By popular request, Con Kolivas [interview] has backported Ingo Molnar's [interview] earlier interactivity improvements [story] to the 2.4.20 stable kernel. The interactivity patch was first added as an enhancment to Con's desktop oriented patchset [story] in 2.4.20-ck4. I immediately downloaded the patch myself and gave it a try, disappointed to discover it was less responsive than Con's plain -ck4 patchset. By switching tab views in GnuCash I could consistently skip music that was playing with XMMS, something I've rarely experienced since I started using Con's patchset back in September. The only improvement I noticed was that the system responded very well when performing the less-than-scientific "wiggle test" (grab a window and wiggle it around on the screen quickly).
Fortunately, 48 hours later Con has released 2.4.20-ck5, adding a host of improvements. I quickly compiled a new kernel with his -ck5 patch and Rik van Riel's [interview] rmap15e VM applied, and then booted into an improved desktop experience. I tried really, really hard to get XMMS to skip again on my aging PIII 550, but try as I might, it refused. And the system continued to respond well when performing the wiggle test. Con describes the desktop tuning changes he made:
"It became clear that even with the interactivity changes audio skipping could occur so I've added some more desktop tuning to this version far less drastic than the previous kernels. The desktop tuning patch just changes a few of the default settings and these are all able to be modified at config or after boot if so desired."
Con goes on to list the three options that he modified. In -ck5, the Hz is set to 500, the minimum timeslice is set to 2ms, and the maximum timeslice is set to 40ms. Find Con's latest patchset on his kernel patch homepage. The newly added FAQ offers more information.
From: Con Kolivas To: linux kernel mailing list Subject: Interactivity backport to 2.4.20-ck* Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:53:38 +1000 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 I've had numerous requests for a backport of the interactivity changes to the O(1) scheduler for the -ck* kernels. I have resisted posting my backport because people had described real problems with these patches. However it seems most, if not all of the problems are related to one patch. I've posted a special split out patch (001_o1_int_pe_ll_030407_ck_2.4.20.patch) for ck that includes the new interactivity changes, with the one patch responsible for problems backed out. No desktop tuning patch is supposed to be necessary for this so I've removed it from the site.Note that the full -ck4 patch does not include this update. I would like some feedback from people using it before I make a more substantial update to bring out a -ck5. The patches must be applied manually in order as they're desired. I've been using them for a little while without any problems. Get them here: http://kernel.kolivas.org Con -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (GNU/Linux) iD8DBQE+kYLlF6dfvkL3i1gRAk4+AKClVUe0bhxJKSM5rls1zEfNE9TymQCglChA xheK/JrNmZUnpm14LhgKMeQ= =/Vun -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
From: Con Kolivas To: linux kernel mailing list Subject: 2.4.20-ck5 Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 00:50:40 +1000 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 I've posted an update to my patchset: http://kernel.kolivas.org O(1) scheduler Interactivity backport Preempt Low Latency AA VM Read Latency2 Supermount XFS 1.2 ACPI CD/DVD Packet Writing Variable HZ Scheduler Tunables Desktop Tuning +/- Rmap15e Significant updates: The interactivity changes to the O(1) scheduler by Mingo have been incorporated. Supermount has had a minor touch up to remove annoying warnings on shutdown. XFS has been updated to the latest snapshot. Hz may be set at config time again Scheduler tunables has been backported from 2.5 Rmap has been updated to 15e It became clear that even with the interactivity changes audio skipping could occur so I've added some more desktop tuning to this version far less drastic than the previous kernels. The desktop tuning patch just changes a few of the default settings and these are all able to be modified at config or after boot if so desired. The options chosen were: Hz set to 500 Min timeslice set to 2ms Max Timeslice set to 40ms A FAQ on NOT renicing X with this kernel has been added to my homepage. Please feel free to send me comments, queries, suggestions, bug reports, patches etc. Enjoy! Con -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (GNU/Linux) iD8DBQE+lDNAF6dfvkL3i1gRAqVSAJ4v6YMFE4OH0hN/EeOM5xssu7JrqwCglp3t DXDZ8zNH90jxivl7I4nKee8= =TZkg -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----