Is kswapd working right?
From: mario camuñas
Date: Tue Sep 30 2003 - 05:56:18 EST
Our scenario is the following:
One web server runninng kernel 2.4.9-e-12(smp), it is used to host an
Apache webserver with an integrated application server. The system has 2Gb
of RAM and 2Gb of swap. The last day an strange thing happened. We tried to
connect to our system using ssh and we can´t, after many attempts we could
connect to the system and saw that we couldn´t connect because there was a
lack of memory. Every proccess you tried to start failed and gave the
following error message" fork failed: Can´t allocate memory (errno=12)".
The output of the free -k command showed that the swap space(there was only
5 Mb of free RAM) wasn´t being used and we don´t understand why. We have
found a lot of similar cases of systems that couldn´t fork but were plenty
of unused swap space so we thought we would find answers for this problem
but we haven´t found any(although we have looked for one a lot).
We think that perhaps our freepages settings are too low( 1.6-4.5-7.4
Mb) and if we merge this low values with an excesive fragmented memory this
could explain our memory squeeze problems. Some of us have proposed the
theory that everytime a proccess is started it needs a little quantity of
contiguous memory and that if the system can´t provide it to the process it
dies before the fork is completed. Any idea about what can be happening
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