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RE: Debian 'crashes'

On 02-Jun-2000 Michiel Meeuwissen wrote:
> Already several times happened to me the following:
>  When I use a few memory eating programs like Netscape and dselect
> together, by whole computer freezes for a long time (10 minutes or so)
> and I don't see another way out then simply turning it of, because
> then I at least know what happens, and how long it is going to
> take. The freeze is not always complete. Moving the mouse can
> sometimes move the cursor on the screen minutes later.  Probably it's
> not fair to call it a crash, but I do consider it like this.
> It seems that a way to accomplish this is running apt-get upgrade,
> netsape and seti at the same time, in my computer (potato, PIII 500 64
> Mb). In the beginning sometimes I can see that 'xload' gets a few
> ticks, and the load is very high, like 20 or 30. I think the memory,
> including swap memory (128 Mb), is exhausted in such a case. It just
> happened again with acroread and netscape running.

You should use "ps", "top" or "free" to see what processes run, how much memory
is used etc.
Have you compiled the magic-sysrec-key facility in the kernel ? If yes, were
you able to use it for emergency-rebooting ?
> So, I think this is very bad, since it should not be possible that one
> or two programs hang the whole computer.
> What can be done about this? Does there exist some 'memory quota'
> mechanism? I would e.g. like to see that netscape processes never take
> more than 50 Mb of memory. Or perhaps there exist some program which
> starts shooting of non essential processes (like those of *(@$&(!
> netscape) when the load gets higher than 15 or 20 or so?

You can force resource limits based on users/groups using the pam_limits.so

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