NPTL Performance Hack

by Carson Reynolds

Some experimental work on the Linux threading architecture has produced astonishing results. The Native POSIX Threading Library (NPTL) project’s initial release has produced a factor of 5 improvement on threading tasks. One benchmark involving creating and destroying 100,000 threads took 15 minutes on a standard kernel, and 2 seconds on the NPTL version. My own anecdotal experience supports this: my system is more responsive than I’ve ever seen a Linux system.