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SubjectRe[05]: Linux Kernel 2.2.20-pre10 Initial Impressions
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Hi Alan,

I have completed some testing. Some as I am not sure what other
testing I need to do as will become evident below. I have not copied
in Andrea Arcangeli. Based on the results it would be my (limited
Linux Kernel knowledge) opinion whatever I am observing is not likely
VM related.

The summary of the results are as follows:


Test Case One:
****************

Steps used:

- - Boot System
- - Log onto non-root user id.
- - "startx" (KDE desktop started)
(applications prestart from last log off include kppp, kpppload,
xosview, gnome terminal, khrono, 3 kfm's)
- - Start Netscape 4.78 from desktop ICON
- - Click the pull down arrow on far right side of the "Go To:" (AKA
URL line) of Netscape 4.78.

Results:

For Kernel 2.2.19OWL, 2.2.20-pre10, 2.4.9-ac10

All were instant response from Netscape. Did the test for each
kernel twice; and yes that means each of the 6 tests were done from a
new boot of the PC.

This is the expected result, but until I did this test I was not
aware of any instant Netscape response to this action. My "usual"
personal sequence of starting things was different, but traditional
as will be noted later. I came up with this test based on some
non-browser experiences the latter part of this week.


Test Case Two:
*****************

Steps used:

- - Boot System
- - Log onto non-root user id.
- - "startx" (KDE desktop started)
(applications prestart from last log off include kppp, kpppload,
xosview, gnome terminal, khrono, 3 kfm's)
- - Had kppp "connect" to my ISP (dial up model 56KB, really 49,300
most of time, some connects 48,000, note kppp is configured to start
up ntpdate to sync with some time servers.)
- - Start Netscape 4.78 from desktop ICON
- - Click the pull down arrow on far right side of the "Go To:" (AKA
URL line) of Netscape 4.78.

Results:

For Kernel 2.2.19OWL, 2.2.20-pre10, 2.4.9-ac10

All times were 2 minutes 3 seconds to get the URL list that appears
when one clicks the noted button. Did the test for each kernel
twice; and yes that means each of the 6 tests were done from a new
boot of the PC.

This is sort of the expected results, but until I did this test I was
not aware of how long the waint was in absolute terms. My "usual"
personal sequence of starting things was different, but traditional
as will be noted later. I came up with this test as I wanted to see
if the IPChains (2.2 kernels) or IPTables (2.4 kernel) was having an
effect on the delays I experienced.

Although I had never know how long it took for this URL list to
appear, my memory from my expereinces (have many as been happening
for long time) was that with the 2.2.20-pre10 kernel things were
really much much longer. Clearly from the tests I have done that is
not the case. This test is not exactly how I usually start things
up. Normally I have kppp start the IPChains script, then I start
Netscape. This test clearly shows some relationship to my ppp0
connection being established and how long Netscape took to respond to
viewing a URL list. Note we are not actually selecting a site to go
to, hence why test one was done and the very big surprize discovering
there was no delay in the action. the test is just to click the list
button to see the list, no more than that.


Test Case Three:
*******************

Steps used:

- - After the second test with Kernel 2.4.9-ac10 of Test Case Two
- - kppp is still up and connected to ISP from Test Case Two
- - Closed Netscape completely.
- - Start Netscape 4.78 from desktop ICON
- - Click the pull down arrow on far right side of the "Go To:" (AKA
URL line) of Netscape 4.78.

Results:

For Kernel 2.4.9-ac10 as only Kernel did this test with:

For the two times this test case was also done, still a delay of 2
minutes 3 seconds from the time clicked the button until the URLs
appeared.

A special note for the second test done in this test case. After the
first time did test for this test case, did an e2fsck and mount for a
mount point for HDA7. The other mount points are all SCSI and
started at boot time. The HDA device is not being auto mounted
mostly to allow me to work around the various problems with booting,
related lilo, but also exist with grub. Again I decided on this
varient of the test as I do in fact start the system at times without
the HDA drive mounted or the IDE interface disabled when I need to do
lilo activities.


Test Case Four:
******************

Steps used:

- - After the second test with Kernel 2.4.9-ac10 of Test Case three
- - kppp is still up and connected to ISP from Test Case Two
- - Closed Netscape completely.
- - Started my IPTables based script that was also set to do a
"iptables -Lv" at end to see if that altered the time of the delay as
this would often match a suitation I have had in past few weeks on my
Linux system.
- - Start Netscape 4.78 from desktop ICON
- - Click the pull down arrow on far right side of the "Go To:" (AKA
URL line) of Netscape 4.78.

Results:

For Kernel 2.4.9-ac10 as only Kernel did this test with:

For the one time I did this test case, a delay of 2 minutes 19
seconds from the time clicked the button until the URLs appeared.


