I'm configuring the Linux kernel and at this point I am not sure what it means.

Symmetric multi-processing support

This enables support for systems with more than one CPU. If you have a system with only one CPU, say N. If you have a system with more than one CPU, say Y.

If you say N here, the kernel will run on uni- and multiprocessor machines, but will use only one CPU of a multiprocessor machine. If you say Y here, the kernel will run on many, but not all, uniprocessor machines. On a uniprocessor machine, the kernel will run faster if you say N here.

What douse this means "more than one CPU" ?
I have a Muticore CPU with eight processor cores. does this apply to my CPU or only to two processors on the motherboard, regardless of processor cores?
Are the processor cores meant or processor chips?

I would say that this function applies to systems like this. Regardless of the processor cores, only the processor units (chips) count.

Muli Processor Mainboard

  • 1
    your edited-in assumption is incorrect, as addressed in the pre-edit answer: multiple cores count as multiprocessing
    – Fox
    Jun 4, 2021 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


More than one CPU means that there is more than one microprocessor, (physical chip or a single chip with more than one CPU core). I don't know what type of CPU you have, but if it's a regular, rather recent computer, you can probably say "Yes".

You take a look at /proc/cpuinfo to see more data.

  • Its a Laptop with a 'AMD Ryzen 5 3550H with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx' CPU. I understand this to mean NO for this CPU.
    – Teso
    Jun 4, 2021 at 19:17
  • 2
    You CPU has four cores, so you should say “yes”. Jun 4, 2021 at 20:02
  • 1
    According to Wikipedia, most multicore processors support SMP. So the answer is YES. "Most multiprocessor systems today use an SMP architecture. In the case of multi-core processors, the SMP architecture applies to the cores, treating them as separate processors." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_multiprocessing
    – Teso
    Jun 4, 2021 at 20:07
  • @Stephen Kitt - lscpu 'CPU(s): 8'
    – Teso
    Jun 4, 2021 at 20:10
  • 2
    That’s the number of threads; your CPU has four cores. Look at the “Core(s) per socket” line in the lscpu output. See this related Q&A for details. Jun 4, 2021 at 20:15

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