OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Might See Micro-Architecture Packages For Better Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in SUSE on 8 March 2021 at 06:35 AM EST. 18 Comments
SUSE --
One of the many great programs at SUSE is the roughly annual program where their developers can focus for one week on any new open-source development they desire. SUSE Hack Week has led to many great innovations and improvements since it began in the mid-2000s and for the Hack Week later this month there is one project attempt we are eager to see tackled.

Proposed ahead of this year's SUSE Hack Week 20 event, which runs the last week of March, is supporting glibc-hwcaps and providing micro-architecture package generation support for openSUSE Tumbleweed and down the line for SLE/Leap.

The effort is basically about making use of Glibc 2.33's new HWCAPS ability for dynamically loading optimized versions of libraries based on the CPU being run. While Glibc-HWCAPS supports multiple architectures, arguably most exciting and relevant is the x86-64 micro-architecture feature levels being supported and thus making it easier for Linux to automatically load libraries more optimized for modern CPUs.

Glibc 2.33 is out with the infrastructure in place plus the forthcoming GCC 11 has the x86-64 micro-architecture feature level targets among other infrastructure work that has happened over the past year. But now we need Linux distributions to actually make use of it and that is where SUSE Hack Week might see some progress on the openSUSE front.

SUSE's Antonio Larrosa is planning to experiment with the new capabilities and initially investigate a handful of libraries that would stand to benefit from the HWCAPS functionality. This would be catering to the openSUSE/SUSE build process and establishing RPM macros and documentation in helping guide packagers around creating micro-architecture packages.

The current plan would be to spin the different micro-architecture packages into separate packages that can be installed by the user to supplement the generic package if they are wanting to pursue the optimized packages in the name of greater performance.

The initial plans around this can be found at hackweek.suse.com. It will be interesting to see how this project pans out during SUSE Hack Week and if it can get off the ground where openSUSE Tumbleweed in time could potentially be one of the first major Linux distributions offering optimized x86-64 micro-architecture packages to better make use of today's AMD and Intel processors.
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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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