In association with heise online

Improved scalability

The VFS code and the code of the various file systems no longer require the Big Kernel Lock (BKL). After various changes in 2.6.36 that were already designed to improve the scalability of VFS, the developers have incorporated further scalability optimisations into kernel version 2.6.37 – however, many similar changes whose integration seemed quite likely were left for another time.

This was indirectly caused by Dave Chinner, who presented a second approach to improving scalability that differs in various aspects from the code Nick Piggin had presented and prepared for integration. The resulting prolonged discussions were quite harsh in places, but they triggered improvements in both patch collections – further background information is available in an article on Even several weeks after the main discussions, it has not become clear which of the two approaches will make it into 2.6.38; however, Linus Torvalds has indicated that he plans to integrate Piggin's patches if the developers involved in the discussion and decision-making process don't reach an agreement.

Minor gems

Many further minor, but by no means insignificant, changes can be found in the list below, which contains the commit headers referring to the respective change. Like many of the references in the text above, the links point to the relevant commit in the web front end of the Git branch for the "official" kernel sources maintained by Linus Torvalds at The commit comments available at these links and the patches themselves provide extensive further information on the respective changes.

Every link is preceded by various letters and numbers in square brackets. The letter "C" identifies patches that modify Kconfig files, which contain the help texts and configuration options displayed by "make menuconfig", "make xconfig" and similar tools during kernel configuration. "D" is used for patches that modify the documentation available under Documentation/ in the kernel branch. "N" identifies changes which create a new file. The numbers provide a rough idea of the patch size: For instance, "1" is used for changes between 10 and 20 KBytes including comment, "2" for patches between 20 and 30 KBytes; changes without a number are less than 10 KBytes, while patches marked "9" are 90 KBytes or more.




Various others

Older Kernel Logs can be found in the archives or by using the search function at The H Open Source. New editions of Kernel Logs are also mentioned on and Twitter via "@kernellog2". The Kernel Log author also posts updates about various topics on and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".

Print Version | Permalink:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit