Is The Linux Kernel Scheduler Worse Than People Realize?

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 16 April 2016 at 09:11 AM EDT. 87 Comments
A number of Phoronix readers have been pointing out material to indicate that the Linux kernel scheduler isn't as good as most people would assume.

There is this paper entitled The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores that covers the research done on the Linux kernel's scheduler to indicate it's suboptimal.

Going along with that paper are these PDF slides further talking about how the Linux scheduler is doing a bad job and often overloading some CPU cores while leaving other CPU cores idle.

The researchers were able to fix some of the scheduler bugs where there was a 23% performance improvement on a popular database with TPC or a shocking 137x performance improvement on HPC workloads. However, not at all of the scheduler issues can be easily addressed with simple patches but would require a more thorough redesign.

The researchers concluded, "more research must be directed towards implementing an efficient and reliable scheduler for multicore architectures!"
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Michael Larabel

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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