Subject: Re: easy ways to crash your NetBSD system
To: Tom I Helbekkmo <tih@Hamartun.Priv.NO>
From: Phil Knaack <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/05/1996 15:26:46
Tom I Helbekkmo writes:

>On Thu, 4 Apr 1996, der Mouse wrote:

>| >> Two easy ways to crash a NetBSD system - is it only my system or...?
>| >> 1. main(void) { while(1) fork(); }

>| (heh, what UNIX-alike won't?)

>Lots of them have trouble dealing with this one, sure -- but that
>doesn't make it right.  Per user and total system limits (with an
>extra allowance for root on console) should enforce a situation where,
>even if the system administrator has been too "nice" and allowed users
>too wide a berth, the system should at the worst get really sluggish.
>It can teeter on the brink of catatonia for all I care, as long as
>root can log in on the console and eventually get the system back
>under control.

I just tried that little forker (phonetic pun intended), and this is
exactly what happened.. the system was sluggish, the mouse in X froze
up every few seconds, but I was able to do something about it.

My machine is a P5/90 with 16M ram, and the max number of processes 
allowed per user is 80 (that is enough for most people, isn't it?).
No matter what I tried, running various fork()ing programs, I couldn't
get the machine to crash, or come to a _complete_ halt.

Maybe I'm just lucky/special..

Phillip F Knaack     
Database Programmer, NCREMP    Student Development Group
ISU Extension                  Project Vincent, Iowa State University