Respite from the OOM killer
Posted Oct 2, 2004 20:35 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata
In reply to: Respite from the OOM killer
Parent article: Respite from the OOM killer
However, system admins who want a more reliably-performing system have long known that they need to provide adequate memory and disk resources in any case.
And that they should forbid overcommitting memory. ;-)
Does forbidding overcommitting memory make a more reliably performing system? When you forbid overcommitting memory, all you do is make a different process fail at a different time. A process that's minding its own business, using a small amount of memory and doing something very important fails when its fork() gets "out of memory." And this happens even though there's only a 1% chance that letting the fork() go through would lead to trouble. And it happens to dozens of applications while one broken application sucks up all the virtual memory resources.
But in the overcommiting case, the program would work fine and 1% of the time some other process which is likely to be doing something unimportant and/or likely to be the cause of the memory shortage dies.
I think you could say the overcommitting system is performing more reliably.
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