Kernel build fails on ARM: Cannot fork: Cannot allocate memory

Adrian Chadd adrian at
Fri Jun 21 00:56:32 UTC 2013

On 20 June 2013 16:56, Jeff Roberson <jroberson at> wrote:

> Just to add some more information;  On my machine with 16GB of ram the
> handful of recent UMA commits save about 20MB of kmem on boot.  There are
> 30% fewer buckets allocated.  And all of the malloc zones have similar
> amounts of cached space.  Actually the page size malloc bucket is taking up
> much less space.
> I don't know if the problem is unique to arm but I have tested x86 limited
> to 512MB of ram without trouble.  I will need the stats I mentioned before
> to understand what has happened.

Have you tried lower than 512MB? Like, 128MB?

I have a 128MB -HEAD VM on i386 and it's working fine but I haven't
done much digging to see how _well_ its working. I'm about to try a
64MB and 96MB VM.

I'd like to go all the way down to 32MB (obviously with a cut down
kernel, as GENERIC is pretty damned big!) and ensure that i386 isn't
behaving poorly. There are still plenty of ARM/MIPS embedded boards
that ship with 32MB (and less) RAM.

I'm going to try stable/9 on 128MB of RAM soon. I know that 9.1-REL
i386 + 128MB RAM results in a crash. Hopefully this stuff is better on



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