Re: [PATCH] VM fix for 2.4.0-test9 & OOM handler

From: Albert D. Cahalan (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 18:13:25 EST

Jim Gettys writes:
>> From: Linus Torvalds <>

>> One of the biggest bitmaps is the background bitmap. So you have a
>> client that uploads it to X and then goes away. There's nobody to
>> un-count to by the time X decides to switch to another background.
> Actually, the big offenders are things other than the background
> bitmap: things like E do absolutely insane things, you would not
> believe (or maybe you would). The background pixmap is generally
> in the worst case typically no worse than 4 megabytes (for those
> people who are crazy enough to put images up as their root window
> on 32 bit deep displays, at 1kX1k resolution).

Still, it would be nice to recover that 4 MB when the system
doesn't have any memory left.

X, and any other big friendly processes, could participate in
memory balancing operations. X could be made to clean out a
font cache when the kernel signals that memory is low. When
the situation becomes serious, X could just mmap /dev/zero over
top of the background image.

Netscape could even be hacked to dump old junk... or if it is
just too leaky, it could exec itself to fix the problem.

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