Docker Performance With KPTI Page Table Isolation Patches

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 5 January 2018. Page 3 of 3. 18 Comments

The Python performance in Docker was unaffected by the presence of KPTI while Clear Linux was delivering measurably faster performance than the others.

The Apache performance took a few percent hit when running this HTTP web-server within Docker.

While when testing the PHP performance on Docker, it didn't appear affected by Kernel Page Table Isolation. Clear Linux was still outperforming the other tested containers.

SciKit-Learn built successfully on Clear/Debian/Ubuntu and there it showed no degradation in speed as a result of the KPTI-patched kernel.

For those fearing degraded Docker performance when moving to a kernel with Page Table Isolation, there didn't appear to be anything really significant compared to the bare metal change in performance shown in previous benchmarks. Still in the workloads interacting a lot with the kernel are a few percent slowdowns, but nothing we've seen yet that would be really hair-pulling. Overall, Intel's Clear Linux was performing the best of the Docker containers tested, so if you are concerned over performance loss you can also look at using a faster software stack to make-up for any potential losses.

For now this weekend moving onto some Retpoline kernel testing as after kicking around KTPI the past few days it overall appears in fine shape contrary to any initial concerns in the wake of Meltdown frenzy and these kernel patches will surely be further optimized over forthcoming kernel cycles.

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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