Skip to Main Content
Due to complex abstractions implemented over shared data structures protected by locks, conventional symmetric multithreaded operating system kernel such as Linux is hard to achieve high scalability on the emerging multi-core architectures, which integrate more and more cores on a single die. This paper presents GenerOS - a general asymmetric operating system kernel for multi-core systems. In principal, GenerOS partitions processing cores into application core, kernel core and interrupt core, each of which is dedicated to a specified function. In implementation, we conduct a delicate modification to Linux kernel and provide the same interface as Linux kernel so that GenerOS is compatible with legacy applications. The better performance of GenerOS mainly benefits from: (1) Applications run on their own cores with minimal interrupt and kernel support; (2) Every kernel service is encapsulated in to a serial process so that there will be fewer contentions than conventional symmetric kernel; (3) A slim schedule policy is used in the kernel core to support schedule between system calls with low overhead. Experiments with two typical workloads on 16-core AMD machine show that GenerOS behaves better than original Linux kernel when there are more processing cores (19.6% for TPC-H using oracle database management system and 42.8% for httperf using apache web server).
Date of Conference: 19-23 April 2010