PagingMon - Paging Activity Monitor









What is the PagingMon project?
Which platform the project concerned?
How does the visualization look like?

Q: What is the PagingMon project?

A: The PagingMon (Paging Activity Monitor) project aims to provide a real time visualization of page-in and page-out activities in a virtual memory system. We hope that our project helps researchers and kernel developers to understand how the paging activities look like in practical. Hence, paging patterns for specified applications could be generated and either kernels or applications can be improved for better performance.

Our solution to the above problem consists of the following three functional modules:

  • The (Linux) kernel plug-in, which records the paging activities;
  • The tracing daemon, which send out the recorded paging activities; and
  • The visualization tool, which normally sits in another box receiving the record and displaying it in real time.
We hope that our design would incur little interference to the operating system we are monitoring, such that the data we gain reflects the (nearly) real situation.

Q: Which platform the project concerned?

A: The kernel plug-in is implemented in a Linux box for it is one of the most popular open source OS. The visualization tool is implemented in a Windows box. The reason is simply that our GUI programmer is a windoez fan. Actually this forces the visualization tool to run in a different box from the system we are monitoring its paging activities. So the visualization incurs less interferences to the OS.

Q: How does the visualization look like?

A: Currently we provide three modes of visualization, that is:

  • physical memory mode
  • virtual memory mode
  • swap device mode

Each mode provides a visualization in the specified angle. For example, the physical memory mode shows how the paging activities occurs in the physical address space. With different color, the user can tell what activities, such as page-in or page-out, are occurring in which page. Once a page is selected, the user knows the page number, the process ID that uses the page, the physical address of the page and where it is stored in the swap device, from a properties window. We also list out all living processes in another window. And from the color attached to the process, the user can tell how active the process is. Please have a look of our screenshots.

The PagingMon Project. Last update: Sep 9th, 2002

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