kernel task

Discussion in 'OS X' started by DEE9299, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2009
    Boston Mass.
    my kernal task on my 2.2ghz 2gb 160hdd is 164.2mb with 69 threads is this normal
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
  3. macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    kernel_task isn't the kernel though. :)

    kernel_task is OS X's "swapper" process, hence why it's process ID number (PID) is 0. It handles scheduling and memory for other processes. It's normal for it to suck up a good bit of RAM. Don't concern yourself too much with it, unless it starts using up a lot of CPU time as well.

    Oh, and don't kill it. That causes bad things to happen (kernel panic)
  4. macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    kernal task

    What is happening as it increases it's CPU usage and how can that be prevented, corrected?
  5. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    If there is more to do, it will need more CPU ... :confused:

    Don't try to control individual processes. The computer is a lot smarter than the user when it comes to that.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009

    Should I limit the number of applications I have open? In particular, this may be aggravated when I'm running Windows as a Virtual machine. Oddly enough it came up when I paused/suspended the virtual machine; less of a problem if I just leave it open in the background.
  7. macrumors regular


    Dec 1, 2009
    Don't try to control the process; it's going to take up that much memory and besides, it still leaves you with enough memory to do everything you need to do.

    This seems to be a good explanation.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    kernel panic


    A few weeks ago I started to get the kernel panic error. I still have it from time to time even after reinstallation of snow leopard. I started to think it has something to do with the "kernel_task".
    I don't know if it is normal, but after a reboot the kernel_task take less than 100mb and after a while of working with some programs, it takes +/- 400mb. Even after closing all programs. I think the kernel panic appears when the kernel_task is taking lot of memory and with some heavy programs running like illustrator or flex builder for example.
    Sometimes my free memory available also runs out (with some minor programs open), it didn't happen before.

    I have a macbook 2.0 with 2Gb ram. Does anyone have a suggestion about this?
  9. macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    Kernel Task Overload

    :confused: The problem is the Kernel_task overloads taking up 110 to 150% of the CPU (not just memory) causing it to slow and freeze. I've been looking at this and overheating is often blamed but so is multiple tasks and connections via USB and Wireless, so based on what you said about the role as swapper makes sense. The Kernel task usage seems to accelerate on it's own for some reason after a critical point, not sure if something is running in the background. Flash Player has been blamed as it on many web pages and I have several open at a time. FireFox has been blamed as well and I use Safari, Chrome and FireFox.
  10. macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Dragging this thread up from the depths:

    MBP in my signature - Kernel_task is taking up 400mb of real memory on one user account.

    I created another just to see what would happen, and it doesn't even run on that account. I would switch over but I don't know how to move files across from one user account to another with ease.

    The second user account is a lot faster, even when doing similar tasks (running Chrome, iTunes, Minecraft, Logic Pro occasionally) and it must be because it has that much more RAM available to it.


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