ASU - out of memory?

Sander van Grieken sander at
Thu Aug 21 19:54:26 CEST 2008

On Thursday 21 August 2008 19:33:24 Steven Kurylo wrote:
> > 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.
> I'm not sure this is true on Freerunner.  None of the embedded systems
> I've used have had swap.  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.

For a phone, the algorithm could be as simple as killing the process that has 
allocated the most memory. The essential system services and the basic UI 
applications usually have a small footprint, and the biggest consumer of 
memory is most likely a leaky UI app that's not part of the main system 

For a production server with large databases this doesn't work of course, but 
there you're already in big trouble if you have to fallback on the 


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