really strange problem

torsten torsten at inetw.net
Fri Feb 7 19:39:49 PST 2003


On Fri the 07 Feb 2003 at 20 hours EST
K wrote...
>On Friday 07 February 2003 07:57 pm, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>> torsten wrote:
>> >I think it was an out of memory error.  Linux has never
>> > managed the swap well, and many programs fail rather than
>> > make use of it.
>> >
>> >As it stand, my system is very busy, and swap is about 60%
>> > full.
>> >
>> >So, I quit some programs, recompiled php, and all worked.
>> >My laptop has only 192M ram.
>>
>> Programs don't manage swap, the kernel does.  Programs can't
>> tell the difference between swap and RAM (except for execution
>> time).  If you run out of RAM and swap, the kernel
>> automatically starts killing processes. That could have caused
>> your problem.
>
>Hmmm, that sounds very, very likely.
>
>Last time I really hammered the kernel (2.4.18 I believe), the 
>OOM killer would get tripped when mem+swap got sucked dry, and 
>the kernel logged some messages about it.  Don't remember 
>exactly what they said, but it was pretty clear from the 
>messages that the OOM killer was in action.
>
>Next time that happens, try grepping your kernel-centric syslogs 
>for "OOM", "out of memory", etc.
>

I grep'd the kernal and system logs, and there is nothing out of
the ordinary.  However, the system was definitely loaded, so the
oom killer may have come out to play.

Torsten
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