The Linux Kernel: To Patch or Not to Patch?

by Keith Vance

A lively debate broke out in the open source community when one developer discovered how to speed up the Linux desktop with a few lines of code that patch the kernel.

The free open source software community is filled with clever people. One developer, Mike Galbraith, recently wrote a 233-line patch for the Linux kernel that reduces desktop latency by 60 times. A few days later Red Hat released a simpler alternative that requires just two commands and four lines of code.

One solution patches the kernel, while the other fixes it with a shell script. A debate has broken out about which is better.

One Slashdot blogger said, "The kernel patch groups processes by owning TTY. The bash shell change groups them by session."

Linux Insider Katherine Noyes reported that auto-tuning behavior "that's built in will probably be the most reliable, easiest, and best-performing way to do this, rather than requiring every Linux distribution to ensure that they're running the same extra scripts and keeping the userspace stuff in sync," brion concluded. "Do it once and leave it built-in to the kernel."

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Dec 1st 2010
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