On a Nokia 770 (64MB RAM, 256MB swap), locale-gen (in a Debian chroot)
sometimes causes oom killer (with a utf-8 locale) even when no other apps are
running in the chroot (OK, I think ssh may still have been listening with no
active connections, but nothing else).
Doing `echo 100 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness' is enough to let it complete instead
of being terminated with "out of memory" error in dmesg. I haven't tested
It's tempting to do that in the locales postinst, though there are some issues
to do with restoring the value that make me at least hesitate to do that.
Currently this bug discussion doesn't mention the workaround of installing
locales-all, so I'll do so here: install locales-all instead of locales if you
have limited memory but don't mind an extra 70-80MiB of space used in /usr.
I gather that people have been looking at the question of the right way of
distributing locale-specific data (mainly meaning translations). How to
distribute finer-grained pre-built locales-* packages may be amenable to
the same solutions (whatever they are).
A problem with the locales-all solution is that systems with little memory
often also have little disk space. Is it worthwhile distributing a
locales-en-us-utf8 package containing a single prebuilt utf-8 locale, for
embedded use? I don't know if http://www.emdebian.org/locale/ is related.