kworker processes consuming 100% CPU

Linode Staff

I'm currently running a Linode with Ubuntu 16.04. Over the last few days, I've noticed a process called kworker that's eating up 100% of the CPU on all cores.

I'm not sure why this started or how to go about troubleshooting. I realize it's a kernel worker, but why would a process be this long running? Is it a hardware related issue?

1 Reply

From my understanding, a kworker process is a catch-all name for a kernel process that is doing some sort of work on your system. I did a little searching around on this, and it looks like a kworker process consuming large amounts of CPU is not entirely uncommon.

In this Ask Ubuntu forum, they talk about what kworker processes are, how to set up a backtrace to identify them, and what to do once you've located the root cause:

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

This other Stack Exchange forum talks about isolating kworker processes and disabling them individually:

Origin of a kworker-thread

In my research, most of the causes of kworker processes resulting in high CPU usage were internal to the system itself and not related to hardware. If you need to rule out hardware as a factor, you can open up a Support ticket and our team will be more than happy to configure a migration for you.

Another thing you can try to eliminate all factors is to try swapping the kernel that your Linode is using. Grub 2 is always a good standby, and we have instructions for changing your kernel here:

How to Change your Linode's Kernel

Hopefully this helps narrow things down a bit. If anyone else has tips or tricks for troubleshooting kworker processes, feel free to add to the discussion here!


Please enter an answer

You can mention users to notify them: @username

You can use Markdown to format your question. For more examples see the Markdown Cheatsheet.

> I’m a blockquote.

I’m a blockquote.

[I'm a link] (

I'm a link

**I am bold** I am bold

*I am italicized* I am italicized

Community Code of Conduct