SCHED_SETAFFINITY(2)        Linux Programmer's Manual       SCHED_SETAFFINITY(2)

       sched_setaffinity, sched_getaffinity - set and get a thread's CPU
       affinity mask

       #define _GNU_SOURCE             /* See feature_test_macros(7) */
       #include <sched.h>

       int sched_setaffinity(pid_t pid, size_t cpusetsize,
                             const cpu_set_t *mask);
       int sched_getaffinity(pid_t pid, size_t cpusetsize,
                             cpu_set_t *mask);

       A thread's CPU affinity mask determines the set of CPUs on which it is
       eligible to run.  On a multiprocessor system, setting the CPU affinity
       mask can be used to obtain performance benefits.  For example, by
       dedicating one CPU to a particular thread (i.e., setting the affinity
       mask of that thread to specify a single CPU, and setting the affinity
       mask of all other threads to exclude that CPU), it is possible to ensure
       maximum execution speed for that thread.  Restricting a thread to run on
       a single CPU also avoids the performance cost caused by the cache
       invalidation that occurs when a thread ceases to execute on one CPU and
       then recommences execution on a different CPU.

       A CPU affinity mask is represented by the cpu_set_t structure, a "CPU
       set", pointed to by mask.  A set of macros for manipulating CPU sets is
       described in CPU_SET(3).

       sched_setaffinity() sets the CPU affinity mask of the thread whose ID is
       pid to the value specified by mask.  If pid is zero, then the calling
       thread is used.  The argument cpusetsize is the length (in bytes) of the
       data pointed to by mask.  Normally this argument would be specified as

       If the thread specified by pid is not currently running on one of the
       CPUs specified in mask, then that thread is migrated to one of the CPUs
       specified in mask.

       sched_getaffinity() writes the affinity mask of the thread whose ID is
       pid into the cpu_set_t structure pointed to by mask.  The cpusetsize
       argument specifies the size (in bytes) of mask.  If pid is zero, then the
       mask of the calling thread is returned.

       On success, sched_setaffinity() and sched_getaffinity() return 0 (but see
       "C library/kernel differences" below, which notes that the underlying
       sched_getaffinity() differs in its return value).  On failure, -1 is
       returned, and errno is set to indicate the error.

       EFAULT A supplied memory address was invalid.

       EINVAL The affinity bit mask mask contains no processors that are
              currently physically on the system and permitted to the thread
              according to any restrictions that may be imposed by cpuset
              cgroups or the "cpuset" mechanism described in cpuset(7).

       EINVAL (sched_getaffinity() and, in kernels before 2.6.9,
              sched_setaffinity()) cpusetsize is smaller than the size of the
              affinity mask used by the kernel.

       EPERM  (sched_setaffinity()) The calling thread does not have appropriate
              privileges.  The caller needs an effective user ID equal to the
              real user ID or effective user ID of the thread identified by pid,
              or it must possess the CAP_SYS_NICE capability in the user
              namespace of the thread pid.

       ESRCH  The thread whose ID is pid could not be found.

       The CPU affinity system calls were introduced in Linux kernel 2.5.8.  The
       system call wrappers were introduced in glibc 2.3.  Initially, the glibc
       interfaces included a cpusetsize argument, typed as unsigned int.  In
       glibc 2.3.3, the cpusetsize argument was removed, but was then restored
       in glibc 2.3.4, with type size_t.

       These system calls are Linux-specific.

       After a call to sched_setaffinity(), the set of CPUs on which the thread
       will actually run is the intersection of the set specified in the mask
       argument and the set of CPUs actually present on the system.  The system
       may further restrict the set of CPUs on which the thread runs if the
       "cpuset" mechanism described in cpuset(7) is being used.  These
       restrictions on the actual set of CPUs on which the thread will run are
       silently imposed by the kernel.

       There are various ways of determining the number of CPUs available on the
       system, including: inspecting the contents of /proc/cpuinfo; using
       sysconf(3) to obtain the values of the _SC_NPROCESSORS_CONF and
       _SC_NPROCESSORS_ONLN parameters; and inspecting the list of CPU
       directories under /sys/devices/system/cpu/.

       sched(7) has a description of the Linux scheduling scheme.

       The affinity mask is a per-thread attribute that can be adjusted
       independently for each of the threads in a thread group.  The value
       returned from a call to gettid(2) can be passed in the argument pid.
       Specifying pid as 0 will set the attribute for the calling thread, and
       passing the value returned from a call to getpid(2) will set the
       attribute for the main thread of the thread group.  (If you are using the
       POSIX threads API, then use pthread_setaffinity_np(3) instead of

       The isolcpus boot option can be used to isolate one or more CPUs at boot
       time, so that no processes are scheduled onto those CPUs.  Following the
       use of this boot option, the only way to schedule processes onto the
       isolated CPUs is via sched_setaffinity() or the cpuset(7) mechanism.  For
       further information, see the kernel source file
       Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt.  As noted in that file,
       isolcpus is the preferred mechanism of isolating CPUs (versus the
       alternative of manually setting the CPU affinity of all processes on the

       A child created via fork(2) inherits its parent's CPU affinity mask.  The
       affinity mask is preserved across an execve(2).

