if you could allocate the address space but then tell the kernel "don't really use it" you may be ok, but how is that different from the current overcommit?
you _are_ overcommiting (compared to what is acceptable to the system's performance) and counting on the efficiancies of COW to keep you from actually using the swap space you have comitted.
the only difference is that you overcommit up to a given point (at which time your allocations start failing, which may also cause the system to 'fail' as far as the user is concerned)
i fully agree that there are situations where disabling overcommit is the right thing to do. However, I am also seeing other cases where allowing overcommit is the right thing to do.
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