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The kernel column by Jon Masters #83

Feb 09, 2010, 00:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon Masters)

[ Thanks to Linux User & Developer magazine for this link. ]

"Last month many developers were scurrying to prepare for the 2.6.33 merge window (which we’ll cover in the next time). When they weren’t doing that, here are a few of the items that were under discussion, starting with the Big Kernel Lock. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the longer-term goals of the kernel development community is to kill off the Big Kernel Lock (BKL). This is a stayover from the early days of Linux support for SMP (support for multi-processing) in which the in-kernel locking was very coarse and under the control of a single giant ‘Big’ kernel lock. The BKL continues to exist on some level even today – previous efforts to kill it having been thwarted – and it increasingly harms larger system scalability. Jan Blunk continues his excellent work to remove the BKL from various parts of the Linux VFS (virtual file system) by pushing such use down into individual file systems, where it can then be removed slowly. He even has patches to remove the BKL from ext2 file systems entirely when used in combination with his larger overhaul."

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