   C library/kernel differences
       This manual page describes the glibc interface for the CPU affinity
       calls.  The actual system call interface is slightly different, with the
       mask being typed as unsigned long *, reflecting the fact that the
       underlying implementation of CPU sets is a simple bit mask.

       On success, the raw sched_getaffinity() system call returns the number of
       bytes placed copied into the mask buffer; this will be the minimum of
       cpusetsize and the size (in bytes) of the cpumask_t data type that is
       used internally by the kernel to represent the CPU set bit mask.

   Handling systems with large CPU affinity masks
       The underlying system calls (which represent CPU masks as bit masks of
       type unsigned long *) impose no restriction on the size of the CPU mask.
       However, the cpu_set_t data type used by glibc has a fixed size of 128
       bytes, meaning that the maximum CPU number that can be represented is
       1023.  If the kernel CPU affinity mask is larger than 1024, then calls of
       the form:

           sched_getaffinity(pid, sizeof(cpu_set_t), &mask);

       fail with the error EINVAL, the error produced by the underlying system
       call for the case where the mask size specified in cpusetsize is smaller
       than the size of the affinity mask used by the kernel.  (Depending on the
       system CPU topology, the kernel affinity mask can be substantially larger
       than the number of active CPUs in the system.)

       When working on systems with large kernel CPU affinity masks, one must
       dynamically allocate the mask argument (see CPU_ALLOC(3)).  Currently,
       the only way to do this is by probing for the size of the required mask
       using sched_getaffinity() calls with increasing mask sizes (until the
       call does not fail with the error EINVAL).

       Be aware that CPU_ALLOC(3) may allocate a slightly larger CPU set than
       requested (because CPU sets are implemented as bit masks allocated in
       units of sizeof(long)).  Consequently, sched_getaffinity() can set bits
       beyond the requested allocation size, because the kernel sees a few
       additional bits.  Therefore, the caller should iterate over the bits in
       the returned set, counting those which are set, and stop upon reaching
       the value returned by CPU_COUNT(3) (rather than iterating over the number
       of bits requested to be allocated).

       The program below creates a child process.  The parent and child then
       each assign themselves to a specified CPU and execute identical loops
       that consume some CPU time.  Before terminating, the parent waits for the
       child to complete.  The program takes three command-line arguments: the
       CPU number for the parent, the CPU number for the child, and the number
       of loop iterations that both processes should perform.

       As the sample runs below demonstrate, the amount of real and CPU time
       consumed when running the program will depend on intra-core caching
       effects and whether the processes are using the same CPU.

       We first employ lscpu(1) to determine that this (x86) system has two
       cores, each with two CPUs:

           $ lscpu | egrep -i 'core.*:|socket'
           Thread(s) per core:    2
           Core(s) per socket:    2
           Socket(s):             1

       We then time the operation of the example program for three cases: both
       processes running on the same CPU; both processes running on different
       CPUs on the same core; and both processes running on different CPUs on
       different cores.

           $ time -p ./a.out 0 0 100000000
           real 14.75
           user 3.02
           sys 11.73
           $ time -p ./a.out 0 1 100000000
           real 11.52
           user 3.98
           sys 19.06
           $ time -p ./a.out 0 3 100000000
           real 7.89
           user 3.29
           sys 12.07

   Program source

       #define _GNU_SOURCE
       #include <sched.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <sys/wait.h>

       #define errExit(msg)    do { perror(msg); exit(EXIT_FAILURE); \
                               } while (0)

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
           cpu_set_t set;
           int parentCPU, childCPU;
           int nloops;

           if (argc != 4) {
               fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s parent-cpu child-cpu num-loops\n",

           parentCPU = atoi(argv[1]);
           childCPU = atoi(argv[2]);
           nloops = atoi(argv[3]);


           switch (fork()) {
           case -1:            /* Error */

           case 0:             /* Child */
               CPU_SET(childCPU, &set);

               if (sched_setaffinity(getpid(), sizeof(set), &set) == -1)

               for (int j = 0; j < nloops; j++)


           default:            /* Parent */
               CPU_SET(parentCPU, &set);

               if (sched_setaffinity(getpid(), sizeof(set), &set) == -1)

               for (int j = 0; j < nloops; j++)

               wait(NULL);     /* Wait for child to terminate */

       lscpu(1), nproc(1), taskset(1), clone(2), getcpu(2), getpriority(2),
       gettid(2), nice(2), sched_get_priority_max(2), sched_get_priority_min(2),
       sched_getscheduler(2), sched_setscheduler(2), setpriority(2), CPU_SET(3),
       get_nprocs(3), pthread_setaffinity_np(3), sched_getcpu(3),
       capabilities(7), cpuset(7), sched(7), numactl(8)

       This page is part of release 5.12 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                              2021-03-22               SCHED_SETAFFINITY(2)