Displays information about the keyrings used by the kernel
/proc/keys file is a special kind of file that is part of
/proc filesystem. This file provides an interface to the kernel's key management
facility, a part of the Kernel that handles the management of security or cryptographic keys in
What Does /proc/keys Contain?
/proc/keys displays the keys that the Kernel currently has in-use. These keys are used for
various purposes such as network filesystem encryption, user authentication, and more. Each line in the file represents
a key, showing information such as the key's ID, type, description, and usage count.
038050a2 I--Q--- 1 perm 1f3f0000 0 0 keyring _uid_ses.0: empty
Why is /proc/keys Important?
/proc/keys file can be crucial when diagnosing certain security or
authentication issues on your Linux server. It can provide insights into what keys are currently active, how they're
being used, and whether they're operating correctly.
Typical Problems and Diagnostics
If you're having trouble with a network file system like NFS or CIFS not authenticating
/proc/keys can help diagnose the problem. By checking the keys, you can verify if
the necessary keys for authentication are present and being used.
Here's an example of how to use the
cat command to view the contents of the
$ cat /proc/keys
How to Use /proc/keys
You can use the
cat command to view the content of the
/proc/keys file. However, as the file
could contain a large amount of data, you might want to use the
grep command to filter the
output. Here's an example:
$ cat /proc/keys | grep 'cifs'
This command will filter out and display only the keys related to CIFS.
/proc/keys file is a powerful tool in the hands of a Linux administrator. It provides a
wealth of information about the keys currently in use by the system, which can be invaluable in diagnosing and solving