I'm currently checking HD access with the following

echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/block_dump
tail -f /tmp/syslog

and this log message pops up once in a while:

Aug 31 22:44:18 Frasse kernel: [ 4818.570038] ifconfig(2817): dirtied inode 4026531841 (net) on proc

What does it mean? Does it involve HD writes?


This is coming from a process named ifconfig, which is responsible for controlling your network interfaces. That inode is probably responsible for a network socket and something weird is going on with your network interface. So, no, probably not related to HD writes.


The data in a cache is "clean" when it has been synchronized, and "dirty" when it is different.

A dirty inode has had new data written into it but it has not been written to disk.


This discussion thread seems to discuss this issue and has a lot of details on it: kjournald constantly accessing disk

One of the posts says that they had luck with enabling "noatime" on the file-system mount, but there are other good suggestions there as well.


  • 1
    Yeah, already did that. Now I'm down to using about 3 W on my green computer. :) – Jonas Byström Sep 3 '09 at 18:25

/proc is a special virtual filesystem that looks into the kernel mechanics, and thus does not affect any disk.

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