/proc/kpagecgroup: Explanation & Insights

Contains information about kernel page cgroups

The /proc/kpagecgroup file is part of the /proc filesystem, a virtual filesystem that provides an interface to kernel data structures. This file specifically helps track down which Control Group (cgroup) a particular page belongs to.

Importance of /proc/kpagecgroup

The importance of /proc/kpagecgroup lies in its integral role in memory management in Linux systems. It's especially important in containerized environments where resources are shared among multiple containers. By mapping memory pages to cgroups, it allows the Kernel to make informed decisions about memory allocation and deallocation, impacting overall system performance and stability.

Typical Usage and Problems

Reading and understanding the /proc/kpagecgroup can help diagnose issues related to memory usage, including over-utilization and memory leaks. When a container's memory usage seems abnormally high, the /proc/kpagecgroup file can be examined to determine if the memory is spread across different cgroups.

For instance, you might be dealing with a high memory usage problem and /proc/kpagecgroup could be a good starting point to investigate the issue.

Bash Examples

To read the /proc/kpagecgroup file, you can use the cat command:

cat /proc/kpagecgroup

Just remember, the data in this file is not formatted for human readability. You'll see a long list of numbers representing cgroup hierarchies.

To count the number of pages in a specific cgroup, you can use a combination of grep and wc:

grep <cgroup_id> /proc/kpagecgroup | wc -l

This will return the number of pages that belong to the specified cgroup.

File Content

The content of the /proc/kpagecgroup file is a list of numbers where each number represents the cgroup hierarchy a specific page belongs to. The line number represents the page frame number (PFN).

For instance, the first few lines could look like this:


This indicates that the first three pages belong to the cgroup in the root of the hierarchy, the next two pages to the first child cgroup, and the sixth page to the second child cgroup.


Understanding the /proc/kpagecgroup file is crucial when dealing with cgroups and memory management in Linux. It's a powerful tool for system administrators and developers alike, enabling them to monitor and manage system resources with precision.

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