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Subject[Announce] [patch] Modular Scheduler Core and Completely Fair Scheduler [CFS]
[announce] [patch] Modular Scheduler Core and Completely Fair Scheduler [CFS]

i'm pleased to announce the first release of the "Modular Scheduler Core
and Completely Fair Scheduler [CFS]" patchset:

This project is a complete rewrite of the Linux task scheduler. My goal
is to address various feature requests and to fix deficiencies in the
vanilla scheduler that were suggested/found in the past few years, both
for desktop scheduling and for server scheduling workloads.

[ QuickStart: apply the patch to v2.6.21-rc6, recompile, reboot. The
new scheduler will be active by default and all tasks will default
to the new SCHED_FAIR interactive scheduling class. ]

Highlights are:

- the introduction of Scheduling Classes: an extensible hierarchy of
scheduler modules. These modules encapsulate scheduling policy
details and are handled by the scheduler core without the core
code assuming about them too much.

- sched_fair.c implements the 'CFS desktop scheduler': it is a
replacement for the vanilla scheduler's SCHED_OTHER interactivity

i'd like to give credit to Con Kolivas for the general approach here:
he has proven via RSDL/SD that 'fair scheduling' is possible and that
it results in better desktop scheduling. Kudos Con!

The CFS patch uses a completely different approach and implementation
from RSDL/SD. My goal was to make CFS's interactivity quality exceed
that of RSDL/SD, which is a high standard to meet :-) Testing
feedback is welcome to decide this one way or another. [ and, in any
case, all of SD's logic could be added via a kernel/sched_sd.c module
as well, if Con is interested in such an approach. ]

CFS's design is quite radical: it does not use runqueues, it uses a
time-ordered rbtree to build a 'timeline' of future task execution,
and thus has no 'array switch' artifacts (by which both the vanilla
scheduler and RSDL/SD are affected).

CFS uses nanosecond granularity accounting and does not rely on any
jiffies or other HZ detail. Thus the CFS scheduler has no notion of
'timeslices' and has no heuristics whatsoever. There is only one
central tunable:


which can be used to tune the scheduler from 'desktop' (low
latencies) to 'server' (good batching) workloads. It defaults to a
setting suitable for desktop workloads. SCHED_BATCH is handled by the
CFS scheduler module too.

due to its design, the CFS scheduler is not prone to any of the
'attacks' that exist today against the heuristics of the stock
scheduler: fiftyp.c, thud.c, chew.c, ring-test.c, massive_intr.c all
work fine and do not impact interactivity and produce the expected

the CFS scheduler has a much stronger handling of nice levels and
SCHED_BATCH: both types of workloads should be isolated much more
agressively than under the vanilla scheduler.

( another rdetail: due to nanosec accounting and timeline sorting,
sched_yield() support is very simple under CFS, and in fact under
CFS sched_yield() behaves much better than under any other
scheduler i have tested so far. )

- sched_rt.c implements SCHED_FIFO and SCHED_RR semantics, in a simpler
way than the vanilla scheduler does. It uses 100 runqueues (for all
100 RT priority levels, instead of 140 in the vanilla scheduler)
and it needs no expired array.

- reworked/sanitized SMP load-balancing: the runqueue-walking
assumptions are gone from the load-balancing code now, and
iterators of the scheduling modules are used. The balancing code got
quite a bit simpler as a result.

the core scheduler got smaller by more than 700 lines:

kernel/sched.c | 1454 ++++++++++++++++------------------------------------------------
1 file changed, 372 insertions(+), 1082 deletions(-)

and even adding all the scheduling modules, the total size impact is
relatively small:

18 files changed, 1454 insertions(+), 1133 deletions(-)

most of the increase is due to extensive comments. The kernel size
impact is in fact a small negative:

text data bss dec hex filename
23366 4001 24 27391 6aff kernel/sched.o.vanilla
24159 2705 56 26920 6928 kernel/sched.o.CFS

(this is mainly due to the benefit of getting rid of the expired array
and its data structure overhead.)

thanks go to Thomas Gleixner and Arjan van de Ven for review of this

as usual, any sort of feedback, bugreports, fixes and suggestions are
more than welcome,

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