Re: 2.5.2-pre performance degradation on an old 486

From: Matthias Hanisch (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 02:22:44 EST

On Sat, 5 Jan 2002, Davide Libenzi wrote:

> There should be some part of the kernel that assume a certain scheduler
> behavior. There was a guy that reported a bad hdparm performance and i
> tried it. By running hdparm -t my system has a context switch of 20-30
> and an irq load of about 100-110.

This guy was me, IMHO (just with my office email address :).

> The scheduler itself, even if you code it in visual basic, cannot make
> this with such loads.
> Did you try to profile the kernel ?

To answer your question, I wanted to profile 2.5.2-pre8 against
2.5.2-pre8-old-scheduler. _Fortunately_ I made some mistake and forgot to
back out the following chunk of memory.

--- v2.5.1/linux/arch/i386/kernel/process.c Thu Oct 4 18:42:54 2001
+++ linux/arch/i386/kernel/process.c Thu Dec 27 08:21:28 2001
@@ -125,7 +125,6 @@
        /* endless idle loop with no priority at all */
        current->nice = 20;
- current->counter = -100;
        while (1) {
                void (*idle)(void) = pm_idle;

So it seems, that removing this line from kernel sources with the old
scheduler causes this unresponsive behavior. This chunk looks also a
little bit strange. In most (all?) the other chunks "counter" gots
replaced with "dyn_prio", not completely removed.

I'll verify this tonight (have to earn some money at first :). I'll do
also some profiling.

Mikael, if you have time, maybe you can try to apply only this chunk of
patch (or only remove the line) to a clean 2.4.18-pre1 and report the

Davide, regarding your question in the other mail:

> Can you try some changes that i'll tell you ?

Please forward to me also. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer, because
there is also life without LKML, but I want to get this understood and
fixed, so I'll try to help you as much as I can.


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