OOM manager project

Jim Gettys jg at laptop.org
Fri Jul 20 11:19:09 EDT 2007

On Fri, 2007-07-20 at 17:05 +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> On 20.07.2007 16:37, Jim Gettys wrote:
> > Note that the kernel has to be able to recover memory when it needs it,
> > or it will deadlock: this is a situation where the kernel must be in
> > control, but user space could cooperate much better than it does today,
> > by providing appropriate hints.  So don't say: "the kernel shouldn't
> > kill processes: user space should"; that design doesn't fly.
> > [...]
> > So we need an OOM killer helper.  
> > 
> > We have the ability to provide the kernel with much of the 
> > information it needs for much better behavior, if we choose.
> > [...]
> > 5) see if there are better OOM algorithms that Linux presently has.
> How does the new proposal relate to the OOM discussion here:
> http://www.redhat.com/archives/olpc-software/2006-March/msg00197.html
> Have we simply given up trying to beat userspace into shape?

Of course not, at least for what we ship.

But the set of stuff people will run will include stuff that is bloated

My real point is that there is lots of useful information in various
parts of the system, and we're currently not using almost *any* of it
for choosing what to do.

Two comments: 

1) don't prejudge what the long term solution should be, including my
straw man, which is just to try to spur some real action.

2) the enemy of the good is the perfect; doing nothing, which is what
we're doing now, isn't a great position.  I suspect we can do lots
better than now, without taking on the entire problem up front.
                                    - Jim

Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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