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Linux Kernel in a Nutshell by Greg Kroah-Hartman

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CPU

If you wish to have the Linux kernel run as fast as possible for your specific processor and hardware type, there are a few options that you can set to get the last bit of performance out of the hardware. This section will show some of the different processor-specific options that you can tune for your processor.

Processor Types

A wide range of specific processor options are available to be changed in the Linux kernel. The most important one for our purpose specifies the exact type of CPU you are using this kernel for. To determine the type of processor you are using, run the following command:

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo  | grep "model name"
model name      : Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.20GHz

Note that your response will probably not be identical; what is important is that the command shows the model name of the processor present on the system.

Select the subarchitecture type of the processor:

Processor type and features
    Subarchitecture Type
        (X) PC-compatible
        ( ) AMD Elan
        ( ) Voyager (NCR)
        ( ) NUMAQ (IBM/Sequent)
        ( ) Summit/EXA (IBM x440)
        ( ) Support for other sub-arch SMP systems with more than 8 CPUs
        ( ) SGI 320/540 (Visual Workstation)
        ( ) Generic architecture (Summit, bigsmp, ES7000, default)
        ( ) Support for Unisys ES7000 IA32 series

Only if your machine is one of the other types in the preceding list should you select anything other than the PC-compatible option. However, if you wish to create a single kernel that will run on all of the types of machines shown, select the Generic architecture ...

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