Ideas for a cgroups UI

On and off over the past year I’ve been working with Jason Baron on a design for a UI for system administrators to control processes’ and users’ usage of system resources on their systems via the relatively recently-developed (~2007) cgroups feature of the Linux kernel. After the excitement and the fun that is the Red Hat Summit, I had some time this week to work with Jason on updating the design. Before I dive into the design process and the mockups, I think it’d be best to do a review of how cgroups work (or at least how I understand them to) so that the rest makes more sense. (And maybe I’ve got some totally incorrect assumptions about cgroups that have resulted in a flawed design, so hopefully my calling out the current understanding might make it easier for you to correct me 🙂 ). A designer’s understanding of cgroups via diagram So cgroups, which are sometimes referred to as containers (I think because a similar Solaris feature, zones, is sometimes called containers) can be used to slice an entire operating system into buckets, similarly to how virtual machines slice up their host system into buckets, but without having to …