Graceful failure instead of panicking in kmem_malloc

Heiko Wundram (Beenic) wundram at
Wed Jan 9 02:10:34 PST 2008

Am Mittwoch, 9. Januar 2008 10:29:43 schrieb Joshua Isom:
> Why not try to take out some user processes?  Going with a combination
> of process priority and memory usage, it should at least be more
> tolerable than a panic.

Ahemm. No. That's not tolerable in real world conditions. Have you ever had 
the OOM-killer strike on Linux (which is known for this, and has been 
criticized at other times for its braindead default behavior of overcommiting 
virtual memory space almost two-fold)? That's a major, major PITA.

I'd rather have the system reboot and come back up to a clean and initialized 
state than to "randomly" kill user processes and leave it crippled but 
(somewhat) running (with sshd possibly killed off, which is especially bad on 
remote boxes), as basically to recover cleanly from the OOM-killer striking, 
you're going to have to reboot the box anyway.

Heiko Wundram
Product & Application Development

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