Sep 12 – 14, 2022
Europe/Dublin timezone

systemd cgroup delegation and control processes

Sep 12, 2022, 3:00 PM
"Meeting 1&2" (Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road)

"Meeting 1&2"

Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road

Service Management and systemd MC Service Management and systemd MC


Michal Koutný


systemd manages the cgroup hierarchy from the root.
This is considered an exclusive operation and it is sufficient when system
units don't encompass any internal cgroup structure.
To facilitate arbitrary needs of units, it is possible to delegate the subtree
to the unit (a necessity for such units executing as unprivileged users).
However, the unified cgroup hierarchy comes with so called internal node
constraint that prevents hosting processes in internal nodes of the cgroup tree
(when controllers are enabled).

This creates a potential conflict between processes of the delegated unit and
processes that systemd needs to run on behalf of the unit (e.g. ExecReload=).
Currently, it is avoided by putting systemd control processes into an auxiliary
child cgroup directly under delegated subtree root.
This approach is broken when the subtree delegation is used to enable threaded
cgroups since those require explicit setup and the auxiliary cgroup would miss
Generally, this is a problem of placing the control and payload processes
within the cgroup hierarchy.

I'm putting forward a few patches that allow per-unit configuration of target
cgroup of control and payload processes for units that have delegated
This is a generic approach that keeps a backwards compatible default, avoids
creation of unnecessary wrap cgroups and additionally allows new customization
of control process execution.

It is a simple idea to present, this brings the topic up for discussion and
comparison with similar situations that are affected by the internal node
constraint too (e.g. joining a container) and the goal is to come up with a
consent or at least the direction how to structure cgroup trees for delegated
units that work well both for controller and threaded delegation.

This presentation and discussion will fit in a slot of 20 minutes.

I agree to abide by the anti-harassment policy Yes

Primary author

Michal Koutný

Presentation materials

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