Thursday, September 06, 2007

Linux Kernel Summit: Real Time and Scheduler

So, I missed part of the real time and scheduler discussion since I was out in the hallway discussing SystemTap's challenges with Christoph Helwig. SystemTap specifically is depending on utrace which is not yet in kernel and which has some challenges to be addressed. I got some insight into what the problems are and will see if there are things that the SystemTap team can do to help address those. Anyway... back to the topic at hand, as I re-joined it in progress...

Anyway, Thomas Gleixner, Ingo Molnar and Zach Brown led the session (Thomas and Ingo being primarily focused on real time kernel support, and Ingo and Zach working on syslets). Thomas and Ingo were requested additional testing & usage of the RT kernel by more people, especially those that had additional workloads which might benefit from real time kernel support. Real time has made a lot of progress lately and is running some very intensive real time workloads, including being the basis for the next generation US Navy Destroyer class ship and having been deployed on laser wielding robots (I think Thomas mentioned that they just shipped the 250th laser weilding robot with Real Time Linux) -- OH - and those are the GOOD laser weilding robots - not the bad ones! Mostly these are used in manufacturing for welding and such, not for sci fi horror movies. :)

The other topic, somewhat related, is the syslet and general asynch system call operation, such as is required for good operation of asynchronous IO, e.g. AIO. Suparna pointed out that the corner cases for AIO were tough originally, and there is probably more work to do in that space, although the original AIO work addressed many of the original complexities.

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