Re: [question] how to figure out OOM reason? should dump slab/vmallocinfo when OOM?

From: David Rientjes
Date: Tue Jan 21 2014 - 00:34:56 EST

On Mon, 20 Jan 2014, Jianguo Wu wrote:

> When OOM happen, will dump buddy free areas info, hugetlb pages info,
> memory state of all eligible tasks, per-cpu memory info.
> But do not dump slab/vmalloc info, sometime, it's not enough to figure out the
> reason OOM happened.
> So, my questions are:
> 1. Should dump slab/vmalloc info when OOM happen? Though we can get these from proc file,
> but usually we do not monitor the logs and check proc file immediately when OOM happened.

The problem is that slabinfo becomes excessively verbose and dumping it
all to the kernel log often times causes important messages to be lost.
This is why we control things like the tasklist dump with a VM sysctl. It
would be possible to dump, say, the top ten slab caches with the highest
memory usage, but it will only be helpful for slab leaks. Typically there
are better debugging tools available than analyzing the kernel log; if you
see unusually high slab memory in the meminfo dump, you can enable it.

> 2. /proc/$pid/smaps and pagecache info also helpful when OOM, should also be dumped?

Also very verbose and would cause important messages to be lost, we try to
avoid spamming the kernel log with all of this information as much as

> 3. Without these info, usually how to figure out OOM reason?

Analyze the memory usage in the meminfo and determine what is unusually
high; if it's mostly anonymous memory, you can usually correlate it back
to a high rss for a process in the tasklist that you didn't suspect to be
using that much memory, for example.
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