Recently I have seen an WebUpd8 article about an alternative kenrel to the stock Ubuntu kernel, the pf-kernel, that supposed increases performance. I am running Ubuntu 12.10 using kernel 3.5.0-30 generic, with the elevator=noop tweak as I have the OS installed on an SSD, with a separate HDD for data and stuff.

Will the supposed improvements of the pf-kernel really have an effect on an SSD-based system, or are they more inclined towards HDD performance improvement? Besides, using a laptop, so any changes that harm battery life are not desirable.

pf-kernel modifications/patches:

  1. -ck patchset with BFS CPU scheduler: Con Kolivas' ck1 patchset which includes the BFS scheduler that brings better desktop interactivity and responsiveness;
  2. BFQ I/O scheduler : using this patch, the disk should be virtually as responsive as if it was idle, no matter what the load is (this is available by default in Sabayon and CyanogenMod);
  3. TuxOnIce: an alternative suspend / hibernate framework that uses image compression, supports any number of swap partitions and/or files, has the ability to cancel hibernating or restoring the image by pressing escape key and more;
  4. UKSM: Memory De-Duplication;
  5. EnhanceIO: a driver based on EhanceIO SSD caching software derived from Facebook's open source Flashcache project that's useful for using SSDs as cache devices for traditional HDDs.
  • so what, so what? What's ur question anyway?
    – poige
    May 21, 2013 at 3:58

1 Answer 1


The pf-kernel includes patches to the Linux kernel which means task scheduling, process management, memory management, and SSD caching. Most of the improvements have nothing to do with the speed of your hard drive but rather how the operating system handles the applications running on your computer. They're designed to make the system more efficient, which in many cases might mean faster responses and lower power consumption.

There are some features (like SSD caching) which would be useless to you if you don't have a disk drive, but otherwise you should be able to see benefits from the other features in the kernel.

You might want to look in to benchmarks and stability first to determine what the risks of using the pf-kernel as opposed to the mainline kernel are and if they're worth the performance increases. If the benefits were significant and the code was stable, I'd find it odd not to be in the mainline.

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