[Top] [All Lists]

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

To: Russell King - ARM Linux <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFC] Simplify the Linux kernel by reducing its state space
From: Thomas Gleixner <>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 19:34:55 +0200 (CEST)
Cc: "Paul E. McKenney" <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In-reply-to: <>
References: <> <>
User-agent: Alpine 2.02 (LFD 1266 2009-07-14)
On Sat, 31 Mar 2012, 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.

For a first step we can deprecated arch/ and make it depend on
CONFIG_STAGING. That way we can have it around a bit for sentimental
reasons w/o having a lot of churn.

Suggested-by: Russell King <>
Signed-off-by: Thomas Gleixner <>

Index: tip/Makefile
--- tip.orig/Makefile
+++ tip/Makefile
@@ -564,7 +564,9 @@ else
 include $(srctree)/arch/$(SRCARCH)/Makefile
 ifneq ($(CONFIG_FRAME_WARN),0)
 KBUILD_CFLAGS += $(call cc-option,-Wframe-larger-than=${CONFIG_FRAME_WARN})
Index: tip/drivers/staging/Kconfig
--- tip.orig/drivers/staging/Kconfig
+++ tip/drivers/staging/Kconfig
@@ -1,6 +1,10 @@
+       bool
 menuconfig STAGING
        bool "Staging drivers"
        default n
+       select ARCH_SUPPORT
          This option allows you to select a number of drivers that are
          not of the "normal" Linux kernel quality level.  These drivers
Index: tip/Documentation/feature-removal-schedule.txt
--- tip.orig/Documentation/feature-removal-schedule.txt
+++ tip/Documentation/feature-removal-schedule.txt
@@ -537,3 +537,13 @@ When:      3.6
 Why:   setitimer is not returning -EFAULT if user pointer is NULL. This
        violates the spec.
 Who:   Sasikantha Babu <>
+What:  Remove arch
+When:  April 1st 2013
+Why:    NR_CPUS=0 made arch/ obsolete. Keep it around a bit for
+       sentimental reasons.
+Who:   paulmck,tglx.rmk

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>