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Linux 2.6.32 Kernel Brings Virtual Memory Improvements - page 2

Dirty Memory, Drivers, Filesystems

  • December 3, 2009
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

The other big memory-related enhancement is in a new feature called KSM, or Kernel Samepage Merging. KSM is a new approach for memory management deduplication with some specific applicability to virtualization. The feature searches memory from multiple processes for identical memory pages, combining duplicates when found -- a process that reduces overall memory usage.

Linux vendor Red Hat has been among the leaders of the KSM effort and has implemented the feature as part of its recent Fedora 12 community Linux release. Fedora 12 came out prior to the Linux 2.6.32 kernel release, so instead, Fedora's developers used KSM as a backport to the 2.6.31 kernel, which ships with Fedora 12.

With the 2.6.32 kernel, a performance subsystem called "perf" also gets some improvement following its debut in the 2.6.31 kernel, released in September. In the latest update, perf gets new tracepoints to help track additional kernel subsystem performance.

The new 2.6.32 kernel also includes a new perf-based tool, Timechart, that could help to further improve Linux boot-time performance.

Intel's Arjen van de Ven -- already known for his work on the kernel oops bug tracking effort -- led the development of Timechart.

"Finding out why your Linux computer performs the way it does has been a hard task," Van de Ven wrote in a blog post. "To solve this, I have been working on a new tool, called Timechart, based on 'perf,' that has the objective to show on a system level what is going on, at various levels of detail."

Article courtesy of Internetnews.com

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