Memory is managed in blocks known as pages. A page is 4096 bytes. 1MB of memory is equal to 256 pages; 1GB of memory is equal to 256,000 pages, etc.
To get the page size use below commands
CPUs have a built-in memory management unit that contains a list of these pages, with each page referenced through a page table entry
- Increase the number of page table entries in the hardware memory management unit
- Increase the page size
The first method is expensive, since the hardware memory management unit in a modern processor only supports hundreds or thousands of page table entries.
A side effect of creating Huge Pages is that the physical memory that is mapped to a Huge Page is no longer subject to normal memory allocations or managed by the kernel virtual memory manager, so Huge Pages are essentially ‘protected’ and are available only to applications that request them.
Huge Pages are ‘pinned’ to physical RAM and cannot be swapped/paged out.
The kernel will always attempt to satisfy a memory allocation using hugepages. If no hugepages are available (due to non availability of physically continuous memory for example) the kernel will fall back to the regular 4KB pages.
But to use hugepages effectively, the kernel must find physically continuous areas of memory big enough to satisfy the request, and also properly aligned.
A typical purpose for allocating Huge Pages is for an application that has characteristic high memory use, and you wish to ensure that the pages it uses are never swapped out when the system is under memory pressure.
Systems with large amount of memory can be configured to utilize the memory more efficiently by setting aside a portion dedicated for hugepages. The actual size of the page is dependent on the system architecture.
A typical x86 system will have a Huge Page Size of 2048 kBytes.
The huge page size may be found by looking at /proc/meminfo
Hugepagesize: 2048 kB
How to tell if HugePages is enabled or disabled
In the above steps we disabled the THP to make sure kernel doesnot allocates or reserves any hugepage.
If the value of HugePages_Total is “0” it means HugePages is disabled on the system.
If the value of HugePages_Total is greater than “0”, it means HugePages is enabled on the system
Similarly, if the value in /proc/sys/vm/nr_hugepages file or vm.nr_hugepages, sysctl parameter is “0” it means HugePages is disabled on the system
# sysctl vm.nr_hugepages
vm.nr_hugepages = 0
If the value in /proc/sys/vm/nr_hugepages file or vm.nr_hugepages sysctl parameter is greater than “0”, it means HugePages is enabled on the system
# sysctl vm.nr_hugepages
vm.nr_hugepages = 1024
How to check THP usage per process
The number of anonymous transparent huge pages currently used by the system is available by reading the AnonHugePages field in /proc/meminfo
AnonHugePages: 1216512 kB
To identify what applications are using anonymous transparent huge pages, it is necessary to read /proc/PID/smaps and count the AnonHugePages fields for each mapping.
AnonHugePages: 120832 kB
I hope the article was useful.