A kernel level message passing service

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry at cs.tamu.edu
Fri Sep 1 05:23:17 PDT 2000

Bryce Bockman wrote:
> I have recently become aware of work being done to incorporate certain
> types of services (ex: web servers) into the kernel of unix systems, so
> as to take away a level of abstraction, and eliminate the overhead in
> performing system calls from user space, thus creating a more efficient
> server.
> My question is this:
> Does is make sense that this sort of thing could be applied to a message
> passing interfaces for any sizable gain in performance?  If so, is there
> any work already being done on this topic?
> My initial reaction to the thought is that there would be all kinds of
> security issues, but maybe some sort of "safe" API could be developed to
> address these issues.

I think, at least at first blush, that this could be a really welcome
addition for those of us performing message passing and using scalable
parallelism in this forum (OK, flashy words to say, "All of us.").  That
said, I think we need to think through this and see if it would be
something Linus could implement into a production kernel without
forking, or would we cause a kernel fork that would cause us to lose the
benefit of continued development, and have to reintegrate the messaging
functionality patch into each subsequent release?

Gerry Creager		gerry at cs.tamu.edu, gerry at page4.cs.tamu.edu
Network Engineering			|Research focusing on
Academy for Advanced Telecommunications |Satellite Geodesy and 
and Learning Technologies		|Geodetic Control
Texas A&M University	979.458.4020  (Phone) -- 979.847.8578  (Fax)

More information about the Beowulf mailing list