SET_MEMPOLICY(2) Linux Programmer's Manual SET_MEMPOLICY(2)NAMEset_mempolicy - set default NUMA memory policy for a process and its
int set_mempolicy(int mode, unsigned long *nodemask,
unsigned long maxnode);
Link with -lnuma.
DESCRIPTIONset_mempolicy() sets the NUMA memory policy of the calling process,
which consists of a policy mode and zero or more nodes, to the values
specified by the mode, nodemask and maxnode arguments.
A NUMA machine has different memory controllers with different dis‐
tances to specific CPUs. The memory policy defines from which node
memory is allocated for the process.
This system call defines the default policy for the process. The
process policy governs allocation of pages in the process's address
space outside of memory ranges controlled by a more specific policy set
by mbind(2). The process default policy also controls allocation of
any pages for memory-mapped files mapped using the mmap(2) call with
the MAP_PRIVATE flag and that are only read [loaded] from by the
process and of memory-mapped files mapped using the mmap(2) call with
the MAP_SHARED flag, regardless of the access type. The policy is
applied only when a new page is allocated for the process. For anony‐
mous memory this is when the page is first touched by the application.
The mode argument must specify one of MPOL_DEFAULT, MPOL_BIND,
MPOL_INTERLEAVE, or MPOL_PREFERRED. All modes except MPOL_DEFAULT
require the caller to specify via the nodemask argument one or more
The mode argument may also include an optional mode flag. The sup‐
ported mode flags are:
MPOL_F_STATIC_NODES (since Linux 2.6.26)
A nonempty nodemask specifies physical node ids. Linux does
will not remap the nodemask when the process moves to a differ‐
ent cpuset context, nor when the set of nodes allowed by the
process's current cpuset context changes.
MPOL_F_RELATIVE_NODES (since Linux 2.6.26)
A nonempty nodemask specifies node ids that are relative to the
set of node ids allowed by the process's current cpuset.
nodemask points to a bit mask of node IDs that contains up to maxnode
bits. The bit mask size is rounded to the next multiple of
sizeof(unsigned long), but the kernel will use bits only up to maxnode.
A NULL value of nodemask or a maxnode value of zero specifies the empty
set of nodes. If the value of maxnode is zero, the nodemask argument
Where a nodemask is required, it must contain at least one node that is
on-line, allowed by the process's current cpuset context, [unless the
MPOL_F_STATIC_NODES mode flag is specified], and contains memory. If
the MPOL_F_STATIC_NODES is set in mode and a required nodemask contains
no nodes that are allowed by the process's current cpuset context, the
memory policy reverts to local allocation. This effectively overrides
the specified policy until the process's cpuset context includes one or
more of the nodes specified by nodemask.
The MPOL_DEFAULT mode specifies that any nondefault process memory pol‐
icy be removed, so that the memory policy "falls back" to the system
default policy. The system default policy is "local allocation"—that
is, allocate memory on the node of the CPU that triggered the alloca‐
tion. nodemask must be specified as NULL. If the "local node" con‐
tains no free memory, the system will attempt to allocate memory from a
"near by" node.
The MPOL_BIND mode defines a strict policy that restricts memory allo‐
cation to the nodes specified in nodemask. If nodemask specifies more
than one node, page allocations will come from the node with the lowest
numeric node ID first, until that node contains no free memory. Allo‐
cations will then come from the node with the next highest node ID
specified in nodemask and so forth, until none of the specified nodes
contain free memory. Pages will not be allocated from any node not
specified in the nodemask.
MPOL_INTERLEAVE interleaves page allocations across the nodes specified
in nodemask in numeric node ID order. This optimizes for bandwidth
instead of latency by spreading out pages and memory accesses to those
pages across multiple nodes. However, accesses to a single page will
still be limited to the memory bandwidth of a single node.
MPOL_PREFERRED sets the preferred node for allocation. The kernel will
try to allocate pages from this node first and fall back to "near by"
nodes if the preferred node is low on free memory. If nodemask speci‐
fies more than one node ID, the first node in the mask will be selected
as the preferred node. If the nodemask and maxnode arguments specify
the empty set, then the policy specifies "local allocation" (like the
system default policy discussed above).
The process memory policy is preserved across an execve(2), and is
inherited by child processes created using fork(2) or clone(2).
On success, set_mempolicy() returns 0; on error, -1 is returned and
errno is set to indicate the error.
EFAULT Part of all of the memory range specified by nodemask and maxn‐
ode points outside your accessible address space.
EINVAL mode is invalid. Or, mode is MPOL_DEFAULT and nodemask is
nonempty, or mode is MPOL_BIND or MPOL_INTERLEAVE and nodemask
is empty. Or, maxnode specifies more than a page worth of bits.
Or, nodemask specifies one or more node IDs that are greater
than the maximum supported node ID. Or, none of the node IDs
specified by nodemask are on-line and allowed by the process's
current cpuset context, or none of the specified nodes contain
memory. Or, the mode argument specified both
MPOL_F_STATIC_NODES and MPOL_F_RELATIVE_NODES.
ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.
The set_mempolicy(), system call was added to the Linux kernel in ver‐
This system call is Linux-specific.
Process policy is not remembered if the page is swapped out. When such
a page is paged back in, it will use the policy of the process or mem‐
ory range that is in effect at the time the page is allocated.
For information on library support, see numa(7).
SEE ALSOget_mempolicy(2), getcpu(2), mbind(2), mmap(2), numa(3), cpuset(7),
This page is part of release 3.65 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2008-08-15 SET_MEMPOLICY(2)