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#1 2014-03-28 17:57:18

From: Portland, OR
Registered: 2013-01-17
Posts: 22

OOM killer never runs?

The subject line pretty much says it all. When my physical RAM gets full, my machine becomes slow and then unresponsive just as if it were locked up in a VM swapfest, with disk activity pegged and all other IO (including the keyboard) starved. What's weird is that I don't have swap enabled, and this state will persist arbitrarily long - I've tried leaving the machine for hours this way and the lockup never clears.

Some research indicated that I was basically experiencing how linux performs without any disk cache (there being no free RAM to use for this purpose), so I set vm.min_free_kbytes to 65536, but there hasn't been any noticeable effect from that. In any case, once RAM gets this exhausted, shouldn't oomkill be running? It doesn't seem to be - no processes ever die, and the lockup never clears.

So, yeah. WTF is actually going on here? Obviously I don't expect to run into the RAM wall without some serious breakage, but having to hard-restart (IO is so starved the kernel can't even hear ctrl-alt-printscreen-reisub) every time this happens seems a bit extreme.



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