol code inside the Linux kernel can deliver roughly 10x better performance for file transfers.

If all is in good shape with these patches, the 9p remote file-system protocol implementation within the Linux kernel stands to see much better performance. The 9p code on Linux remains important for VirtFS and other purposes around sharing files with guest virtual machines.

Plan 9

The proposed patches adjust the maximum message size to accommodate the header size, expanding writeback caching to all levels, consolidating different file operations, optional disabling of xattr support depending upon the mount option to reduce extra messages, and other improvements as well as some 9p code fixes.

Eric Van Hensbergen who worked on these Linux 9p performance optimization patches commented on the patch series, "Altogether, these show roughly 10x speed increases on simple file transfers. Future patch sets will improve cache consistency and directory caching...Tested against qemu, cpu, and diod with fsx, dbench, and some simple benchmarks."

If the patch review goes well these patches could end up in a future Linux kernel release for speeding up 9p file transfers to virtual machines and other p9 uses.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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