Improve Linux Desktop Latency by 60x

If you’re a Linux user, you probably caught the Phoronix post about scheduler improvements coming in the kernel. Basically it’s grouping tasks together in a way that improves desktop interactivity under system strain, with the maximum latency dropping by over 10x and the average latency of the desktop by about 60x. A lot of people have been raving about the performance improvements.

The kernel patch (~200 lines of code) won’t make it in for a while, but a Red Hat kernel hacker has found you can do the same thing in user space with just a few lines of code. Web Upd8 has a post showing just how to do it, including exact instructions for Ubuntu. I’ve running it right now, and although it’s hard to push my new i5 hard enough to get it to blink, everything on the desktop feels a lot faster and smoother when I have lots of stuff going on. Think of it as a responsiveness patch, not a performance patch per se.

If you’re a linux user and you’re not already running BFS or the like, you should really check it out.