Ingo Molnár 提出讓 Linux Kernel 編譯速度提昇的 mega patch

Hacker News 首頁上看到「Massive ~2.3k Patch Series Would Improve Linux Build Times 50~80% & Fix "Dependency Hell"」這個,對應到 mailing list 上的信件是「* [PATCH 0000/2297] [ANNOUNCE, RFC] "Fast Kernel Headers" Tree -v1: Eliminate the Linux kernel's "Dependency Hell"」這個,看到「0000/2297」這個 prefix XDDD

他主要是想要改善 Linux Kernel 的 compile 時間 (從 project 的名稱「Fast Kernel Headers」可以看到),只是沒想到會縮短這麼多。另外一方面也順便處理了 dependency hell 的問題 (改善維護性)。

測試出來的結果相當驚人,從 231.34 +- 0.60 secs (15.5 builds/hour) 到 129.97 +- 0.51 secs (27.7 builds/hour),以編譯次數來看的話是 78% 的改善。如果以 CPU time 來看的話,從 11,474,982.05 msec cpu-clock 降到 7,100,730.37 msec cpu-clock,也是以編譯次數來算的話,有 61.6% 的改善...

這是花了一年多的時間嘗試才達成的目標,嘗試不同的方法,前幾次雖然都有改善,但改善幅度太小,變動卻太大,他覺得不值得丟出來,直到第三次才達成這樣的目標...

第一次:

When I started this project, late 2020, I expected there to be maybe 50-100 patches. I did a few crude measurements that suggested that about 20% build speed improvement could be gained by reducing header dependencies, without having a substantial runtime effect on the kernel. Seemed substantial enough to justify 50-100 commits.

第二次:

But as the number of patches increased, I saw only limited performance increases. By mid-2021 I got to over 500 commits in this tree and had to throw away my second attempt (!), the first two approaches simply didn't scale, weren't maintainable and barely offered a 4% build speedup, not worth the churn of 500 patches and not worth even announcing.

第三次:

With the third attempt I introduced the per_task() machinery which brought the necessary flexibility to reduce dependencies drastically, and it was a type-clean approach that improved maintainability. But even at 1,000 commits I barely got to a 10% build speed improvement. Again this was not something I felt comfortable pushing upstream, or even announcing. :-/

然後基於第三次的成果覺得有望,意外的發現後續的速度改善比想像中的多非常多:

But the numbers were pretty clear: 20% performance gains were very much possible. So I kept developing this tree, and most of the speedups started arriving after over 1,500 commits, in the fall of 2021. I was very surprised when it went beyond 20% speedup and more, then arrived at the current 78% with my reference config. There's a clear super-linear improvement property of kernel build overhead, once the number of dependencies is reduced to the bare minimum.

這次的 patch 雖然超大包,但看起來對於 compile 時間改善非常多,應該會有不少討論... 消息還蠻新的 (台灣時間今天早上五點的信),晚點可以看一下其他大老出來回什麼...

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