get_mempolicy - Linux


get_mempolicy is a system utility designed for inspecting the memory policy settings for a specified process or address range within the process address space. This command grants insights into how the kernel allocates pages of memory and facilitates manipulation of specific memory policies.


get_mempolicy [options] PID [addr range]


Required arguments:

  • PID: Specify the process ID of the process whose memory policy needs to be examined.
  • addr range (optional): Optionally specify the address range within the process’s address space for which memory policy should be retrieved. If omitted, policies for the entire process are displayed.

Other options:

  • -c, --canonical: Display the policy in a canonical format.
  • -f, --force: Force the display of the policy even if the process is running in a non-user namespace and the caller does not have CAP_SYS_ADMIN.
  • -m, --mempolicy: Display the policy in the form of a bitmask.
  • -v, --verbose: Print additional informational messages.
  • -h, --help: Display a help message and exit.
  • -V, --version: Display the version information and exit.


  • To view the memory policy for a process with PID 1234:
get_mempolicy 1234
  • To display the memory policy for a specific address range within a process:
get_mempolicy 1234 0x10000-0x20000
  • To view the policy in canonical format:
get_mempolicy -c 1234

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: If you do not have sufficient permissions (CAP_SYS_ADMIN) or the process is running in a different user namespace, you may not be able to retrieve the memory policy. Use the -f option to force the display of the policy.
  • Invalid address range: If the specified address range is invalid or outside the process’s address space, the command will return an error.


get_mempolicy can be integrated with other tools and scripts for advanced tasks:

  • Use the output of get_mempolicy as input to other commands or scripts that require information about the process’s memory policy.
  • Combine get_mempolicy with set_mempolicy to adjust the memory policy for a process or address range.

Related Commands

  • set_mempolicy: Modify the memory policy of a process or address range.
  • mbind: Bind memory pages to specified NUMA nodes.
  • numactl: Control and query NUMA-related settings.

Linux man page for get_mempolicy