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SubjectRe: limit resident memory size
On Thu, Jun 12, 2003 at 03:15:13PM -0700, David Schwartz wrote:
> > I would like to limit the maximum resident memory size
> > of a process within a threshold, i.e. if its virtual
> > memory footprint exceeds this threshold, it needs to
> > swap out pages *only* from within its VM space.
> Why? If you think this is a good way to be nice to other
> processes, you're wrong.

I have to disagree. I used to use a Digital Unix system, which had this
feature, to do software development. The program I was working on was
large, and linking it required more memory than the 128M that was installed
on the computer. All my makes ended with a 10 minute swap storm during
which the computer was virtually useless.

I discovered that if I limited the RSS of the link process so that it left
a few megs of memory free then I could read mail or look around the web
while the link was running. This of course slowed down the link, but I
was supprised by how little it suffered. It might have been 10% slower
and the tradeoff I got was to be able to use the machine while it was
working rather than sitting there looking at it.


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