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SubjectRe: Out Of Memory in v. 2.1
On 04-Oct-98 Carlos Morgado wrote:

> The OOM killers should stay outside the main tree until a good working
> solution comes along.

There's a perfectly good solution. A little revolutionary. Something like
this... when RAM + SWAP is all allocated, and when a program goes to allocate
more, then malloc() et al could actually return a null pointer.

I mean, for heaven's sake... when the pentium f00f bug was announce, everyone
gasped and said "Oh no, now any user on my system can lock up my machine and
I can't do anyhting about it". Yet, the memory allocation scheme in Linux is
so poorly designed, that any user can lock up a machine, and there is nothing
you can do about it. No one is jumping to fix that problem, so why bother
with the Pentium f00f bug?

If the allocation functions returned null instead of overallocating, then
there would be no problem. What's the deal with overallocating anyways...
did someone figure that most programs allocate memory that they're never
going to use?

So, for a solution, let's do what all programs know how to deal with. Return
nulls instead of overallocating. No processes need to get killed, and the
system won't get deadlocked by overallocation.


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