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Re: [PATCH RFC] Simplify the Linux kernel by reducing its state s

To: Russell King - ARM Linux <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFC] Simplify the Linux kernel by reducing its state space
From: "Paul E. McKenney" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:22:12 -0700
In-reply-to: <>
References: <> <>
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)
On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 11:32:00PM +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 01, 2012 at 12:33:21AM +0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > Although there have been numerous complaints about the complexity of
> > parallel programming (especially over the past 5-10 years), the plain
> > truth is that the incremental complexity of parallel programming over
> > that of sequential programming is not as large as is commonly believed.
> > Despite that you might have heard, the mind-numbing complexity of modern
> > computer systems is not due so much to there being multiple CPUs, but
> > rather to there being any CPUs at all.  In short, for the ultimate in
> > computer-system simplicity, the optimal choice is NR_CPUS=0.
> > 
> > This commit therefore limits kernel builds to zero CPUs.  This change
> > has the beneficial side effect of rendering all kernel bugs harmless.
> > Furthermore, this commit enables additional beneficial changes, for
> > example, the removal of those parts of the kernel that are not needed
> > when there are zero CPUs.
> > 
> > Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <>
> > Reviewed-by: Thomas Gleixner <>
> Great work, but I don't think you've gone far enough with this.
> What would really help is if you could consolidate all these NR_CPUS
> definitions into one place so we don't have essentially the same thing
> scattered across all these architectures.  We're already doing this on
> ARM across our platforms, and its about time such an approach was taken
> across the entire kernel tree.
> It looks like the MIPS solution would be the best one to pick.
> Could you rework your patch to do this please?
> While you're at it, you might like to consider that having zero CPUs
> makes all this architecture support redundant, so maybe you've missed
> a trick there - according to my count, we could get rid of almost 3
> million lines of code from arch.  We could replace all that with a
> single standard implementation.
> Bah, maybe I shouldn't have pushed that bpf_jit code for ARM after all...

;-) ;-) ;-)

                                                        Thanx, Paul

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