Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 238/2020

Zack Brown looks at improving memory management, simplifying(ish) the Kernel Build System, and detecting firmware crashes.

Improving Memory Management

SeongJae Park wanted to improve Linux's memory management. To do this, he wanted to implement finer-grained data access tracking. Then, using that data, Linux would have a better idea of how to move data around in memory and which data to swap out to disk.

The problem was that finer-grained tracking would take CPU time that the system might otherwise use for executing user code, so there'd be a slowdown. On the other hand, the improved memory management made possible by SeongJae's patch would speed up the system – potentially enough to justify the hit taken by gathering the data.

SeongJae pointed out that there were already patches to take advantage of the kind of fine-grained data he wanted to track, but none of those patches had been merged into the Linux kernel because of the lack of that kind of tracking.


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