Ubuntu Deciding How To Tame Their systemd-oomd Killing Experience

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 9 June 2022 at 03:15 PM EDT. 42 Comments
One of the many changes with the recent Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release was enabling systemd-oomd by default as the out-of-memory daemon that can kill processes when under memory pressure. Unfortunately, for some users this has led to a poor desktop experience with finding their applications being unexpectedly killed. Ubuntu developers are now discussing how to improve this OOMD handling.

Various bug reports and other issues have turned up of user applications being killed "too frequently" such as the Chrome web browser and generally without notice or the user even being unaware they are under memory pressure. Ubuntu developers are now trying to figure out how to best handle the out-of-memory daemon's behavior moving forward.

Among the items being looked at are to increase the "SwapUsedLimit" that controls the threshold for memory usage and swap usage, being more selective in its "ManagedOOMSwap" configuration, not enabling swap kill at all, or possibly but less likely is increasing the swap size on Ubuntu from its current 1GB default.

Canonical engineer Nick Rosbrook has now started an Ubuntu-devel thread over the matter and to solicit feedback from the broader Ubuntu development community. We'll see what comes of this for improving systemd-oomd integration and hopefully leading to less unexpected application kills when running Ubuntu Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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