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Tuning XFS for real time audio on a laptop with encrypted LVM

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Subject: Tuning XFS for real time audio on a laptop with encrypted LVM
From: Pedro Ribeiro <pedrib@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 03:16:15 +0100
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Hi all,

I was wondering what is the best scheduler for my use case given my
current hardware.

I have a laptop with a fast Core 2 duo at 2.26 and a nice amount of
ram (4GB) which I use primarily for real time audio (though without a
-rt kernel). All my partitions are XFS under LVM which itself is
contained on a LUKS partition (encrypted with AES 128).

CFQ currently does not perform very well and causes a lot of thrashing
and high latencies when I/O usage is high. Changing it to the noop
scheduler solves some of the problems and makes it more responsive.
Still performance is a bit of a let down: it takes 1m30s to unpack the
linux-2.6.34 tarball and a massive 2m30s to rm -r.
I have lazy-count=1, noatime, logbufs=8, logbsize=256k and a 128m log.

Is there any tunable I should mess with to solve this? And what do you
think of my scheduler change (I haven't tested it that much to be


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