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Lowspirit
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:21 pm    Post subject: Finally improved desktop responsivness Reply with quote

First, here is the article + the usual mailing list discussions etc :
http://www.kerneltrap.org/node.php?id=603

As always, it starts with a simple patch submitted by your regular kernel hacking rebell, then the big guns (Ingo, Linus, Andrew etc) becomes involved and it ends up being yet another (IMO) milestone in the 2.5 dev kernel.

I'm running the linus + ingo combo (the ultimate) of this and wow... I'm on a slow machine so it's extra apparent to me I guess. If you can, try it out, if you're waiting for final 2.6 or 2.5.65 (next dev release) all I can say is that most people are in for a big nice very noticable improvement.

2.5.65 will contain this, or for those interested can just use the latest bk release from kernel.org.
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Last edited by Lowspirit on Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lovechild
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To improve interactive performance I set timeslices WAY lower than normal, and it really helped.

min = 1
max = 10

Also Bonus prio set to 15.

kernel/sched.c is a wonderful file to tweak if you have O(1)

A bit brutal but for a desktop system the timeslices _SHOULD_ be set very low.
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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2.6 is shaping up to be an excellent kernel, IMO :D

EDIT: related to this, I have for some time now planning to deploy Gentoo on my main workstation (840MHz Duron, 384Megs of RAM). It would be used for generic desktop-thingies, so interactivity and latencies are important. Do you have any hints on how to maximise the "feel-good"-factor? So far I have planned to do this:

Con Kolivas Kernel (they seem to be well suited for desktops. Pre-empt and other goodies)

Prelinked KDE

reniced X

Tweaked jiffies

What else could I do? Any suggestions?
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AlterEgo
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

/me use vanilla + prelink + pre-empt + reniced X = responsive and stable desktop.
The rest was unnoticable (ref. speed) to me, or unstable/nasty side-effects.
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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlterEgo wrote:
The rest was unnoticable (ref. speed) to me, or unstable/nasty side-effects.


Tweaked jiffies will cause a wraparound in the uptime, but it shouldn't cause instability or anything.


Last edited by Evangelion on Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harpalus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allow me to display my noobness for all to see:

What is reniced X?

THanks
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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpalus wrote:
Allow me to display my noobness for all to see:

What is reniced X?

THanks


X whose priority has been increased.
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AlterEgo
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpalus wrote:
Allow me to display my noobness for all to see:

What is reniced X?

THanks

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=25327

It does improve the response-"feel" on your desktop.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the wrapper script mentioned in that link and it made responsiveness worse. I didn't catch anything mentioned... is a specific kernel version/option required?
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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
I tried the wrapper script mentioned in that link and it made responsiveness worse. I didn't catch anything mentioned... is a specific kernel version/option required?


Which kernel did you try it on?
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Lovechild
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
2.6 is shaping up to be an excellent kernel, IMO :D

1) Con Kolivas Kernel (they seem to be well suited for desktops. Pre-empt and other goodies)

2) Prelinked KDE

3) reniced X

4) Tweaked jiffies



1)
ARRGH, not another one.. if you must use a 2.4 kernel use the WOLK4.0 series. I would recommend you give a development kernel a shot though.
Get the lastest mm-sources (or wait untill akpm puts one out based on 2.5.65 or with the patches mentioned before).

2)
Prelinked KDE, good idea, it makes an impact - and it's safe

3)
After talking to a few kernel hackers I'm not convinced this is a good idea (the kerneltrap thread mentions a few of the problems) - I found that renicing X to -10 caused it to hog ressources, and thus making sound skip.

4)
Default in 2.5.64 and beyond.

5)
Set smaller timeslices if you only intend on using your computer as desktop machine this feels better.

6)
Use the CFQ elevator with the lastest mm-sources, it's nice for desktop usage.

7)
Compile glibc with nptl support
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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovechild wrote:
1)
ARRGH, not another one.. if you must use a 2.4 kernel use the WOLK4.0 series.


