Spectre/Meltdown Performance Impact Across Eight Linux Distributions

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 11 March 2019. Page 4 of 4. 25 Comments

The basic ctx_clock program for demonstrating the number of clocks to complete a context switch shows much more dramatic overhead on the enterprise distributions and their older kernels.

The memcached benchmarks were a similar story to the other benchmarks carried out.

Lastly is a look at the geometric mean of all the benchmarks that successfully ran on the eight tested Linux distributions. On Linux distributions like Ubuntu 18.10 and Clear Linux the mitigation costs were about ~18% while both RHEL 8 Beta and openSUSE 15.0 had a nearly 40% hit. Cent OS 7 overall had less of a performance hit on its older kernel but the raw performance is much less with its aging software components. For both mitigated and unmitigated, to no surprise Intel's Clear Linux operating system was the fastest.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via TwitterLinkedIn,> or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.