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Kernel Comparison: Linux (2.6.28) versus Windows (Vista SP1)




Memory Hardware Limits

Memory Limits (Hardware Support) Linux Windows
Maximum RAM - 32bit, no PAE <4GB40 1GB (Starter)

<4GB40 (others)''

Maximum RAM - 32bit, PAE 64GB' 1GB (Starter)

<4GB40 (others)''

Maximum RAM - 64bit 1024GB-8589934592GB - (Starter)

8GB (Home Basic)

16GB (Home Premium)

128GB (others)'


Virtual Memory Limits

Virtual Memory (limits) Linux Windows
split user-mode/kernel-mode 32bit - default static 3GB/1GB dynamic 4GB/0GB-0GB/4GB
split user-mode/kernel-mode 32bit - static 1GB/3GB40 Y N
split user-mode/kernel-mode 32bit - static 2GB/2GB40 Y N
split user-mode/kernel-mode 32bit - static 3GB/1GB40 Y N
split user-mode/kernel-mode 32bit - dynamic 4GB/0GB-0GB/4GB Y Y
i.e. maximum memory per process 32bit, no PAE 3GB (default)

<4GB40 (dynamic 4GB/0GB-0GB/4GB)


2.5GB-3.5GB (typically)

maximum memory per process 32bit, PAE 64GB' <4GB40

2.5GB-3.5GB (typically)'

split user-mode/kernel-mode 64bit 8388608 TB/8388608 TB' 8 TB/8 TB'
i.e. maximum memory per process 64bit 8388608 TB' 8 TB'


Memory Hardware Features

Memory (Hardware Features) Linux Windows
Page Attribute Table (PAT) Y Y
x86 MTRR (Memory Type Range Registers) Y Y
Cyrix ARR (Address Range Registers) Y Y


Virtual Memory Sets

Virtual Memory (working sets) Linux Windows
working sets global per process
working set management uses "clock" algorithm Y Y
i.e. working set management - no set cap Y N
i.e. working set management - LRU memory page used on the entire system removed for that process
i.e. working set management - tuner adjusts sets according to memory needs - Y
swapper N' N


Virtual Memory Page Size

Virtual Memory (page size) Linux Windows
IA-32 page size - default (4KB arch) 4KB 4KB


Virtual Memory Priorities

Virtual Memory (priorities) Linux Windows
memory priorities N

Y (patch)

priority levels 0 8 "0-7"
priority level - default - "5"
priority level based on process/thread N Y


Virtual Memory Features

Virtual Memory (features) Linux Windows
lock pages in memory Y Y
copy-on-write executables (COW) Y' Y'
demand paging Y' Y'


Virtual Memory Multiprocessor

Virtual Memory (multiprocessor) Linux Windows
per-CPU kernel memory buffers Y Y
NUMA Memory Manager Support Y' Y



Virtual Memory Management (swap) Linux Windows
swap prefetch N

Y (with patch)


Y (if preload app)

swap speculative N

Y (with patch)

swap performance - amount used less15 more15



Stack (kernel) Linux Windows
kernel stack size 8KB' 12KB'


Networked Memory

Remote Direct Memory Access Linux Windows
Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) Y Y
InfiniBand Y N





Johnathon Weare © Johnny Weare 2009





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