Fine-grained locking for POSIX local sockets (UNIX domain sockets)

Suleiman Souhlal ssouhlal at
Wed May 10 08:43:04 UTC 2006

Paul Allen wrote:
>>From Julian Elischer <julian at>, Tue, May 09, 2006 at 10:35:06AM -0700:
>>Sven Petai wrote:
>>are there any patches that take the gettimeofday() calls and replace 
>>them with something that is cheap
>>such as only doing every 10th one and just returning the last value ++ 1 
>>uSec for the other ones..
> Better yet, just realize that during any given scheduler quantum the process
> is running on the same CPU.  Therefore, you should just read the TSC.  
> For that matter, if libc would just remember an accurate synchronized 
> timestamp and TSC pair on a per CPU basis, it should be trivial to get 
> cheap, synchronized, and accurate TSC time on SMP systems.  TSC drift 
> isn't horrible--and best of all if the process drifts from CPU to CPU 
> libc will have a decent chance at doing incremental calibrations.  Simply
> giving libc easy access to a counter of scheduler ticks can be used to 
> ensure this process delivers monotonic time.
> Let me formalize this a bit, you have a noisy, but cheap time source: 
> the TSC always available provided you compute your deltas a per cpu basis.  
> You have another low resolution, low noise, but cheap time source: the 
> count of scheduler ticks.  Rather than coding an ad hoc algorithm,
> this information should be fed into a kalman filter.
> There are some lingering details: you need to invalidate the
> TSC when the processor speed changes: but this is controlled
> by powerd no?  Second, if you can manage to throttle the CPU
> it suggests that you can also manage to pay higher time
> query costs and force clock_gettime calls.

That's not enough. On some CPUs (like the current Opterons), the TSC 
slows down when the CPU executes a HLT instruction, so if you want good 
accuracy, you'll need to take that into account too.

-- Suleiman

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