OS Overhead


This is a somewhat convoluted question, but here goes...

We are creating a system that has a "timeline" (e.g. tasks must
be completed in a given amount of time)

OK, so we have a processor (we'll stay generic at this point)
that will be running a linux based kernel, and we want to figure out how
much processor availability we have (e.g. clock tics in a given time).

We know that the kernel functions (including resource
allocation, interrupt hadling, and so on) take up some omount of CPU
horsepower (albeit small)

What is a good general rule of thumb for a barebones linux
system? I know this is gross estimation, but does the kernel use up 20%
of my CPU resources? 10%? Any ideas?

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