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SubjectRe: 2.6.18 is problematic in VMware
Jan Engelhardt wrote:
>>> I have observed a strange slowdown with the 2.6.18 kernel in VMware. This
>>> happened both with the SUSE flavor and with the FC6 installer CD (which I
>>> am trying right now). In both cases, the kernel "takes its time" after the
>>> following text strings:
>>> * Checking if this processor honours the WP bit even in supervisor mode...
>>> Ok.
>>> * Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
>>> What's with that?
>> Thanks. It is perhaps the jiffies calibration taking a while because of the
>> precise timing loop. Are you reasonably confident that it is a regression in
>> performance over 2.6.17?
> Yes. I am not exactly sure if it's something in jiffies calibration
> (because of the 'WP bit/supervisor' thing too), so maybe I thought it
> was the newly-introduced SMP alternatives. I gotta check that.
>> The boot sequence is pretty complicated, and a lot of
>> it is difficult / slow to virtualize, so it could just be alternate timing
>> makes the boot output appear to stall, when in fact the raw time is still about
>> the same. I will run some experiments.
> Booting with 'time' shows that the virtual time increases as usual, i.e.
> [ 9.00] checking if wp bit...
> [15.00] next message here

My experience with VMware on several recent processors (mostly P-M family)
is that it crawls unless I force this first:
echo 1 > /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate

So I use a wrapper script around VMware (workstation) to save max_cstate,
set it to 1, and restore it again on exit.

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