Turning ksm and ksmtuned off

In this blog, I will write on how to turn off KSM and ksmtuned since I do not need these services and save some unnecessary swapping activities on the disk.

What is KSM?

According to RedHat Site (8.4. KERNEL SAME-PAGE MERGING (KSM)),
Kernel same-page Merging (KSM), used by the KVM hypervisor, allows KVM guests to share identical memory pages. These shared pages are usually common libraries or other identical, high-use data. KSM allows for greater guest density of identical or similar guest operating systems by avoiding memory duplication……

KSM is a Linux feature which uses this concept in reverse. KSM enables the kernel to examine two or more already running programs and compare their memory. If any memory regions or pages are identical, KSM reduces multiple identical memory pages to a single page……

8.4.4 Kernel same-page merging (KSM) has a performance overhead which may be too large for certain environments or host systems. KSM may also introduce side channels that could be potentially used to leak information across guests. If this is a concern, KSM can be disabled on per-guest basis.

Deactivating KSM

# systemctl stop ksmtuned
Stopping ksmtuned:                                         [  OK  ]
# systemctl stop ksm
Stopping ksm:                                              [  OK  ]

To permanently deactivate KSM with the systemctl commands

# systemctl disable ksm
# systemctl disable ksmtuned

When KSM is disabled, any memory pages that were shared prior to deactivating KSM are still shared. To delete all of the PageKSM in the system, use the following command:

# echo 2 >/sys/kernel/mm/ksm/run

After this is performed, the khugepaged daemon can rebuild transparent hugepages on the KVM guest physical memory. Using # echo 0 >/sys/kernel/mm/ksm/run stops KSM, but does not unshare all the previously created KSM pages (this is the same as the # systemctl stop ksmtuned command).

References:

  1. Redhat – 8.4. Kernel Same-Page Merging (KSM)