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Yes, Linux Does Bad In Low RAM / Memory Pressure Situations On The Desktop

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  • Has nobody mentioned earlyoom yet?

    Edit: My phone browser's page search is broken.
    Last edited by andreano; 08-07-2019, 11:44 AM.

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    • Both the kernel and applications (in this case Chrome/Firefox) can do better (unless you think 4GB is not enough to run a browser "reasonably"). Do I think app developers will actually _do_ anything in response to failing mallocs()... not likely. They've had decades of not worrying about memory and they're probably not gonna start now. Shit, my first computer ran in only 128k. By the time java entered the scene it was game over.

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      • I am surprised to read so many people blaming the users.

        If a user is required to know OS memory management then it means we've got the whole OS concept wrong.
        wrong.

        It is clear Windows shines in this aspect. Even a monkey can use it.

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        • Originally posted by Volta View Post
          I had hope I won't see mentally damaged posts coming from birdie, but damn it. What's worth to note installing game on Steam makes Windows crawl.
          Wow, you're the only person in this thread who's attacking me instead of discussing the huge issue we've had for many many years. But thank you for your honesty - you've definitely shown that you're not interested in improving Linux, instead you've chosen to turn a blind eye to everything that doesn't paint Linux in a good light. And some wonder why Linux on the desktop is nowhere to be seen. Precisely due to people like you who are screaming that Linux is perfect despite a huge number of issues with it.

          Also no one at Slashdot, Reddit or Hacker News has called me this way instead there are multiple posts confirming this Linux kernel peculiarity. Perhaps you need to do some introspection and analyze your reactions.

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          • Originally posted by andreano View Post
            Has nobody mentioned earlyoom yet?

            Edit: My phone browser's page search is broken.
            Has been mentioned multiple times in this thread and everywhere else. But that's a userspace solution to a huge bug in the kernel itself which just shouldn't be there in the first place. Also, earlyoom is not enabled by default by any major Linux distro (Ubuntu/Mint/Fedora/Debian/etc) and most users simply don't know about it.

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            • well windows if is running out of ram will start to close applications. of course you'll be asked to close some applications but if you don't respond than windows will make a choice for you.
              but if you have swap on (i forgot the name of it) than you'll be safe but still will have a lot of hdd writes

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              • Originally posted by abott View Post
                I honestly don't see how this issue is so hard to fix. Have the OOM killer have reserved memory (.1% or 8MB or something) to work out of, examine the system, kill any programs not needed. That, or choose an entire application to yeet to a drive like Windows does. I think the main issue right now is that you can't really do that well because nobody has code for it yet. For example I don't think the DRM subsystem has a way of restoring an application's GPU state, so fixing that portion might be difficult, and not standard per-hardware. But it's not impossible. Just kinda fucked up to have to code. No application should have to worry about the actual system's issues.

                Just something we have to decide how to do it then actually add it. It's something that is probably just easier to through more resources at the computers for the big companies so nobody has given a shit about it.
                That is already done via vm.admin_reserve_kbytes. This reserves some part of physical memory for root.

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                • Originally posted by nivedita View Post

                  That is already done via vm.admin_reserve_kbytes. This reserves some part of physical memory for root.
                  Interesting. What other parts need to improved for it all to improve? The HDD activity even when no swap is really peculiar, though. I've never seen that as I never haven't had swap myself and ran out of memory.

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                  • Originally posted by down1 View Post
                    Mostly no, since the introduction of virtual memory it's been standard procedure to simply assume memory will allocate (outside of special situations). Best you can hope for is a friendly error message and a crash.

                    I am interested in what it's actually doing, without swap I would have just assumed it would be killed (that's what windows does).
                    Speaking as a SW Engineer, we pretty much assume the OS will allocate a chunk of memory when we request it. I've never seen a program actually handle the case where it doesn't get a block of RAM, since it's basically assumed the OS will crash at that point. It's the job of the OS to find a memory block, and there's really nothing developers can do if one can't be provided.

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                    • Speaking as a SW Engineer, if the OS can't honor a request for RAM, I would fully expect things to break. Best case, a program crashes. Worst case, the OS crashes.

                      The behavior being described here sounds like a bug that is being exposed in a low RAM condition; if both main memory and the swap file is full/disabled, why is the OS locking up performing I/O to the HDD? That sounds like a separate problem then what most people are talking about here right now. I think the obvious thing to check is what the OS is attempting to do in this condition, because it doesn't sound correct to me.

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