Linux Kernel News Archives
DMA-Fence Deadline Awareness Proposed To Help Ensure GPU Drivers Render On-Time

There is the phenomenon on Linux where when double-buffered rendering and missing vblanks can lead to the GPU running at a lower frequency when instead the opposite should happen so it will try to not miss vblanks in the first place. In the past there's been talks of "boost" support in the GPU drivers or also workarounds from user-space like dynamic triple buffering, but sent out this week is a new proposal around DMA-Fence deadline awareness as another means of addressing this problem.

27 July 2021 - Stop Missing vBlanks - 6 Comments
Linux 5.14-rc3 Released - It's In Good Shape

Following last week's big kernel in the form of Linux 5.14-rc2, rc3 is now available and it's much saner this week with fewer changes and those scattered changes being on the smaller side.

25 July 2021 - Linux 5.14-rc3 - 1 Comment
Trying Out The "Folios" Patches On An AMD Linux Server

One of the low-level exciting kernel advancements being worked on at the moment is the new "folios" struct for improving Linux memory management. Tests by those involved found that in some conditions Linux kernel builds for example could be up to 7% faster. Given the recent folios v14 patches being published, I took them for a spin on an AMD EPYC server to see the impact on overall performance.

23 July 2021 - Folios v14 - 5 Comments
DRM-Misc-Next Continues Prepping More Code Ahead Of Linux 5.15

Another weekly batch of drm-misc-next patches were submitted on Thursday for going into DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window. This drm-misc-next material continues to represent core Direct Rendering Manager changes as well as alterations/additions to the smaller DRM drivers.

23 July 2021 - DRM-Misc-Next - Add A Comment
Amazon's DAMON Might Finally Be Ready For Upstreaming Into The Linux Kernel

At the start of 2020 Amazon engineers sent out a "request for comments" around DAMON as a new kernel feature to monitor data accesses and can be used for purposes like analyzing over-committed memory use, debugging, and other optimizations. DAMON has now seen thirty-four revisions to the patches but it looks like it could finally be in a state for mainlining in the Linux kernel.

16 July 2021 - Data Access Monitor - 11 Comments
"le9" Strives To Make Linux Very Usable On Systems With Small Amounts Of RAM

It's well known that the Linux desktop can be quite unbearable when under heavy memory pressure as has been showcased over the years and more attention these days turning to the likes of OOMD/systemd-oomd and other alternatives to better deal with Linux low/out-of-memory scenarios especially with today's desktop software and web browsers consuming increasing amounts of memory. Another effort coming to fruition for helping this scenario is the "le9" Linux kernel patches.

14 July 2021 - le9 - 75 Comments
Memory Folios Being Sought For Linux 5.15

Being worked on for quite a while now by longtime kernel developer Matthew Wilcox of Oracle is memory folios to improve Linux's memory management and allow for greater efficiency. Benchmarks with memory folios have shown for example kernel builds can be up to 7% faster. It's looking like there is a desire to see at least some of this folios code land for Linux 5.15.

13 July 2021 - Memory Folios For Greater Linux Speed - 11 Comments
Process_Reap Syscall Proposed For Linux To More Quickly Reclaim Memory Under Pressure

While there are the likes of OOMD / systemd-oomd gaining acceptance as a daemon for Linux systems to deal with killing off processes and other behavior under system memory (RAM) pressure, there still is an issue of the time it takes until the memory is reclaimed by those dying processes. Google engineers at the end of June proposed "process_reap" as a new system call to help in that memory recovery.

12 July 2021 - process_reap - 7 Comments
Linux 5.14 Can Create Secret Memory Areas With memfd_secret

The "memfd_secret" system call is being added to the Linux 5.14 kernel to provide the ability to create memory areas that are visible only in the context of the owning process and these "secret" memory regions are not mapped by other processes or the kernel page tables.

11 July 2021 - Secret Memory With Linux 5.14 - 23 Comments
Intel Posts Newest Advanced Matrix Extensions Patches For Linux (AMX Patches v7)

For over one year now since Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) was first disclosed as a future feature with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids", Intel engineers have been posting AMX patches for enabling the new support for changes needed from the kernel to code compiler stacks. The Linux kernel support for AMX hasn't yet landed but has now been revised its seventh time for public review.

10 July 2021 - AMX v7 - 6 Comments
Linux 5.14 Bringing A Major Cleanup To The x86 FPU Code

The Linux 5.14 kernel so far is running smoothly in my early tests across a variety of systems but coming in this morning is a pull request having the potential to cause some fall-out on x86/x86_64 systems but hopefully will not.

7 July 2021 - x86 FPU Overhaul - 8 Comments
Linux Will Keep Core Scheduling Disabled By Default

Among the many new features that were sent in so far this week for the Linux 5.14 merge window was the long in-development work on "core scheduling" to reduce the Hyper Threading information leakage risks from side channels and help ensuring deterministic performance on such HT/SMT systems by controlling the resources that can run on a sibling thread. As a follow-up to that article from a few days ago, core scheduling will now be disabled by default.

4 July 2021 - Core-Scheduling Off - 9 Comments

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