Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2912 mails)

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Re: [SLE] adobe acrobat alternative
  • From: Randall R Schulz <rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 08:33:17 -0800
  • Message-id: <200502260833.17589.rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
Danny,

On Saturday 26 February 2005 08:33, Danny Sauer wrote:
> On Friday 25 February 2005 04:16 pm, Randall R Schulz wrote:
> [...]
>
> > (*) The one weakness I've experienced more than any other on my
> > SuSE Linux system is its vulnerability to a rogue process consuming
> > so much memory that everything else gets swapped out and it becomes
> > impossible to even kill the errant process.
>
> Clearly, you need more memory. :) Most modern system will accept
> 2GB, if not 4 or more. You should have time to kill acroread before
> it fills up 2GB of physical memory.

I have 1 GB. Brute force cannot be the right way to address this
problem. Besides, a run-away program can easily consume all the RAM and
start driving swap activity much more quickly than a human user could
recognize the problem and attempt to stop it. In fact, by the time
there is any indication of a problem, it's pretty much too late
already. Furthermore, such processes often are not responding to the
messages triggered by clicking the close box or typing ALT-F4, forcing
one to run ps or activate the KDE System Guard process table attached
to CTRL-ESC. And finally, the X11 process that mediates keyboard and
mouse activity is affected, too, making any corrective action
whatsoever impossible.

The upshot is that this is a genuine vulnerability that cannot be solved
by throwing memory at the system.


> --Danny, noting that the kernel starts killing processes when it runs
> out of memory...

That might be helpful if I had no swap space, in which case the swap (or
paging) activity that makes the system unusable would never occur.

The simple empirical fact is that a process that exhibits extreme and
unbounded memory consumptive behavior has one several occasions left me
with no alternative but to press the mainboard's reset switch.


Randall Schulz

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