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Kworker, what is it and why is it hogging so much CPU?

I have a process named kworker which is continuously consuming 100% of the CPU's computing capacity. I have tried several possible solutions over a period of 3 months but to no avail. I even got to upgrade to u + 1 (Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal), but my effort was, again, fruitless.

I desperately need some help, because, as is, this process is draining my computer's battery so fast, that makes Linux usage a disappointing experience.

It is noteworthy, that I do not have any such issues when I use windows, which results in twice as much battery life.


1 Answer 1


"kworker" is a placeholder process for kernel worker threads, which perform most of the actual processing for the kernel, especially in cases where there are interrupts, timers, I/O, etc. These typically correspond to the vast majority of any allocated "system" time to running processes. It is not something that can be safely removed from the system in any way, and is completely unrelated to nepomuk or KDE (except in that these programs may make system calls, which may require the kernel to do something).

I found this on a Ask Ubuntu question found here. Apparently the dude's solution at that question was I solved the problem by installing phc-intel packages from link

Some interesting information regarding what kworker is and its usage can be found here. Unfortunately, the solution there seems to be a future kernel upgrade.

From the same question:

I've found many reports of something that "fixed" this for one or another user. Most "fixes" seem to be related to updates of the kernel of various sorts. Where the update can be tracked to a specific issue, it seems to often be some driver or kernel service that has been patched to not misbehave: I have the impression that there are a very large number of things in the kernel that can cause a behaviour which is observed as excessive kworker usage.

If you find the system unusable due to excessive kworker activity, I would recommend trying to do fewer things. If you think you're not doing anything, try shutting down long-running services or timers (RSS readers, mail readers, file indexers, activity trackers, etc.). If this doesn't work, try restarting. If your system allows you to enable or disable hardware in a preboot environment, try turning off hardware you aren't using. If it happens on every restart before you do anything, you could try uninstalling things, but at this point you'll want to be running syscall profiling tools to track down specific applications that seem to be causing this overload.

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