Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-support (176 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-support] Unresponsive desktop - swapoff experiment
On Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:40:05 +0100 (CET)
"Carlos E. R." <robin.listas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I then killed Firefox and Thunderbird, restarted them (the machine
has to run my usual workload), then repeated the swapoff experiment.

Telcontar:~/Documents/lists/swapoff_test # time swapoff -a

real 3m30.374s
user 0m0.001s
sys 3m3.646s
Telcontar:~/Documents/lists/swapoff_test #

I was writing my notes on the terminal, when the system *collapsed*
and would not respond. I managed to issue "swapon -a" on an ssh
session already opened on another machine, which took perhaps half an
hour to process.

Yay! I'm happy you tried that trick and it worked :)

Then, with swap back on, the system responded, after
also doing some OOM (on mysqld). Thunderbird was not running:

cer@Telcontar:~> grep -i "oom" /var/log/messages
<0.4> 2019-02-13 13:16:35 Telcontar kernel - - - [688971.796341]
mysqld invoked oom-killer: gfp_mask=0x14200ca(GFP_HIGHUSER_MOVABLE),
nodemask=(null), order=0, oom_score_adj=0 <0.4> 2019-02-13 13:16:35
Telcontar kernel - - - [688971.796366] oom_kill_process+0x213/0x3d0
<0.6> 2019-02-13 13:16:35 Telcontar kernel - - - [688971.796474]
[ pid ] uid tgid total_vm rss nr_ptes nr_pmds swapents
oom_score_adj name <0.6> 2019-02-13 13:16:35 Telcontar kernel - - -
[688971.860717] oom_reaper: reaped process 12455 (thunderbird-bin),
now anon-rss:0kB, file-rss:0kB, shmem-rss:15884kB cer@Telcontar:~>

Interestingly, both mysqld and Thunderbird have been killed
differently (one by oom-killer, another by oom_reaper) Why mysqld I
have no idea, but it could have been worse.

mysqld is infamous for being chosen. oom-reaper is a relatively recent
addition to the oom killer (from suse) There's a good discussion at

[snip] TL;DR

As you can see, it is not possible to run this 8GiB machine without
Swap - I said it would not work and I was right.

I think what you've proved is that the machine cannot support the
workload. You either need to change the machine or the workload.

You might be able to find a browser that uses less memory (or tune FF),
dunno. You might be able to find a way to work with less pages open.

You can almost certainly find a MUA that uses less memory then
Thunderbird. My first thought is claws, of course :) But there are many
other possibilities.

Or you could move one or other process(es) to some other machine and
remote the interface to your current machine, so it is merely serving
as the display for that process.

Cheers, Dave
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