9.1 Proposal: Deailing with Low Memory/OOM

Erik Garrison erik at laptop.org
Wed Oct 22 20:45:47 EDT 2008

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 09:44:50AM -0700, Deepak Saxena wrote:
> I would like to present a short session and faciliate the follow up 
> discussion on and dealing with the memory constraints on our system
> at an application framework level.
> From my understanding, there are two situations we are running into 
> with low memory that need separate solutions:
> 1) A single running application, Browse for example, chews up lots 
>    of memory.  The only real solution I can think of to this is to 
>    make the applications and underlying libraries leaner and smarter. :)

Instead of tweaking everything to run in a tiny box, you could use
compcache and change the shape of the box the apps are stuck in.
For the past week I've been running all my XOs with compcache
(http://code.google.com/p/compcache/)--- a kernel module which can be
used to create a ram-backed lzo-compressed swap partition.  I have had
no negative experiences which are overtly related to running compcache
(I run a 100mb compcache).  My impression is that I can run more
activities than before without running into low memory situations.  I am
currently testing this assumption more rigorously using LTP (linux test

Compcache relieves memory pressure enough that I can run xcompmgr
without reducing the number of activities I typically run concurrently
(4-5) on an XO without compressed memory caching.  X composite greatly
improves the UI responsiveness on the XO and makes it much more of a
pleasure to use.


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