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SubjectRe: Linux 2.2.15pre12
>>>>> "Paul" == Paul Jakma <> writes:
> size issues aside, proper accounting that allows linux to better
> predict when to say no is surely better than after the fact
> killing. It seems cleaner to have code to predict, than to kill. Then
> we could gracefully say no, rather than ungracefully have to say
> "die" to quite possibly innocent programmes.

The usual problem with "no overcommit" is that it is grossly wasting
swap space. The typical example is system(3) which does a fork+exec(/bin/sh):
if you call it from a 500MB process, you temporarily need another 500MB
of swap even though it will never really be needed (since it's cow-shared).

Of course, swap space is cheap, so it's not necessarily such a big issue,
but on the other hand, the cases where a half-clever OOM-killer doesn't
cut the mustard are rather far and few apart.


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