Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:48 UTC, submitted by Michael
Linux "In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small - just over 200 lines of code - but it does wonders for the Linux desktop."
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RE: Comment by tetek
by lemur2 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 09:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by tetek"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't get it - it's big halo cause linux programmers just discover that writing good code gives you good performance or that linux kernel is seriously flawed and needs work ASAP? And all that whining "linux is the best" was bullshit? I really don't get it ;)


The performance of the Linux kernel is absolutely fine for some kinds of roles. World best, in fact.

Backup:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/microsoft-breaks-petaflo...
Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world's fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux.


In that case, Windows HPC would have made the top 5 in the highest-performing supercomputer listsing (which BTW is dominated by Linux machines) for the first time had it not been for the fact that Linux performed better on the same machine.

Having said all of that ... it should be noted that Linux to date has not been particularly well optimised for desktop loads. This patch helps considerably to get around that, apparently.

Perhaps with this patch desktop Linux will henceforth perform better on the same hardware than desktop Windows, just as has been the case before this point in time for embedded Linux vs embedded Windows, server Linux vs server Windows, and HPC Linux vs HPC Windows.

Edited 2010-11-17 09:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by tetek
by Kebabbert on Wed 17th Nov 2010 11:58 in reply to "RE: Comment by tetek"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

"I don't get it - it's big halo cause linux programmers just discover that writing good code gives you good performance or that linux kernel is seriously flawed and needs work ASAP? And all that whining "linux is the best" was bullshit? I really don't get it ;)


The performance of the Linux kernel is absolutely fine for some kinds of roles. World best, in fact.

Backup:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/microsoft-breaks-petaflo...
Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world's fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux.
"
This is not a valid conclusion. It says nothing about other OSes, such as Solaris.

This only proves that Linux is faster than Windows. This does not prove that Linux is fastest in the world, nor World's best.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tetek
by lemur2 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 21:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tetek"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This is not a valid conclusion. It says nothing about other OSes, such as Solaris. This only proves that Linux is faster than Windows. This does not prove that Linux is fastest in the world, nor World's best.


That particular case says nothing about other OSes, I agree.

However, then entirity of the Top 500 supercomputers list does have something to say in the arena of the highest of performance, most expensive machines in the world.

Here are the current statistics, Nov 2010

http://www.top500.org/stats/list/36/osfam

Linux has 91.80 % share of this list. Remember that this is the list where only performance matters, and cost is a minor concern, even if it is a consideration at all.

Traditional Unix (such as Solaris would be counted amongst) gets a notable 3.80%. "Mixed" operating systems of various kinds represent 3.2% of the list, and Windows comes in with a 1% share.

Linux has the world's high-performance computing market pretty much cornered. Once could indeed mount a fair case from these figures that Linux is indeed the fastest in the world, and the World's best.

Now, would you like perhaps to look at embedded, or maybe servers? Other OSes do get a bit of a look in there.

Edited 2010-11-17 22:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by tetek
by lucas_maximus on Wed 17th Nov 2010 12:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by tetek"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

You should read this mate ...

http://www.tmrepository.com/about/

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by tetek
by Stratoukos on Wed 17th Nov 2010 15:40 in reply to "RE: Comment by tetek"
Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

From the article you linked:

The Tsubame team ran their Top 500 benchmarking tests on both Linux and Windows, and the difference in performance was less than 5% but Linux did come out on top, Hilf says. Hilf attributes Linux's slim victory to the Tokyo researchers running the Linux tests on a slightly larger number of nodes. I'm not sure why the tests were run on a different number of nodes, but I will be interviewing Matsuoka at this week's SC10 supercomputing conference in New Orleans and will attempt to find out.

I think I know why. It's because on a machine that probably needs millions of dollars just to flip the switch, there are more important things than just nailing a benchmark.

I don't know if Linux is more efficient than Windows in HPC, but the article you linked doesn't say much either.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tetek
by Brendan on Wed 17th Nov 2010 21:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tetek"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I don't know if Linux is more efficient than Windows in HPC, but the article you linked doesn't say much either.


For HPC there's a tendency to split a large amount of work into "one piece per CPU". This makes the scheduler mostly irrelevant (it's simple to decide which piece of work the CPU should be doing when there's only 1 piece of work the CPU can be doing). The performance difference probably comes from something else (e.g. maybe Linux has more efficient networking).

When you're running a wide variety of different tasks (with different characteristics), then the scheduler becomes important. I've said for a long time that the scheduling in Linux is flawed, because most processes can't tell the scheduler anything about their characteristics, and therefore the scheduler doesn't have the information needed to make good decisions.

In contrast, there's lots of OSs that are better for desktop interactivity than Linux (including Windows) because tasks/processes do tell the scheduler something about their characteristics. For example, for Windows there's a "priority class" and a "base priority" within that class. For Linux there is a "scheduling class" (but the same scheduling class is used by almost everything and doesn't allow for the equivalent of a "base priority").

This patch helps to hide a symptom of the problem (and helps to illustrate how bad the problem is), but hiding symptoms isn't the same as finding a cure.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tetek
by lemur2 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 22:04 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tetek"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

From the article you linked: "The Tsubame team ran their Top 500 benchmarking tests on both Linux and Windows, and the difference in performance was less than 5% but Linux did come out on top, Hilf says. Hilf attributes Linux's slim victory to the Tokyo researchers running the Linux tests on a slightly larger number of nodes. I'm not sure why the tests were run on a different number of nodes, but I will be interviewing Matsuoka at this week's SC10 supercomputing conference in New Orleans and will attempt to find out.
I think I know why. It's because on a machine that probably needs millions of dollars just to flip the switch, there are more important things than just nailing a benchmark. I don't know if Linux is more efficient than Windows in HPC, but the article you linked doesn't say much either. "

http://www.top500.org/stats/list/36/osfam

Linux = 91.80 % share of supercomputers, which are the world's most expensive of machines, where only performance matters.

Windows HPC = 1%.

Draw your own conclusions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tetek
by morglum666 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 21:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by tetek"
morglum666 Member since:
2005-07-06

In shocking news, operating systems that don't maintain a 20+ year compatibility run faster than ones that do.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by tetek
by lemur2 on Wed 17th Nov 2010 22:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tetek"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

In shocking news, operating systems that don't maintain a 20+ year compatibility run faster than ones that do.


Windows HPC doesn't maintain a 20+ year binary compatibility.

Most Linux systems will be able to compile & run source code written 20 years ago without much problem.

Edited 2010-11-17 22:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2