Re: Behavior under swap catastrophe?

Joe Fouche (
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 12:40:35 -0800


Dale R. Worley said:
> In article <>
> (Joe Fouche) writes:
> I've noticed lately that the behavior of the kernel when some
> process goes berserk and fills up all the swap is a little
> strange. It seems to start sending SEGV's to many processes as the
> large one grows. This wouldn't be so bad, except that init is often
> killed. Is a modification to protect the life of init in order? Or
> should we just make sure this never happens?
> My suspicion is that it is not really the kernel sending SEGV's, but
> rather that the programs are calling malloc, which discovers that it

I don't know how to distinguish between those two. When this happened a
few months ago, I assumed it was the kernel because I saw kernel messages
which read "not enough memory for *" when each process died. But I
suppose this could just be saying that the kernel couldn't satisfy malloc.
In any case I can't find that printk in the source tree (though I just did
grep */*/*, not all that thorough)

> None of this explains why init dies. Perhaps init is not checking the
> return value from malloc?

Last time this happened it didn't die outright, but said something like
"giving up". After that it was still nonfunctional, though :) I'll look
through the source if I get a chance.

    _ ____  Joe Fouche (  
 ___| |---       Deranged College Student    

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