Re: Some questions about linux kernel.

From: Paul Jakma (
Date: Thu Mar 16 2000 - 06:49:58 EST

On Thu, 16 Mar 2000, James Sutherland wrote:

> The problem is, denying memory requests leads to processes dying. This is
> what we want to avoid.

of course. but there's only so much the kernel can do obviously.

> In fact, last night I more or less killed this machine. I had overcommit
> turned off,

how did you do that? You can't turn off overcommit on linux.

> and nothing major loaded (X, WWW server, xmms) and fired up
> "make -j" on a biggish source tree. After quite some time, just about
> everything died from lack of memory.

not surprisingly if you did what i think you did (ie echo 1 >
/proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory )

> How would you define "running out" of memory?

sorry, i've been abusing that term again. I mean it more as "finding
that we don't have the memory that we had hoped for because of

Running out of memory even when you've accounted for memory (eg older
no-overcommit/backing store OSs) is just a hardware issue in my book,
you can't avoid it, it's not interesting.

-paul jakma

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