ASU - out of memory?

Tilman Baumann tilman at
Thu Aug 21 22:38:44 CEST 2008

Am 21.08.2008 um 19:33 schrieb Steven Kurylo:

>> And come on. Software is not perfect. Sometimes we have to live  
>> with a
>> dreamteam like (old) firefox and x11. I had times when they had both
>> hundreds of megs virtual mem. But everything was fine because it  
>> all was
>> just harmlessly been swaped away. I restarted them every weekend to  
>> not
>> let it become worse.
>> Not ideal, but should the system rather be unusable in this  
>> condition?
> You're assuming the system will be usable when an application
> misbehaves and 50mb gets swapped out.  On a desktop, sure your points
> are valid.

Remember, linux swaps unused mem first.
> I'm not sure this is true on Freerunner.  None of the embedded systems
> I've used have had swap.
Because they where really embedded.
Openmoko is more or less a mobile desktop.
> What happens when you haven't received a
> call for several hours and the application you're using forces it to
> swap out?  Can you still answer a call in time?
> I'd rather see a smart oom killer which will only kill non-essential
> applications.  Adding 128mb of swap just pushes the problem back and
> slows down the entire phone.

Slowing down is clearly better than instant crashing.
How ever any early warning system for low memory looks, it can not  
guarantee it will be able to fix thing before mem runs out.
This is also true with swap, but much much less probable.

Can you answer al call? I don't know - probably.
Besides, i can live with bad service while my phone is recovering from  
a nearby crash.
And just imagine. Your phone is in a fragile low memory state, and a  
call comes in and the phone app needs to be launched.
Everything great? Sure not.  No matter how.

Though i don't think it will suffer too much from swapping. If i need  
to, i will test this too.

And you are talking like i like to use the swap all the time. No!
I just want it to be there before it is to late in case memory gets low.


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