Con Kolivas

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Con Kolivas
Born Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Residence Melbourne, Australia
Occupation Anesthesiologist
Known for Linux kernel development

Con Kolivas is an Australian anaesthetist.[1] He has worked as a computer programmer on the Linux kernel and on the development of the cryptographic currency mining software CGMiner.[2] His Linux contributions include patches for the kernel to improve its desktop performance, particularly reducing I/O impact.


Kolivas is most notable for his work with CPU scheduling, most significantly his implementation of "fair scheduling," which inspired Ingo Molnár to develop his Completely Fair Scheduler, as a replacement for the earlier O(1) scheduler, crediting Kolivas in his announcement.[3] Kolivas developed several CPU schedulers such as the Staircase in 2004,[4] then Rotating Staircase Deadline (RSDL)[5] and subsequently Staircase Deadline (SD)[6] schedulers to address interactivity concerns of the Linux kernel with respect to desktop computing. Additionally, he has written a "swap prefetch" patch, which allows processes to respond quickly after the operating system has been idle for some time and their working sets have been swapped out.[7] Many of his experimental "-ck" patches, such as his prefetching and scheduling code, did not get merged with the official Linux kernel.

In 2007, Kolivas announced in an email that he would cease developing for the Linux kernel. Discussing his reasons in an interview, he expressed frustration with aspects of the mainline kernel development process, which he felt did not give sufficient priority to desktop interactivity, in addition to hacking taking a toll on his health, work and family.[8][9]

He has also written a benchmarking tool called ConTest[10] that can be used to compare the performance of different kernel versions.[11]

On 31 August 2009, Kolivas posted a new scheduler called BFS (Brain Fuck Scheduler).[12] It is designed for desktop use and to be very simple (hence it may not scale to machines with many CPU cores well). Con Kolivas does not intend to get it merged into the mainline kernel.[13] He has since begun maintaining the -ck patch set again.


On 13 July 2011, Kolivas introduced a new piece of software for "windows, linux, OSX and other" called CGMiner, which is used for mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Litecoin.[2][14]


  1. ^ Anaesthesia Information Page by Kolivas, Jan 2001
  2. ^ a b CGMiner GitHub repository, "ASIC and FPGA miner in c for bitcoin"
  3. ^ Linux: The Completely Fair Scheduler at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 April 2007), 18 April 2007,
  4. ^ The staircase scheduler []
  5. ^ The Rotating Staircase Deadline Scheduler []
  6. ^ LKML: Con Kolivas: [PATCH]Staircase scheduler - experimental
  7. ^ Swap prefetching []
  8. ^ "Why I quit: kernel developer Con Kolivas". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines. 24 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  9. ^ corbet (2007-07-25). "Re: -mm merge plans for 2.6.23". Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  10. ^ The homepage of contest
  11. ^ Interview: Con Kolivas at the Wayback Machine (archived 17 November 2002), 16 October 2002,
  12. ^ Con Kolivas returns with a new scheduler []
  13. ^ BFS FAQ
  14. ^ -ck (13 July 2011). "OFFICIAL CGMINER mining software thread for linux/win/osx/mips/arm/r-pi 4.9.1". Bitcoin Forum. SMF, Simple Machines. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

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