I'm trying to implement a real-time algorithm in Linux.

I've studied the linux Real-Time policies : sched_rr, sched_fifo.

Than i go deeper and i found the Completely Fair Scheduler. I deduced that if i use the CFS i lose the predicibily since CFS cares only about fairness.

If i want to implement rigorously a real-time scheduling algorithm i should not use CFS. Am i correct ? If yes, what Linux Scheduler shoud i use ?


CFS shares bandwidth fairly between different concurrent workloads in a way that gives interactive workloads appealing low latencies. Real-time means meeting a deadline, which sounds like, but is not same as, low latency. As CFS does not offer deadline, it is not suited for real-time. I suggest you look into SCHED_DEADLINE scheduler. It is a fairly good general purpose real-time scheduler for periodic or sporadic tasks with deadlines.

SCHED_DEADLINE tasks have the highest priority of all and thus pre-empt all other tasks. SCHED_RR and SCHED_FIFO are scheduled according to priority 1 to 99, where larger number pre-empts lower priorities. SCHED_OTHER is priority 0, which is lower than the previous and therefore this CFS scheduler gets only CPU as left over from real-time tasks. Real-time schedulers can allocate at most 95% of CPU bandwidth leaving SCHED_OTHER tasks 5% of bandwidth (unless changed via sysctl). There are also SCHED_BATCH and SCHED_IDLE, which tell scheduler to give different disadvantages compared SCHED_OTHER. The Linux man page sched(7) gives more details.

  • By default, does Linux schedule sched_rr, sched_fifo and sched_other tasks using CFS ? And it's possible to use only the sched_deadline, inhibiting the CFS ? – Qwerto Jul 12 '18 at 12:46
  • No. CFS does not schedule real-time. I've added to the answer how the policies relate and a link to sched(7) man page that has a decent explanation. – Marko Kohtala Jul 14 '18 at 16:20

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