* Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > perhaps a more fitting term would be 'precise group-scheduling'.
> > Within the lowest level task group entity (be that thread group or
> > uid group, etc.) 'precise scheduling' is equivalent to 'fairness'.
> Yes. Absolutely. Except I think that at least if you're going to name
> somethign "complete" (or "perfect" or "precise"), you should also
> admit that groups can be hierarchical.
yes. Am i correct to sum up your impression as:
" Ingo, for you the hierarchy still appears to be an after-thought,
while in practice it's easily the most important thing! Why are you
so hung up about 'fairness', it makes no sense!"
and you would definitely be right if you suggested that i neglected the
'group scheduling' aspects of CFS (except for a minimalistic nice level
implementation, which is a poor-man's-non-automatic-group-scheduling),
but i very much know its important and i'll definitely fix it for -v4.
But please let me explain my reasons for my different focus:
yes, group scheduling in practice is the most important first-layer
thing, and without it any of the other 'CFS wins' can easily be useless.
Firstly, i have not neglected the group scheduling related CFS
regressions at all, mainly because there _is_ already a quick hack to
check whether group scheduling would solve these regressions: renice.
And it was tried in both of the two CFS regression cases i'm aware of:
Mike's X starvation problem and Willy's "kevents starvation with
thousands of scheddos tasks running" problem. And in both cases,
applying the renice hack [which should be properly and automatically
implemented as uid group scheduling] fixed the regression for them! So i
was not worried at all, group scheduling _provably solves_ these CFS
regressions. I rather concentrated on the CFS regressions that were much
But PLEASE believe me: even with perfect cross-group CPU allocation but
with a simple non-heuristic scheduler underlying it, you can _easily_
get a sucky desktop experience! I know it because i tried it and others
tried it too. (in fact the first version of sched_fair.c was tick based
and low-res, and it sucked)
Two more things were needed:
- the high precision of nsec/64-bit accounting
('reliability of scheduling')
- extremely even time-distribution of CPU power
('determinism/smoothness, human perception')
(i'm expanding on these two concepts further below)
take out any of these and group scheduling or not, you are easily going
to have a sucky desktop! (We know that from years of experiments: many
people tried to rip out the unfairness from the scheduler and there were
always nasty corner cases that 'should' have worked but didnt.)
Without these we'd in essence start again at square one, just at a
different square, this time with another group of people being
But the biggest and hardest to achieve _wins_ of CFS are _NOT_ achieved
via a simple 'get rid of the unfairness of the upstream scheduler and
apply group scheduling'. (I know that because i tried it before and
because others tried it before, for many many years.) You will _easily_
get sucky desktop experience. The other two things are very much needed
- the high precision of nsec/64-bit accounting, and the many
corner-cases this solves. (For example on a typical desktop there are
_lots_ of timing-driven workloads that are in essence 'invisible' to
low-resolution, timer-tick based accounting and are heavily skewed.)
- extremely even time-distribution of CPU power. CFS behaves pretty
well even under the dreaded 'make -jN in an xterm' kernel build
workload as reported by Mark Lord, because it also distributes CPU
power in a _finegrained_ way. A shell prompt under CFS still behaves
acceptably on a single-CPU testbox of mine with a "make -j50"
workload. (yes, fifty) Humans react alot more negatively to sudden
changes in application behavior ('lags', pauses, short hangs) than
they react to fine, gradual, all-encompassing slowdowns. This is a
key property of CFS.
( Otherwise renicing X to -10 would have solved most of the
interactivity complaints against the vanilla scheduler, otherwise
renicing X to -10 would have fixed Mike's setup under SD (it didnt)
while it worked much better under CFS, otherwise Gene wouldnt have
found CFS markedly better than SD, etc., etc. So getting rid of the
heuristics is less than 50% of the road to the perfect desktop
and i claim that these were the really hard bits, and i spent most of
the CFS coding only on getting _these_ details 100% right under various
workloads, and it makes a night and day difference _even without any
group scheduling help_.
and note another reason here: group scheduling _masks_ many other
scheduling deficiencies that are possible in scheduler. So since CFS
doesnt do group scheduling, i get a _fuller_ picture of the behavior of
the core "precise scheduling" engine. At the initial stage i didnt want
to hide bugs by masking them via group scheduling, especially because
the renice workaround/hack was available.
Guess how nice it all will get if we also add group scheduling to the
mix, and people wouldnt have to add nasty and fragile renice based
hacks, it will 'just work' out of box?