systemd, per-user cpu and/or memory limits

Solution 1:

UPD: I'll keep my solution for the sake of history, but systemctl set-property should be called at login time, using pam_exec, see In this approach, there is no time window between the user's login and setting of limits.

Old solution

Here is a very simple script which does the job


STATE=1 # 1 -- waiting for signal; 2 -- reading UID

dbus-monitor --system "interface=org.freedesktop.login1.Manager,member=UserNew" |
while read line
    case $STATE in
    1) [[ $line =~ member=UserNew ]] && STATE=2 ;;
    2) read dbus_type ID <<< $line
       systemctl set-property user-$ID.slice CPUAccounting=true

It can be easily extended to support per-user memory limits.

Tested it on a VM with 2 CPUs and 2 users. The first user run dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null | dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null command and the second one run only one instance of dd. Without this script running, each instance of dd used around 70% of CPU.

Then I started the script, relogged users, and starded dd commands again. This time two dd processes of the first user took only 50% of CPU each and the process of the second user took 100% of CPU. Also, systemd-cgtop showed, that /user.slice/user-UID1.slice and /user.slice/user-UID2.slice take 100% of CPU time each, but the first slice has 6 tasks and the second one only 5 tasks.

When I kill dd task of the second user, the first user starts consuming 200% of CPU time. So, we have fair resource allocation without artificial restrictions like "each user may use only one core".

Solution 2:

Starting with systemd v239, you can use drop-ins

# mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/user-.slice.d
# cat > /etc/systemd/system/user-.slice.d/50-memory.conf << EOF
# systemctl daemon-reload