2010-11-10

Ubuntu kernel at 1000Hz with PREEMPT enabled?

Back when Linux kernel 2.6 was released, one of the immediate benefits that I noticed was how beautifully responsive my desktop had suddenly become. As it turned out, Linus figured out that he would create a buzz to accompany kernel 2.6's release by having a default clock rate of 1000Hz. However, the excitement was short-lived and kernel defaults were soon brought back down to a more conservative rate of 250Hz, allegedly because some peripheral chips could not handle such a high frequency bump without producing an increased amount of processing errors.

Adding insult to injury, Ubuntu defaults eventually dropped another responsiveness enhancement, kernel preemption, allegedly because the goal was to have a one-size-fits-all kernel shipping with Ubuntu and preemption was detrimental to the kernel performance when the host is used as a server, which was a problem because Ubuntu had somehow decided to shift its focus from the desktop market towards the more lucrative server market.

While there is nothing wrong with universally-safe kernel defaults or with a corporate decision to shift a distribution's focus towards more lucrative markets, it nonetheless left me pondering what would be the best way to get a 1000Hz kernel with preemption on my desktops, without constantly having to crank out my own kernel packages. As such, I was wondering if there would be enough traction from desktop users to justify producing such a kernel and to make it available as a post-install option from the Ubuntu repository?

PS: I'm already aware that a specialized Ubuntu kernel is available to cater for the needs of audio production, but my understanding is that it has power management disabled, because it can interfere with the real-time operation of MIDI devices, while normal desktop users would definitely want to have power management enabled.

5 kommenttia:

Jorge G. Mare (alias Koki) kirjoitti...

If such an option were available, I would definitely (try to) use it.

TheNano kirjoitti...

me too, why not start with a ppa?

EtienneG kirjoitti...

" (...) Ubuntu had somehow decided to shift its focus from the desktop market towards the more lucrative server market."

Really? Somehow, I missed that memo! :D

Mervin kirjoitti...

The liquorix kernel seem to provide what you are asking. It's in a ppa and updated regularly. I've been using it in place of my standard kernel and it feels more responsive.

Adios kirjoitti...

I would definitely use it.