Why does 'numactl --interleave=all' fail on some systems?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.8
  • Intel CPUs Where two processors are present
    • X5570
    • X5672
    • X5675


After we upgraded from RHEL5.5 to 5.8, we encountered this with numactl:

$ numactl --interleave=all sleep 1
set_mempolicy: Invalid argument
setting interleave mask: Invalid argument


Use a numactl --interleave=<<nodes>> setting that is not in contradiction with any cpusets already in place.
Alternatively, configure the CPU set with the correct memory node information before starting the numactl --interleave=all command.

To configure the CPU set with specific memory nodes:

# echo "0-1" > /dev/cpuset/<<cpuset_name>>/mems

or configure the CPU set with all memory nodes:

# cat /dev/cpuset/mems > /dev/cpuset/<<cpuset_name>>/mems

Root Cause

Analysis showed that the numactl was executed in a context where a constrained CPU set environment (through cpuset(7)) was already in place. In such a context, numactl cannot use all memory nodes as requested by --interleave=all, and RHEL5.8's numactl errors out accordingly. This is expected behaviour.

Diagnostic Steps

Check set_mempolicy(2)'s description for the EINVAL error condition.

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