Linux 4.19 Is Looking Good So Far, At Least On Intel Xeons
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 10 September 2018 at 10:55 AM EDT. 3 Comments
This weekend I decided to fire up the current Linux 4.19 development kernel on the dual Intel Xeon Gold 6138 test platform based on the wonderful Tyan GT24E-B7106. At least for this system, it's really benefiting from the new kernel that will be released as stable in October.

This 40-core / 80-thread Intel + Tyan server with the Samsung 850 256GB SSD and 96GB of RAM was running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA, I used the latest Linux 4.19 Git kernel as of 6 September and then Linux 4.18.6 and 4.17.19 as the previous stable releases in those series as of test time.

Tests on more systems of Linux 4.19 versus older kernels will be coming up soon. There are the tests at of a handful of systems running our automated tests on the Linux Git code on a bi-daily basis, but there on those consumer-class systems no major changes -- at least in comparison to some clear improvements seeing on this dual Xeon server. Each kernel was tested using its default build from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA and all of the same Spectre/Meltdown mitigations are present.

The SQLite performance boost was the first sign of a I/O bump on Linux 4.19...

And indeed in some of the I/O tests, the performance boost with Linux 4.19 ranges from small but modest to rather significant. Further tests on Xeons are still being done but may be in part attributed to the P-State improvements recently and some of the other kernel improvements, though at least based upon early tests on other systems, doesn't appear to be like a generic EXT4 file-system change.

Outside of I/O, most of the system/CPU tests saw no change to only a slight boost for this dual Xeon server with solid-state storage.

Redis appeared to benefit slightly with Linux 4.19 in a few tests.

Stress-NG is reporting higher context switching performance out of Linux 4.19 on this server.

Stay tuned for more benchmarks on a number of other hardware platforms coming up soon -- busy month of benchmarking. At the very least on the tests I've conducted so far, while not all of them have seen measurable boosts like this dual Xeon Scalable server, at least on none of the systems I've yet to encounter any glaring regressions. Linux 4.19 is looking bright and also is packing many new features too.
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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 or contacted via

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