Is there an ebuild available ;)? Why do you think CK-sources are not the way to go?

Quote:
I would recommend you give a development kernel a shot though.
Get the lastest mm-sources (or wait untill akpm puts one out based on 2.5.65 or with the patches mentioned before).


I'm a bit worried about running a developement-kernel on my machine. Yes I know that they work well for many, but there are still some problems left

Quote:
3)
After talking to a few kernel hackers I'm not convinced this is a good idea (the kerneltrap thread mentions a few of the problems) - I found that renicing X to -10 caused it to hog ressources, and thus making sound skip.


Yes, I saw the comments in kerneltrap. However, many have told that it does give real benefits.

Quote:
5)
Set smaller timeslices if you only intend on using your computer as desktop machine this feels better.


Yep, it would be 100% desktop.

Quote:
6)
Use the CFQ elevator with the lastest mm-sources, it's nice for desktop usage.


What about the AS Scheduler? It seems to be kick-ass as well.
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ebrostig
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy Canoly!!!!!

I just added the patches to 2.5.64 and installed a newly compiled kernel.

I then tried to do a make -j 10 bzImage
and my system works as if the whole PC is idle!!!!

This is probably one of the most significant enhancements to the kernel over the past years!

People, I urge you all to try it, either by patching 2.5.64 or wait until 2.5.65 (prolly in a couple of days)

This is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erik
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idl
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realy cant wait to try this, though I think I will wait for .65 and tackle all my 2.5.x problems at once.. and there is LOT of them! all startup problems.
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joshdr77
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how do u patch the kernel?

i searched for a howto on both these forums and google, but it seems each patch case is sort of different....

patch -p0 < patch.....

didnt know what to do?
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noff
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joshdr77 wrote:
how do u patch the kernel?

i searched for a howto on both these forums and google, but it seems each patch case is sort of different....

patch -p0 < patch.....

didnt know what to do?

www.kernelnewbies.org

Lovechild, I know you push WOLK but I tried the 4.0 series and it didn't work on my machine, maybe later. THe thing about ck is it isn't heavily modified like WOLK and it's development closely matches the stable kernel. WOLK does lots of things but if you only want preempt and a few other patches it should work equal to or better than WOLK. Con had a new ck kernel out within a few days of 2.4.20 being released. WOLK just entered rc1. I'll probably try WOLK again but it is enormous so if you get a compile error you don't know where it came from.

Yeah, renicing X is not a good idea according to Linus.

I'm just waiting for 2.5.65 to give the development kernel another try. It still doesn't run right as of 2.5.63.
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Lovechild
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
Lovechild wrote:
1)
ARRGH, not another one.. if you must use a 2.4 kernel use the WOLK4.0 series.


Is there an ebuild available ;)? Why do you think CK-sources are not the way to go?

Quote:
I would recommend you give a development kernel a shot though.
Get the lastest mm-sources (or wait untill akpm puts one out based on 2.5.65 or with the patches mentioned before).


I'm a bit worried about running a developement-kernel on my machine. Yes I know that they work well for many, but there are still some problems left

Quote:
3)
After talking to a few kernel hackers I'm not convinced this is a good idea (the kerneltrap thread mentions a few of the problems) - I found that renicing X to -10 caused it to hog ressources, and thus making sound skip.


Yes, I saw the comments in kerneltrap. However, many have told that it does give real benefits.

Quote:
5)
Set smaller timeslices if you only intend on using your computer as desktop machine this feels better.


Yep, it would be 100% desktop.

Quote:
6)
Use the CFQ elevator with the lastest mm-sources, it's nice for desktop usage.


What about the AS Scheduler? It seems to be kick-ass as well.


This will be shortform :)

emerge wolk-sources

The development-sources ain't all that scary

Mostly bullsh*t - the renicing, especially the wrapper script (works better if you edit /etc/X11/Xserver/xdm or something like that), it WILL make X a ressource hog, and it's a bad way to fix the main problem - where as the patch by Linux and Ingo is the right way (tm).

