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KernelTrap: Problems From Removing The OOM-Killer

Oct 17, 2003, 21:00 (3 Talkback[s])

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"With the release of 2.4.23-pre4, the OOM-killer was removed from the 2.4 stable Linux kernel. 2.4 kernel maintainer Marcelo Tosatti reflected on recent problems this has created.

"The particular example was regarding changed behavior when doing 'gzip -dc file | less' with a 280MB file on a system that doesn't have enough RAM. Prior to the OOM-killer having been removed, 'less' was properly being killed. However since 2.4.23-pre4 was released other process are also being killed. Marcello summarizes, 'So a lot of processes which should not get killed are dying. This is really bad. I was afraid it could happen and it did. What now? Resurrect OOM-killer?' The resulting discussion did not lead to a definite conclusion, though it looks likely that the OOM-killer will find it's way back into the 2.4 kernel before 2.4.23 is released..."

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