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Because KSM works transparently to userspace apps, it can be adopted very easily, and provides huge memory savings for free to current production systems.
It was originally developed for use with KVM, but it can be also used with any other virtualization system - or even in non virtualization workloads, for example applications that for some reason have several processes using lots of memory that could be shared.
Even when all the VMs are running the same OS with the same kernel and libraries the host kernel can't know that a lot of those pages are identical and can be shared. The KSM kernel daemon, ksmd, periodically scans areas of user memory, looking for pages of identical content which can be replaced by a single write-protected page (which is automatically COW'ed if a process wants to update it).
But some people like to compile their own kernels from kernel.org, or maybe they like following the Linux development and want to try it.Summary: This version adds virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code which provides noticeable performance speedups, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a "perf timechart" tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers."Writeback" in the context of the Linux kernel can be defined as the process of writing "dirty" memory from the page cache to the disk.A streaming vs random writer benchmark went from a few MB/s to ~120 MB/s.In short, performance improves in many important workloads.