Performance-Helping FSGSBASE Patches Spun For Linux A 13th Time
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 May 2020 at 08:15 AM EDT. 4 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
The FSGSBASE Linux kernel patches that have the potential of helping performance going back to Intel Ivy Bridge era CPUs in select workloads have now hit their 13th revision to the series in the long-running effort to getting this support mainlined.

Linux kernel developer Sasha Levin of Microsoft has been overseeing these patches recently as even Microsoft has seen performance benefits to these kernel patches presumably for their Azure workloads. The FSGSBASE patches have the possibility of helping out various workloads particularly those like Java and software frequently performing context switching, one of the areas harmed in recent years by all of the CPU security mitigations.

Earlier this month I did run benchmarks of the recent FSGSBASE patches on Intel and AMD CPUs and indeed for some workloads these patches did enhance the performance.

With the v13 patches, some of the patches have been reformatted and some of the changes omitted. Unfortunately due to the timing of these patches and the Linux 5.8 merge window likely opening next week, we likely won't see this work merged until at least Linux 5.9 if later given other upstream developers don't see to be in a rush in supporting this years old instruction.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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