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* Panic on all memory used?
@ 2003-05-06 12:24 Botha, Francois
  0 siblings, 0 replies; only message in thread
From: Botha, Francois @ 2003-05-06 12:24 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To:  (linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org)

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Hi,

I'm sure some of us has come across a out-of-memory Linux box, where all
RAM and Swap has been used and the machine just grinds to a halt, but no
full crash (it ping replies!). Something like:

--
 16:03:36 up 21 days, 49 min,  2 users,  load average: 304.70, 264.89,
157.60
 392 processes: 82 sleeping, 307 running, 3 zombie, 0 stopped
 CPU states:   0.0% user,  99.9% system,   0.0% nice,   0.1% idle
 Mem:   3624196K total,  3618928K used,     5268K free,     4792K
buffers
 Swap:  2000084K total,  2000084K used,        0K free,    17312K cached

   PID USER     PRI  NI  SIZE  RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM   TIME COMMAND
   21579 www-data  20   0  4116 3932  2000 R     3.6  0.1   0:06 apache
   21576 www-data  20   0  3576 3392  1980 R     3.5  0.0   0:06 apache
--

At this point a machine tries to kill off processes (based on what
criteria?) but most of the time such a machine rarely "recovers" and
becomes usable again. Would it be very wrong to suggest that maybe a
kernel panic at this point might be a good idea? The saviour could then
be /proc/sys/kernel/panic :P (above example is a paste from a 2.4.20
system).

Don't get me wrong though, yes, processes should clean up after
themselves, this kind of thing "should" never happen, but what to do
when it does under whichever circumstances and the server in question is
co-located and involves lengthy phonecalls?
Does anybody have any suggestions kernel-wise in sitsuations like this
in production environments?

Regards,
Francois Botha

Snr. Systems Engineer
e-mail: francoisb@thawte.com
http://www.thawte.com 

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2003-05-06 12:24 Panic on all memory used? Botha, Francois

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