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    SubjectSMP update: 2.1.30
    Date
    [ this may show up multiple times, I'm a klutz ]

    I released 2.1.30 a few hours ago, after a longish delay. The reason
    for the delay is the new SMP code in 2.1.30 - this is the first kernel
    that supports (a limited form of) concurrent kernel CPU usage. Rather
    than using just one large lock for the whole kernel, 2.1.30 starts to
    split the locks into smaller sections. I've been working on getting
    that working and stable the last ten days...

    Note that the 2.1.30 kernel doesn't actually have very many locks: the
    current locks are mainly concerned with interrupt handling and process
    scheduling, as those two areas are the most fundamental and any future
    locking changes rely on these being stable. As such you shouldn't
    expect any huge difference in behaviour - Linux still isn't likely to
    scale linearly on anything that spends appeciable amounts of CPU-time in
    kernel mode.

    However, the change is quite fundamental, and I'd ask anybody who is
    running Linux/SMP to try out the new kernel if you're at all willing to
    test bleeding-edge stuff. I haven't yet much looked into the impact of
    the new code on uni-processor machines, but I'd certainly appreciate
    comments and potential patches for UP-related issues too...

    Final comment: I've been very much in hack mode for the last week,
    concentrating on making sure the SMP code is basically sane. As usual,
    that means that my email queue hasn't gotten all that much attention,
    and if you have a patch that didn't find its way into 2.1.30 it is
    probably best to re-send.. Sorry.

    The 2.1.30 SMP change fixes the SMP lockup problem (this is the same
    problem that had an interim fix in 2.1.29). If you have problems with
    your SMP setup tending to silently just lock up under heavy load, this
    kernel is definitely worth testing.

    Finally - 2.1.30 is likely to break on non-x86 platforms. I hope to get
    that fixed soon (our machines from Finland still haven't arrived, so I
    can't do alpha development right now, but that should be rectified
    soon).

    Comments?

    Linus

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