RE: DOCUMENTATION: /proc/sys/vm & /proc/sys/kernel

Mike Bristow (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:35:41 -0000 (GMT)

On 26-Feb-98 Rik van Riel wrote:
> And linux-kernel people, if there's some spelling bee
> out there, please proofread and correct my documents :-)


diff -ru sysctl.old/README sysctl/README
--- sysctl.old/README Thu Feb 26 02:43:35 1998
+++ sysctl/README Thu Feb 26 17:13:42 1998
@@ -26,7 +26,7 @@
screwed up your system because of wrong documentation, I won't
feel sorry for you. I might even laugh at you...

-But ofcourse, if you _do_ manage to screw up your system using
+But of course, if you _do_ manage to screw up your system using
only the sysctl options used in this file, I'd like to hear of
it. Not only to have a great laugh, but also to make sure that
you're the last RTFMing person to screw up.
@@ -51,12 +51,13 @@
- knowledge of what all those values mean

As a quick 'ls /proc/sys' will show, the directory consists of
-several (arch-dependant?) subdirs. Each subdir is mainly about
+several (arch-dependent?) subdirs. Each subdir is mainly about
one part of the kernel, so you can do configuration on a piece
by piece basis, or just some 'thematic frobbing'.

The subdirs are about:
debug/ <empty>
+dev/ device specific information (eg dev/cdrom/info)
fs/ specific filesystems
binfmt_misc <linux/Documentation/binfmt_misc.txt>
kernel/ global kernel info / tuning
diff -ru sysctl.old/kernel.txt sysctl/kernel.txt
--- sysctl.old/kernel.txt Thu Feb 26 05:00:03 1998
+++ sysctl/kernel.txt Thu Feb 26 17:33:20 1998
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@
/proc/sys/kernel/ and is valid for Linux kernel version 2.1.

The files in this directory can be used to tune and monitor
-miscelaneous and general things in the operation of the Linux
+miscellaneous and general things in the operation of the Linux
kernel. Since some of the files _can_ be used to screw up your
system, it is advisable to read both documentation and source
before actually making adjustments.
@@ -38,7 +38,7 @@

When the value in this file is 0, ctrl-alt-del is trapped and
sent to the init(1) program to handle a graceful restart.
-When, however, the value is > 0, Linux' reaction to a Vulcan
+When, however, the value is > 0, Linux's reaction to a Vulcan
Nerve Pinch (tm) will be an immediate reboot, without even
syncing it's dirty buffers.

@@ -162,9 +162,10 @@
The four values in printk denote: console_loglevel,
default_message_loglevel, minimum_console_level and
default_console_loglevel respectively.
-These values have influence on printk() behaviour when
-printing / logging error messages. See 'man 2 syslog'
-for more info on the different loglevels.
+These values influence printk() behavior when printing or
+logging error messages. See 'man 2 syslog' for more info on
+the different loglevels.

- console_loglevel: messages with a higher priority than
this will be printed to the console
diff -ru sysctl.old/vm.txt sysctl/vm.txt
--- sysctl.old/vm.txt Thu Feb 26 02:37:42 1998
+++ sysctl/vm.txt Thu Feb 26 17:33:42 1998
@@ -71,7 +71,7 @@

The third parameter (nrefill) is the number of buffers that
bdflush will add to the list of free buffers when
-refill_freelist() is called. It is nessecary to allocate free
+refill_freelist() is called. It is necessary to allocate free
buffers beforehand, since the buffers often are of a different
size than memory pages and some bookkeeping needs to be done
beforehand. The higher the number, the more memory will be
@@ -124,7 +124,7 @@


-This file contains only one value. The followin algorithm
+This file contains only one value. The following algorithm
is used to decide if there's enough memory. If the value
of overcommit_memory > 0, then there's always enough
memory :-). This is a useful feature, since programs often
@@ -195,7 +195,7 @@
The first four variables are used to keep track of Linux'
page aging. Page aging is a bookkeeping method to keep track
of which pages of memory are used often, and which pages can
-be swapped out without consequenses.
+be swapped out without consequences.

When a page is swapped in, it starts at sc_page_initial_age
(default 3) and when the page is scanned by kswapd, it's age

Linux is obsolete
        -- Andrew Tanenbaum

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