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Tune your Linux kernel with sysctl

May 14, 2010, 14:32 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Wallen)

"Not many of today's Linux users remember the days when you could (and sometimes had to) compile your own kernel. If you had a special device or special needs for the kernel there was no other way to get it to work. Today most kernels work out of the box with most hardware. But there are times when you could squeeze out a bit more performance or even lighten your kernel on the fly. You can do that with the sysctl command.

"This command allows you to turn on or off numerous kernel parameters on the fly or you can edit a specific file to tune those same parameters. Either way you can modify all of the parameters listed in /proc/sys, so if you would like to see just how much you can modify, take a look at each of the subdirectories under the /proc/sys directory. For example, you can change the number of the maximum file descriptors on your machine by tuning the kern.maxfiles parameter.

"NOTE: You will definitely want to exercise caution when toying with this command as it could, upon modifying any given parameter in the wrong way, cause data loss or worse."

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