Is there a way to make all processes, except the ones I intentionally set otherwise with taskset or numactl use only certain cores/memory (without looping through every thread of every process and setting it myself)?

A few more details: I have 2 physical CPU chips, each with 4 cores / 8 threads along with a total of 256 GB RAM. The memory is not evenly distributed between the two CPU memory buses. I would like the one with significantly less memory to be the general-purpose one with most programs (e.g. background tasks) running on that CPU and with its memory. Then on the CPU with most of the memory run special tasks that I will be timing the speed of and want them to not have an CPU-contention, NUMA, or anything like that.

  • You may enclose your programs to virtual machines using KVM/libvirt, you may specify vCPU/cores mapping in the XML deffinition file. – Jaroslav Kucera Oct 4 '17 at 19:36
  • systemd? Or something else? Have you researched cgroups? – Outurnate Oct 4 '17 at 20:08
  • @JaroslavKucera this wouldn't limit the base system's processes to the given CPU, and the other set of processes is a small set. – thaimin Oct 4 '17 at 20:29
  • @outurnate I guess all of the processes would be started by systemd, but just setting its affinity/numa/cgroup wouldn't necessarily effect all of its children, even just setting the affinity of a process doesn't effect its threads. Unless there is a way to 'hook' systemd initialization to change it before it forks any processes. Also, wouldn't cgroups have the same issue in that every process would need to be added? – thaimin Oct 4 '17 at 20:29
  • child processes automatically belong to the parent cgroup. systemd also creates a hierarchy of cgroups for slices/scopes/service. Unfortunately, you can't set a cpuset for a slice. I've got answer - will type up – Outurnate Oct 4 '17 at 20:37

This can be achieved by modifying systemd config. First, change the default affinity settings in /etc/systemd/system.conf by adding:


Then, under you unit, clear the affinity, then reset it to your desired CPUs

  • Sorry for delay, but this does seem to work! Thanks! – thaimin Nov 2 '17 at 15:43
  • @thaimin glad to hear it! – Outurnate Nov 2 '17 at 19:15

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