What is 'mach_kernel' and 'kernel_task'?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lavarock09, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. lavarock09 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    I've been running ProteMac Meter on my mac for almost 2 months now, trying to measure my internet usage..

    My total for "Received Traffic" is 35180mb, however the specific usage for the process "kernel_task" is reading 33302mb.. (which is over 94% of my total traffic), whereas things like Adium and Safari are reading much lower (only in the hundred's of mb)

    Can anyone suggest why kernel_task uses so much data?

    The reason I'm measuring my internet usage, is that I'm looking for a mobile broadband contract for when I go to University, and if kernel_task is using so much data, I'm going to have a problem with data limits.

    Thanks for your help :D
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Looks like some bug in the way the program labels processes/programs that use data. Kernel and Mach are both core system processes and run the underlying aspects of OS X, neither would be using the internet at all.

    To be more specific, kernel_task is a memory manager.

    Do you actually do any downloading of files? Or do you just surf the web and use adium? I don't know of any programs like your ProteMac Meter so I can't recommend any others.
  3. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Hmmm...I've noticed when doing network file transfers, kernel_task uses more CPU. I wonder if whatever causes that is also causing the bandwidth from network transfers to get attributed to kernel_task.
  4. lavarock09 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Thanks guys!

    @sammich: I was thinking this, and was trying to think of any alternative methods of measuring my usage? And also I do quite a lot of downloading, as well as things like Spotify etc etc.

    @J the Ninja: Mmm most of my iTunes library (20Gb ish?) is stored on a local NAS drive, so could it be possible that it's counting all that aswell (and therefore it wouldn't actually be internet usage?)

    If anyone else knows a good way of measuring usage I'd be very grateful!

Share This Page