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Re: Froze Up: Lack of Memory

on Tue, Nov 28, 2000 at 07:20:53AM -0800, Greg Strockbine (gstrock@pacbell.net) wrote:
> boy I can't believe this.
> My system totally froze up, apparently to memory exhaustion?  Can this
> be?


> Debian potato, gnome desktop, 256 Mbytes of memory.

Similarly, 256 MB, recently upgraded from 96 MB.  First thing I did was
open a bunch of monsters and, sure enough, killed the box.  Rebooted
with magic sys rq.

> gkrellm, the system monitor, was froze too, but the display showed the
> swap file was down to 0 bytes free.  There was about 23 Mbytes of main
> memory free when it froze.

That tends to be a bad sign.

> I had an emacs session running,  a Mozilla 18 session running.  I was
> messing around with the background via the gnome control panel.
> I tried to exit X-windows with the magic key strokes.  I wasn't able
> to telnet in from another machine.

If you can't fork a new daemon or process, you won't be able to.

> why does Mozilla have such a huge foot print?  It takes up around 100
> Mbytes while Netscape is down around 15 Mbytes.

In my experience, Mozilla is larger on startup than Netscape, though it
tends not to bloat as badly.

I've been kicking this issue around for a while and would be interested
in ideas for a low-memory monitor or something similar which would
identify high-utilization processes and kill them rather than bringing
the entire system to a crashing halt.

Then there's always ulimit -- but this doesn't address the issue of
*system* resource saturation, only for a given user.

I've also heard that FreeBSD handles low-memory situations more
gracefully tha GNU/Linux, thoughts?

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Zelerate, Inc.                      http://www.zelerate.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/        http://www.kuro5hin.org

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