"Large Pages in Linux" – Matthew Wilcox (LCA 2020)



Matthew Wilcox

Since 2002, Linux has used huge pages to improve CPU performance. Originally, huge pages supported 2MB pages on x86. They evolved to support other architectures and, eventually, 1GB pages on x86. Despite this relative success, the huge page mechanism is not flexible enough to support related hardware features. One desirable feature is a “medium” large page size (e.g., ARM CPUs support a 64kB page size). Another is a larger page size (e.g., some network devices support pages as large as 2GB).

In this talk, I will argue that using larger pages to reduce software overhead is as important as enabling hardware…

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