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Re: X server being killed a lot (Michael van Elst) writes:

>filemax is not the limit for the cache but the level it tries to keep
>when pressed for memory.

None of these settings are directly responsible for killing a process,
they just help to avoid that the system runs against the wall.

A process is killed by UVM when it needs to fault-in a page but there
is no free page and it thinks none could be reclaimed. As long as there
is swap, the assumption is that there is at least one anon page that can
be reclaimed somewhen and nothing is killed. As long as the file cache
exceeds 1/16 of managed memory or 5MByte, the assumption is that at
least one file page can be reclaimed somewhen and nothing is killed.

There is one more possibility. Even when there is swap and pages
could be reclaimed but the pager itself runs out of (kernel) memory,
that error can kill the process. That includes also a failure to
allocate kernel address space.

The UVM history should give you the exact reason why the fault
couldn't be handled.

                                Michael van Elst
                                "A potential Snark may lurk in every tree."

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