How to change default I/O scheduler?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 with a 2.4 kernel base uses a single, robust, general purpose I/O elevator. The I/O schedulers provided in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, embedded in the 2.6 kernel, have advanced the I/O capabilities of Linux significantly. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, applications can now optimize the kernel I/O at boot time, by selecting one of four different I/O schedulers to accommodate different I/O usage patterns:

* Completely Fair Queuing—elevator=cfq (default)
* Deadline—elevator=deadline
* NOOP—elevator=noop
* Anticipatory—elevator=as

The I/O scheduler can be selected at boot time using the “elevator” kernel parameter. In the following example, the system has been configured to use the deadline scheduler in the grub.conf file.

title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-8.el5)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-8.el5 ro root=/dev/vg0/lv0 elevator=deadline
initrd /initrd-2.6.18-8.el5.img

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, it is also possible to change the I/O scheduler for a particular disk on the fly.

# cat /sys/block/sdb/queue/scheduler
noop anticipatory deadline [cfq]
# echo ‘deadline’ > /sys/block/sdb/queue/scheduler
# cat /sys/block/sdb/queue/scheduler
noop anticipatory [deadline] cfq

The following are the tunable files for the deadline scheduler. They can be tuned to any suitable value according to hardware performance and software requirements:


DEVNAME is the name of block device (such as sda, sdb, hda, etc)

A detailed description of the deadline I/O scheduler can be found at:

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