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The kernel documentation says it best: Sometimes it happens that a request enters the io scheduler that is contiguous with a request that is already on the queue. Either it fits in the back of that request, or it fits at the front. That is called either a back merge candidate or a front merge candidate. Due to the way files are typically laid out, ...


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Red Hat says: front_merges: You can set this tunable to 0 if you know your workload will never generate front merges. Unless you have measured the overhead of this check, it is advisable to leave it at its default setting (1). So the recommended setting is to leave at default. I can tell you that I don't usually modify this setting in my tuning ...



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