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Managing System Information, Processes, and Performance in Oracle® Solaris 11.4

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Updated: August 2018

About Processes and System Activities

Some terms that are related to processes are:


Any system activity or job. Each time you boot a system, execute a command, or start an application, the system activates one or more processes.

Lightweight process (LWP)

A virtual CPU or execution resource. LWPs are scheduled by the kernel to use available CPU resources based on their scheduling class and priority. An LWP contains information that is swappable and a kernel thread that contains information that has to be in memory all the time.

Application thread

A series of instructions with a separate stack that can execute independently in the address space of a user. Application threads can be multiplexed on top of LWPs.

A process can consist of multiple LWPs and multiple application threads. The kernel schedules a kernel-thread structure, which is the scheduling entity in the Oracle Solaris environment. Various process structures are as follows:


Contains information that pertains to the whole process and must be in main memory all the time


Contains information that pertains to one LWP and must always be in main memory


Contains the “per process” information that is swappable


Contains the “per LWP process” information that is swappable

The following figure illustrates the relationships among these process structures.

Figure 1  Relationships Among Process Structures

image:This figure shows grid x= per process to per LWP, y= swappable to non-swappable, x1y1=user,  x1y2=proc, x2y1=klwp, x2y2=thread.

Most process resources are accessible to all the threads in the process. Almost all process virtual memory is shared. A change in shared data by one thread is available to the other threads in the process.