Subject: Re: Replacement for grep(1) (part 2)
To: Jon Ribbens <>
From: Archie Cobbs <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/11/1999 18:54:51
Jon Ribbens writes:
> > Because memory (as in *real* memory, either RAM or swap) is
> > allocated on-demand. So you can allocate any amount of virtual
> > memory that the system can possibly provide you, even though you'll
> > run out of memory much earlier, because other resources are also
> > consuming it.
> Yuck. That's a complete abomination. What's the point of it? It's turning
> an out-of-memory situation from an easily-detected recoverable temporary
> resource shortage which can be worked-around or waited out, into an
> unrecoverable fatal error. Do a significant number of programs really
> request memory which they then proceed not to use?

See the various threads from years past regarding the overcommit debate.
In short, it depends on your application(s) which is better.. 

By the way, is there a sysctl that controls this behavior now?
There was talk of adding it before..


Archie Cobbs   *   Whistle Communications, Inc.  *