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Subjectpatch: 2.4.0/2.5.0: nanoseconds time resolution

I have spend some time making a patch against the Linux kernel to
switch to nanoseconds time resolution together with several time-
related updates. I really need support for architectures other than
i386, specifically a routine that has a very fine and accurate time
resolution (just using ns == 1000*us isn't the best choice).

For the 2.4.0 patch the ia64, sh, mips64, and parisc architectures are
completely not done, and the other architectures are either untested or
done sub-optiomal.

Therefore I put together a simple "hacking document" (see attachment)
to guide you when trying to port the code. More text can be found in
Documentation/kernel-time.txt after the patch, or in the distribution
for Linux 2.2 (PPSkit-1.0.2.tar*) So please spend an hour or two to
help me out there. I hope I'm not forced to drop the project.

Unless you can convince me not to have a /proc/sys/kernel/time
directory, I'd also suggest to accept the patch for
/usr/src/linux/include/sysctl.h for the standard kernel. Currently I
have allocated "50" for the "time" entry. I'd like to have a stable
number for the future.

Ulrich Windl

A sketch on what to consider when implementing the new time framework
on new architectures (like ia64, mips64, parisc, sh).
for an implementation for i386)

* Add new config variables to `' and `defconfig' (CONFIG_NTP,

* use `<time.h>' instead of `<timex.h>' or `<sched.h>' to access
kernel time.

* The kernel knows how to convert kernel time to CMOS time, don't mess
with time zones yourself

* time is kept in nanoseconds. `do_fast_gettimeoffset()' is replaced
with `do_exact_nanotime()' that returns nanoseconds passed since
occurrence of the last timer interrupt. `do_slow_gettimeoffset()' is
replaced with `do_poor_nanotime()' accordingly.

* `do_gettimeofday()' and `do_settimeofday()' are implemented in the
architecture-independent module, messing with all the status
updates. The common code uses the `do_nanotime()' callback to call
the architectures' code (allowing code selection during runtime or

* `set_rtc_mmss()' is called `update_rtc()' now, and it sets the
complete date and time (not just minutes). A new `ktime_to_rtc()'
converts kernel time to broken down time components suitable to
write to CMOS RTC. `mktime()' is also architecture-independent
now. The new `rtc_to_ktime()' is used after reading the RTC to get
kernel time.

* a new `timevar_init()' initializes all the time variables.

* `struct timex' has been changed significantly while trying to
preserve binary compatibility as far as possible.

* time routines are in `kernel/time.c' now, and `xtime', the kernel's
representation of time, is protected by `rwlock_t xtime_lock'. A
new `rtc_runs_localtime' determines if time-zone corrections have to
be made for RTC time updates. A new data type `l_fp', a 64bit
quantity, is used for some internal time variables (needed by the
NTP clock model).

* a new sysctl interface allows controlling of some time variables,
most notably the time zone and `rtc_runs_localtime'. While
adjusting `time_tick' (the former `tick') is deprecated for NTP
applications, it allows fine compensation of systematic clock

* When the kernel time is set, the RTC update procedure is triggered.

* Old routines are implemented using POSIX-alike `do_clock_gettime()'
and `do_clock_settime()'. There's also a `do_clock_getres()' that
gives quite realistic (not optimistic) estimates.

* `adjtimex()' has been significantly reworked, just as most of the
other time-keeping routines.

* Updating the RTC is controlled by new variables: `rtc_update_slave',
when non-zero, controls after how many seconds the RTC has to be
updated. Internally `last_rtc_update' keeps the time of the last
update. Upon update the `rtc_update_slave' is cleared on success.
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