Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 438886
oom killer not able to make system usable
Last modified: 2009-01-09 01:15:08 EST
Description of problem:
We're seeing Adobe Reader plugins processes runaway and consume all available
memory. While that is the main problem, I'm surprised that the oom-killer
appears to be unable to kill those processes and get the system usable. The
machine becomes completely unresponsive and needs to be power cycled.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. On some F-8 machines with Adobe Reader 8.1.2 plugin, open a PDF in browser
then navigate away.
2. Let acroread process grow to consume memory.
Systems have 1-2GB RAM and 2GB swap.
is it killing other processes instead ? or is it just chugging along slowly ?
Created attachment 299064 [details]
oom killer run
It's hard to tell. Mostly it seems like it doesn't do anything. Often when I
reboot the machine I don't see any oom messages in /var/log/messages. I've
attached one where it killed an (I believe) inconsequential process. By the
time I get to a system, I can't switch VTs or ssh to log in as root to see
If it's not killing anything, the kernel believes that the application is making
forward progress (albeit slowly). It won't kill until there's absolutely no way
to satisfy an allocation (after paging out everything that can be paged out, and
using up all ram).
I'm not sure there's anything we can really do in this situation other than
setting reasonable ulimits. Setting /proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory to 2 may
lead to a different failure mode that may work better, but it's not really
something that we can set universally.
Do you have a sysrq-m output from this box during the period when memory is getting consumed? Its possible that its not memory thats getting eaten up. Perhaps its hogging the cpu instead. Not that its much consolation, but it would be nice to get a clear view of the resource thats getting consumed here.
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