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    Subjectuser- vs kernel-level resource sandbox for Linux?

    I am looking for advice on how to limit resource (memory in particular)
    usage on a linux machine (running either kernel v2.4 or2.6) on the per-user
    (vs per-process) basis. I am aware that I could use Xen or UML for that
    purpose, but I am wondering whether anybody knows any solution that can
    implement that entirely in the userland (e.g. a monitor application that
    intercepts system calls responsible for resource allocation and controls the
    memory usage that way). My problem is apache which spawns a certain process
    on which sometimes runs away and causes the kernel to kill apache, the
    offending process and cause all fork(2) attempts to fail (which effectively
    disables ssh). I've tried limiting resources on the apache startup, but that
    isn't of much help since each apache process will get the same resources and
    it's enough that several of them allocate too much memory at the same time
    and the effect is as described above. I've also played with overcommit on
    the 2.6 kernel in hope that it will stop the process from allocating
    excessive amounts of memory, but it wasn't of much help either, alas...
    I would appreciate any pointers to the userland solutions for that problem
    (if any exist) before I resort to Xen/UML.

    thanks in advance,

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