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SubjectRe: [patch 5/7 -mm] oom: replace sysctls with quick mode
On Fri, 12 Feb 2010, KAMEZAWA Hiroyuki wrote:

> > Two VM sysctls, oom dump_tasks and oom_kill_allocating_task, were
> > implemented for very large systems to avoid excessively long tasklist
> > scans. The former suppresses helpful diagnostic messages that are
> > emitted for each thread group leader that are candidates for oom kill
> > including their pid, uid, vm size, rss, oom_adj value, and name; this
> > information is very helpful to users in understanding why a particular
> > task was chosen for kill over others. The latter simply kills current,
> > the task triggering the oom condition, instead of iterating through the
> > tasklist looking for the worst offender.
> >
> > Both of these sysctls are combined into one for use on the aforementioned
> > large systems: oom_kill_quick. This disables the now-default
> > oom_dump_tasks and kills current whenever the oom killer is called.
> >
> > The oom killer rewrite is the perfect opportunity to combine both sysctls
> > into one instead of carrying around the others for years to come for
> > nothing else than legacy purposes.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: David Rientjes <>
> seems reasonable..but how old these APIs are ? Replacement is ok ?

I'm not concerned about /proc/sys/vm/oom_dump_tasks because it was
disabled by default and is now enabled by default (unless the user sets
this new /proc/sys/vm/oom_kill_quick). So existing users of
oom_dump_tasks will just have their write fail but identical behavior as

/proc/sys/vm/oom_kill_allocating_task is different since it now requires
enabling /proc/sys/vm/oom_kill_quick, but I think there are such few users
(SGI originally requested it a couple years ago when we started scanning
the tasklist for CONSTRAINT_CPUSET in 2.6.24) and the side-effect of not
enabling it is minimal, it's just a long delay at oom kill time because
they must scan the tasklist. Therefore, I don't see it as a major problem
that will cause large disruptions, instead I see it as a great opportunity
to get rid of one more sysctl without taking away functionality.

> Reviewed-by: KAMEZAWA Hiroyuki <>


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