Re: crash report

Rik van Riel (
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 22:04:14 +0200 (CEST)

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Isaac Connor wrote:

> What ahppened is that I ended up have a gawk that was a script that called
> gawk, over and over. The machine would lock up around the 200 process
> mark.
> This is a Penitum Overdrive 83, 16 Megs ram, 16 megs swap. It's just a
> router/firewall/web server.

Simple: for every process started, the systmm allocates
8 kB kernel stack, one page directory, one (or more)
page tables and some inodes, etc...

All of this is unswappable and will fill up a 16 MB machine
quite fast, pushing everything else out to swap, which will
fill too.

With more swap the machine might just have survived; maybe
even without much trouble. I once ran 100+ sendmails on my
24 MB box, so your setup _should_ be possible.

Currently, Linux' out of memory handling is very, euhh,
non-graceful; I really should do something about it...
(part of the code is ready, I just don't know when to
kickstart the killing code)

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