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    SubjectRe: 2.2.1 mkfs.ext2 out of memory
    In <Pine.LNX.3.95.990218143725.180A-100000@chaos.analogic.com> Richard B. Johnson (root@chaos.analogic.com) wrote:
    > On Thu, 18 Feb 1999, Jon P. deOng wrote:

    >> Hi,
    >> I'm running a pII 400 with 256Mb of ram with a vanilla 2.2.1 kernel
    >> Im trying to create a raid5 array with 4 9gig scsi seagate cheetah drives
    >> connected to the external adapter of an adaptec 2940uw controller. My os
    >> drive is also a 9gig scsi cheetah on the internal ultra scsi adapter. I
    >> have no scsi2 devices at all. I have verified proper termination and turned
    >> off the auto term in the adaptec bios.
    >> Now I have no problems with mkraid, mdadd, or mdrun. All of these raid tools
    >> report no errors. The problem comes when i try to format /dev/md0
    >> my syntax is
    >> mkfs.ext2 /dev/md0
    >> mkfs gets almost halfway through writing the inode tables and then i get
    >> this output
    >>
    >> Writing inode tabels: 1969/3254
    >> Out of Memory for mkfs.ext2
    >> Killed

    > Yep! First make a big swap partition or a big swap file. There is, roughly
    > 4096 bytes of memory required for every megabyte of file-system space when
    > you execute mkfs.ext2. This depends upon the allocation-unit size, but
    > it's a reasonable rule-of-thumb.

    > Then boot into single-user mode with no network daemons running. Make
    > sure your swap partition is activated, then make the file-system. You
    > should be sucessful.

    Sometimes big swap helps but NOT ALWAYS. I was unable to set up RedHat 4.2
    on comp with 11MiB RAM and 1GiB HDD even with 128MiB swap but with 31MiB
    all was just fine without any swap :-(( Plus your "rule-of-thumb" will give
    us 144MiB for 36GiB "drive" and there are 256MiB REAL memory ! IMO it's some
    rare race in kernel triggered by mkfs.ext2 when there are a lot of dirty
    pages in cache but they are not written on disk and so you could not allocate
    memory even of there are plenty of swap area...




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