Occasionally I've had an application lock up my system, apparently by
eating up all the virtual memory. Just now I have a rogue MSWord
document that makes Abiword go haywire.
I thought to save the system by setting resource limits. I tried the
bash builtin ulimit. Calling it with the -v flag, to set virtual
memory, does the trick. But paradoxically, when I using the -m flag,
which is supposed to set the resident set size, the application's rss
still grows without bound until it swamps the physical memory.
Is this a bash bug, or am I misunderstanding something?
More generally, what is the best way to prevent applications from
swamping the system like this?