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

From: Jianguo Wu
Date: Tue Jan 21 2014 - 07:41:10 EST

On 2014/1/21 13:34, David Rientjes wrote:

> 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.

Hi David,
Thank you for your patience to answer!

> 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.

But, when OOM has happened, we can only use kernel log, slab/vmalloc info from proc
is stale. Maybe we can dump slab/vmalloc with a VM sysctl, and only top 10/20 entrys?


>> 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
> possible.
>> 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.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at