I've been working on Linux things for the last 10 years or so, and I've done
projects regarding performance, power usage, security and many other things.
I'm one of people behind the ExecShield project
(wikipedia link, Red Hat Magazine article),
a project started at Red
Hat that had the goal of putting up as high a possible threshold as possible
against automated worms and virus attacks in a general purpose distribution
On November 9th, 2005 I gave a presentation on this topic at the Linux World expo in
Utrecht; the presentation (in Dutch) can be downloaded here.
Linux is slowly but steadily running towards a huge brick wall with it's
filesystems. The EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 family is the most used filesystem on Linux,
and shines through it's simplicity and robustness, but there are some
serious issues when disks go to be 1 terabyte or more in size: the time it
takes to run the fsck program on your filesystem grows to
impractical times (days or even weeks). Other filesystems in Linux can cope
with such large disks a little better in terms of performance or inherent
scalability, but they all suffer from the fsck crunch.
I'm the author of the linux irqbalance program,
a daemon that distributes the work that the Linux kernel needs to do for
its interrupt processing over the various cpus in your system: This
optimizes performance or power usage.
I'm the author of the PowerTOP program,
a tool that shows which programs are keeping your system out of power saving
I'm the author of the timechart perf subsystem,
a tool that shows which and where time is spent on a system wide level.
Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit
Linux is not Windows. This means that Linux sometimes uses the BIOS services
differently than Windows does, even if both are within the specification.
Unfortunately, many BIOS teams in hardware companies work via a "Windows XP
boots, ship it!" methodology, which gives Linux sometimes some serious
In all honesty, Linux is often as much to blame as the BIOS, and it was also
not easy to actually test Linux. Think about it: a person who is totally
unfamiliar with Linux would need weeks of training to really understand if
Linux works well on the BIOS he is supposed to be testing!
To fix at least our half of these issues, I started the
Linux-ready Firmware Developer
Kit, a tool for BIOS vendors to do a "10 minute" check of their BIOS
with Linux. At this point I know that Dell, HP and IBM have stated publicly
that they are using this toolkit internally already.