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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH] Introduce CLOCK_REALTIME_COARSE
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On Sat, 2009-07-18 at 14:09 +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> * john stultz <johnstul@us.ibm.com> wrote:
>
> > Hey all,
> >
> > After talking with some application writers who want very
> > fast, but not fine-grained timestamps, I decided to try to
> > implement a new clock_ids to clock_gettime():
> > CLOCK_REALTIME_COARSE and CLOCK_MONOTONIC_COARSE which returns the
> > time at the last tick. This is very fast as we don't have to
> > access any hardware (which can be very painful if you're using
> > something like the acpi_pm clocksource), and we can even use the
> > vdso clock_gettime() method to avoid the syscall. The only trade
> > off is you only get low-res tick grained time resolution.
> >
> > This isn't a new idea, I know Ingo pushed a patch (see commit
> > 5899a0f044f3c80e9f7262ec5bc7164773a4c28e) a little while ago that
> > made the vsyscall gettimeofday() return coarse grained time when
> > the vsyscall64 sysctrl was set to 2. However this affects all
> > applications on a system.
>
> Note, that patch is an -rt commit, right? I.e. not yet upstream.

Oh yikes.. Somehow I cloned off of the wrong tree. Yes, you're right, I
was looking at the -rt git tree, your patch has not gone upstream yet.

My patch does still apply to mainline with offsets.


> > With this method, applications can choose the proper
> > speed/granularity trade-off for themselves.
> >
> > This is a first pass on this implementation, and while I did test
> > it, the box I tested it with did not have a glibc new enough to
> > utilize the vdso clock_gettime(), so there may still be issues
> > there. I'll find a newer box for testing shortly.
> >
> > Any thoughts or feedback will be appreciated!
>
> Looks good. I think we should offer both methods: your patch as an
> unconditional 'coarse time' approximator always available
> everywhere, plus the vsyscall redirector as well from -rt, to allow
> admins/users to tweak in a global way on apps that cannot be
> changed.

I was thinking for users of apps that cannot be changed, an LD_PRELOAD
redirector that changed the clock_id to a _COARSE might be a little
cleaner then whole-sale forcing all of user-land to be low-res. But I'm
not terribly opinionated on it.

-john



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