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Keeping Kernel Performance from Regressions

Tim Chen (tim.c.chen@intel.com)

Linux kernel is revolving rapidly with up to thousands of patches monthly going into the base kernel. With development at this pace, we need a way to ensure that the patches merged into the mainline do not cause performance regression.

The Linux Kernel Performance project got started in July 2005 and is Intel's effort to ensure every dot release from Linus is evaluated with key workloads. In this paper, we present our test infrastructure, test methodology and results collected over the 2.6 kernel development cycle. We also look at examples of historical performance regressions that occurred and how Intel and the Linux community worked together to address them to make Linux a world class enterprise operating system.