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SubjectRE: userspace irq balancer
Again, since the userland is using /proc/irq/N/smp_affinity, the in-kernel one won't touch whatever settings done by the userlannd. So I don't think we have issues here - if the userland has more knowledge, then it simply uses binding. If not, use the generic but dumb one in the kernel. Same thing as scheduling. If the dumb one has a critical problem, we should fix it.

At the same time, I don't believe a single almighty userland policy exists, either. One might need to write or modify his program to do the best for the system anyway. Or a very simple script might just work fine.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Cleverdon []
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 7:27 AM
> To: David S. Miller;
> Cc:;;;
> Subject: Re: userspace irq balancer
> On Tuesday 20 May 2003 05:22 pm, David S. Miller wrote:
> > From: Andrew Morton <>
> > Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 02:17:12 -0700
> >
> > Concerns have been expressed that the /proc interface may be a bit
> racy.
> > One thing we do need to do is to write a /proc stresstest tool which
> > pokes numbers into the /proc files at high rates, run that under traffic
> > for a few hours.
> >
> > This issue is %100 independant of whether policy belongs in the
> > kernel or not. Also, the /proc race problem exists and should be
> > fixed regardless.
> >
> > Nobody has tried improving the current balancer.
> >
> > Policy does not belong in the kernel. I don't care what algorithm
> > people decide to use, but such decisions do NOT belong in the kernel.
> You keep saying that, but suppose I want to try HW IRQ balancing using the
> registers. How could I do that from userspace? And if I could, wouldn't
> the
> benefit of real time IRQ routing be lost?
> It seems to me that only long term interrupt policy can be done from
> userland.
> Anything that does fast responses to fluctuating load must be inside the
> kernel.
> At the moment we don't do any fast IRQ policy. Even the original
> irq_balance
> only looked for idle CPUs after an interrupt was serviced. However,
> suppose
> you had a P4 with hyperthreading turned on. If an IRQ is to be delivered
> to
> the main thread but it is busy and its sibling is idle, why shouldn't we
> deliver the interrupt to the idle sibling? They both share the same
> caches,
> etc, so cache warmth isn't a problem.
> --
> James Cleverdon
> IBM xSeries Linux Solutions
> {jamesclv(Unix, preferred), cleverdj(Notes)} at us dot ibm dot com
> -
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