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Respite from the OOM killer

Respite from the OOM killer

Posted Oct 6, 2004 15:51 UTC (Wed) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: Respite from the OOM killer by jzbiciak
Parent article: Respite from the OOM killer

If you're a user, you probably want graceful degradation--you can tolerate some excessive swapping to a point, and if it gets too bad, you reboot. At least OOo didn't implode taking your document with it.

True, but that's not an option with either of the cases being discussed -- overcommit or no overcommit. This choice comes into play only when there's no place left to swap to.

The no-overcommit case can cause OOo to fail more gracefully. If OOo is written to tolerate a failed fork (et al) and give you the chance to kill some other process and then save your document, then no-overcommit could be a good thing for OOo.

On the other hand, if you don't have the technical skills to find the right process to kill, you're going to have to reboot anyway and lose your document. By contrast, with overcommit, you probably wouldn't have lost the document. Either there never would have been a crisis in the first place, or the OOM killer would have killed some other process and let OOo continue normally.

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