Test Case Five:
*****************

Steps used:

- - Boot System
- - Log onto non-root user id.
- - "startx" (KDE desktop started)
(applications prestart from last log off include kppp, kpppload,
xosview, gnome terminal, khrono, 3 kfm's)
- - Had kppp "connect" to my ISP (dial up model 56KB, really 49,300
most of time, some connects 48,000, note kppp is configured to start
up ntpdate to sync with some time servers.)
- - Started my IPChains based script that was also set to do a
"ipchains -L" at end to see if that altered the time of the delay as
this would often match a suitation I have had in past few weeks on my
Linux system.
- - Start Netscape 4.78 from desktop ICON
- - Click the pull down arrow on far right side of the "Go To:" (AKA
URL line) of Netscape 4.78.

Results:

For Kernel 2.2.19OWL only was this test done. First time the delay
was 2 minutes 3 seconds, the second time it was 2 minutes 15 seconds.


Other Comments
*******************

All the kernels were complied using the same gcc compiler supplied
with SuSE 6.4. The SuSE 6.4 I am using is up to date as of about
April/2001 as far as security fixes and like. It is still using KDE
1.1.2, and XFree 3.3.6. And yes the necessary elements to meet the
requirements of the 2.4 kernel are in place. I managed to work the
SuSE 7.2 versions of those tools into the SuSE 6.4 system with some
nurturing :). Other than that it is basically a SuSE 6.4 system
witth the odd application at a much higher level than supplied with
SuSE, but these are either console or X based apps. Obviously no KDE
2 apps on this system.

Also of interesting note, during the time delay experienced there was
not much, if any CPU activity, so the delay does not seem to be
"processing" related. For all intents and purposes I could not
observe any internet activity. That is not to say there was none,
but not really observable.

In terms of the two 2.2 Kernels, the 2.2.20-pre-10 kernel was build
using the config of the 2.2.19 kernel via oldconfig. The only
difference was when running oldconfig it asked about one item that
was not in the 2.2.19 kernel. My reply was to make the module, even
though I had no use for the module.

The 2.2.19 Kernel is the base kernel from kernel.org plus the
Openwall patch:

http://www.openwall.com/linux/linux-2.2.19-ow1.tar.gz

Of course there was no Openwall patch made to the 2.2.20-pre10
kernel.

I have attached a screen image of the URL history list that was the
subject of this test to give a better understanding of what was being
selected to display.

This is not the only area where there are unexpected delays. I am
just most familar with this one as it is the one I happen to do
almost every day. Now although I am sure there were shorter and
different delays, I cannot duplicate it at moment the shorter ones
for the activity I do every day. I will keep my wits about me to
better observe and see if I can identify what may be related to the
amount of time in a delay.

As for the impact of this observation for the 2.2.20-pre10 Kernel, I
am in no position to really say given my very lack of familarity with
the process, not to mention the kernel itself. As a QA/Testing
person I can say that from what I have experienced in the past, and
see with the 2.2.20-pre10 kernel on the issue I am experiencing there
is likey no change. At this point I would not be able to say if the
matter has some kernel element of impact or not.

It is possible I may have omitted some important point(s) in this
eMail note, or even omitted in my testing. If so feel free to
comment. I will be busy over the wekk and suggestion has it I will
need to work next weekend. Be that the case, please be patient if I
am very slow in replying to any additional information or
clarification that may be required.


Regards,

John L. Males
Willowdale, Ontario
Canada
23 September 2001 20:00
mailto:jlmales@softhome.net


Subject: Re: Re[03]: Linux Kernel 2.2.20-pre10 Initial
Impressions
To: jlmales@softhome.net
Date sent: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 20:00:06 +0100 (BST)
Copies to: alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk (Alan Cox),
linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>

> > Understood, but I actually took my 2.2.19 .config and ran "make
> > oldconfig", then "make xconfig" making no changes, just saved it
>
> Excellent. That makes the data so much more valuable
>
> > I am likely to do the benchmark tonight to get hard numbers on
> > the difference I sense. I am a QA/Testing Specialist, so I am
> > all to aware of the importance of keeping the variables all the
> > same. My initial background was with assembler back in the real
> > core
> > memory/keypunch days where I disassembled and heavily modified
> > the OS, compiler, assembler, system utilities and wrote a new way
> > to load the OS, compilers, etc from scratch to a new disk. Ony
> > advising you so you have a sense of my mindset and level of
> > understanding. Not current with intimate x86 details or
> > assembler, but will someday now that "falt" memory is back! :))
> >
> > I will let you know what I find. If in meantime you feel there
> > are other things needed or for me to check please let me know and
> > I will be most happy to assist.
>
> I look forward to the results. Can you cc Andrea Arcangeli on them
> if they look VM related as Andrea is the 2.2.19 VM person (and now
> the 2.4.10pre one)


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