Not even sure you will even need the smaller time slices now, with that wonderful patch - I looked at it and Ingo already sets smaller timeslices - fiddle with it if you like - Like small timeslices

Here's basically how the AS scheduler works:
Read, wait (incase there's more to read), write (see why the AS scheduler is bad for the desktop but good for the server?) -- Good for throughput, really good, because we can read repeatedly (which normally costs) with little cost - it's exellent for Servers, but the latency is this system goes WAY up.

The CFQ scheduler works pretty much like most network interfaces, insuring a completely fair queuing, so that your xmms and mplayer never skips a frame - it costs on the throughput - but on a desktop PC we really don't care all that much about throughput.

Basically: CFQ, low latency, low throughput - AS, High latency, high throughput
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, wolk4.0s-rc2 was released yesterday - sadly my 2.4 days are over now - I compiled glibc with nptl support and now I need a 2.5 kernel to access my system... which I'm fine with.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
Which kernel did you try it on?
Vanilla 2.4.19-r1
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ebrostig wrote:
Holy Canoly!!!!!

I just added the patches to 2.5.64 and installed a newly compiled kernel.

I then tried to do a make -j 10 bzImage
and my system works as if the whole PC is idle!!!!

This is probably one of the most significant enhancements to the kernel over the past years!

People, I urge you all to try it, either by patching 2.5.64 or wait until 2.5.65 (prolly in a couple of days)

This is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erik


what did u select in menuconfig? or any other things u tweaked?

i patched the kernel, and compiling it right now...i may have missed something but...

thanks
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Lowspirit
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovechild wrote:
6)
Use the CFQ elevator with the lastest mm-sources, it's nice for desktop usage.

7)
Compile glibc with nptl support


I'm working on compiling in NPTL at the moment, I don't really care about stability so I'm well aware of the risks. CFQ will be next up, but previous experience from testing it when it was introduced was not good (probably because my system is fairly old).

Anticipatory Scheduling is not good for desktop performance, but it did speedup compiles (which is were AS shine) alot, so I'll be putting it on my distcc box for sure.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovechild wrote:
Also, wolk4.0s-rc2 was released yesterday - sadly my 2.4 days are over now - I compiled glibc with nptl support and now I need a 2.5 kernel to access my system... which I'm fine with.


I missed this before, but... How do you compile glibc with NPTL-support?
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Lowspirit
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
Lovechild wrote:
Also, wolk4.0s-rc2 was released yesterday - sadly my 2.4 days are over now - I compiled glibc with nptl support and now I need a 2.5 kernel to access my system... which I'm fine with.


I missed this before, but... How do you compile glibc with NPTL-support?


2.5.50 or higher kernel recommended... peek through the ebuild for the full list but basically just add "nptl" to your use line and that's it. When you compile if you see it download a nptl-* file before the glibc download you've meet all requirements.

Note: MPlayer segfaults if you decide to go with nptl.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I emerged the development-sources (2.5.64) and applied the bk4 patch from kernel.org. I configured the kernel, make bzImage, make modules and make modules_install. However I got a lot of errors (unresolved symbols) when I made the make modules_install. After some research I realized that I have to emerge the module-init-tools package. AFAIK module-init-tools use modprobe.conf instead of modules.conf (and there is also a modprobe.devfs). The modprobe.conf was generated via the generate-modprobe.conf command. The big problem is that the modprobe.conf file is always recreated (I think by the kernel) when I reboot and the recreated file has a size of 0. So I get a lot of messages that module e.g. char-major-108 was not found.

Can somebody help me?
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Lovechild
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds interesting... A selftuning scheduler, Lowspirit, I'm not home and haven't got access to a computer currently - could you or someone else test this?

(patch against 2.5.64-bk4)
http://www.uwsg.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0303.1/0632.html
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