Python performance on multicore systems

December 21, 2009

Today I stumpled upon this excellent presentation by David Beazley about Python’s global interpreter lock (GIL).

I knew about this lock already, and I knew that it prevents parallel execution of threads in Python. What I didn’t know is that performance actually suffers on multicore systems!

Of course there’s a logical explanation for this, and David took the time to dig into the code and find out what is going on. And he does a great job of explaining it to the rest of us.

Highly recommended if you want to know more about Python threading and signal handling.

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