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Setting up the proc Filesystem

Some of the configuration tools of the Net-2 release rely on the proc filesystem for communicating with the kernel. This is an interface that permits access to kernel run-time information through a filesystem-like mechanism. When mounted, you can list its files like any other filesystem, or display their contents. Typical items include the loadavg file that contains the system load average, or meminfo, which shows current core memory and swap usage.

To this, the networking code adds the net directory. It contains a number of files that show things like the kernel ARP tables, the state of TCP connections, and the routing tables. Most network administration tools get their information from these files.

The proc filesystem (or procfs as it is also known) is usually mounted on /proc at system boot time. The best method is to add the following line to /etc/fstab:

           # procfs mont point:
           none            /proc           proc    defaults
and execute ``mount /proc'' from your /etc/rc script.

The procfs is nowadays configured into most kernels by default. If the procfs is not in your kernel, you will get a message like ``mount: fs type procfs not supported by kernel''. You will then have to recompile the kernel and answer ``yes'' when asked for procfs support.

Andrew Anderson
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996