Subject: Re: Swap overcommit (was Re: Replacement for grep(1) (part 2))
To: Daniel C. Sobral <>
From: John Nemeth <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/14/1999 13:01:57
On Jul 15,  2:40am, "Daniel C. Sobral" wrote:
} Garance A Drosihn wrote:
} > At 12:20 AM +0900 7/15/99, Daniel C. Sobral wrote:
} > > In which case the program that consumed all memory will be killed.
} > > The program killed is +NOT+ the one demanding memory, it's the one
} > > with most of it.
} > 
} > But that isn't always the best process to have killed off...
} Sure it is. :-) Let's see...

     This statement is absurd.  Only a comptetant admin can decide
which process can be killed.  No arbitrary decision is going to be

} > It would be nice to have a way to indicate that, a la SIGDANGER.
} Ok, everybody is avoiding this, so I'll comment. Yes, this would be

     The reason I've ignored it, is because SIGDANGER is a hack on top
of a very bad hack.

} interesting, and a good implementation will very probably be
} committed. *BUT*, this is not as useful as it seems. Since the
} correct solution is buy more memory/increase swap (correct solution
} for our target markets, anyway), there is little incentive to
} implement it.

     In case you hadn't noticed, this debate is cross-posted to
NetBSD.  NetBSD's target market isn't the same as FreeBSD's target
market.  This answer is NOT the correct solution for NetBSD's target
market.  Heck, except for one rather vocal person, FreeBSD's target
market may not consider it to be the correct solution either.  I most
certainly do not consider it to be correct, and I admin a lot of
mission critical servers.

}-- End of excerpt from "Daniel C. Sobral"