Re: Protecting processes from the OOM killer

Dan Kegel (
Mon, 03 Mar 2003 08:41:20 -0800

Jesse Pollard wrote:
> On Friday 28 February 2003 10:08 am, Dan Kegel wrote:
>>Alan Cox wrote:
> snip
>>>Everything else is armwaving "works half the time" stuff. By the time
>>>the OOM kicks in the game is already over.
>>Even with overcommit disallowed, the OOM killer is going to run
>>when my users try to run too big a job, so I would still like
>>the OOM killer to behave "well".
> Shouldn't - the process the user tries to run will not be started since
> it must reserve the space first. malloc will fail immediately, allowing the
> process to handle the even gracefully and exit.

I thought of that about five minutes after I hit 'send'.

I have a feeling that there might still be a few cases
not perfectly covered by the strict overcommit patch.
Say, memory allocations due to incoming network traffic.
I guess if memory runs out during incoming traffic, the kernel
should simply drop the traffic. Until all those situations
are nicely ironed out, there's still some chance the OOM killer
might run even on a strict overcommit system.

But enough talking; I need to go try it.
- Dan

Dan Kegel

- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in the body of a message to More majordomo info at Please read the FAQ at