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SubjectProblem with large core dumps [2.1.85, SMP]

I use 2.1.85 on a dual P II board (Gigabyte DLX, pirq=0 on command line) with
256M RAM: I have a process that needs about 1 gigabyte to run successfully. If
I set up a sufficently large swap space, then the program runs (slowly)
without any problem. But if there isn't enough memory, the process aborts with
a core dump -- totally freezing the system while the core dump (in the order
of 300M with 128M swap) is written to the disk, to the point that exec doesn't
work anymore (unable to load interpreter or just plain immediate coredump).
With 2.0.33 this does not happen.

On a related note: Could somebody confirm that there is no way to restrict the
resident set size of a process under Linux (since ulimit is not implemented)?
I understand that with a good swapping algorithm, such a restriction wouldn't
be really needed, but my entirely subjective impression is that the
responsiveness of Linux degrades much more when heaviliy swapping than Solaris.


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