Subject: 1.5.3_RC1 silent, hard lockup on OOM?
To: NetBSD Kernel <>
From: B. James Phillippe <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 04/05/2002 16:44:49

I just had the displeasure of experiencing my first NetBSD crash since I
started using it about six months ago.

	1.5.3_RC1, compiled myself on 3/13 (I'll try updating soon).
	DEC Alpha PC164, 512MB memory and 256MB swap

This system is totally headless, so I can't be certain that it was dead,
but it quit responding to ping/arp and needed a hard reset to bring it back
(and I've never had to do that before).

I was running an application with ElectricFence, and after about 10 minutes
of steady allocation, the machine just died.  I was not root, and the
application was not setuid root either.  My application allocates memory
many times, but does not have a large amount of memory allocated at any one
time (ie., there are alloc/free loops for testing certain functions).  It
runs with no problems w/out electric fence (and completes in a fraction of
a second), but stalls and consumes free memory (apparently endlessly) when
linked with efence.

But what concerns me is why an OOM condition would kill the system.  I _am_
running with softdeps, if that makes a difference.  Any suggestions?

# bryan_at_darkforest_dot_org
# Software Engineer