Ibex is eating my RAM

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Mon Nov 10 06:56:41 MST 2008


Scott Edwards wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM, Hans Fugal <hans at fugal.net> wrote:
> 
>> So I upgraded my desktop to Ubuntu 8.10 and everything is hunky dory
>> except for the fact that something is slowly eating all my RAM. After
>> awhile the computer starts thrashing. After a few minutes of that, the
>> OOM killer comes in and starts killing things left and right, until the
>> system is essentially dead. At that point I have to hard reset the
>> machine. I've looked at the system while it was swapping and didn't see
>> what I'd expect.
>>
>> That is, I didn't see anything using considerable RAM. No program in top
>> is listed as having even modest RAM allocated. Yet the free memory
>> continues to drop, and the swap usage continues to rise, until swap runs
>> out and the system comes crashing down.
>>
>> Since it doesn't seem to be a program I can inspect in top, does that
>> mean the kernel has some kind of memory leak? How can I inspect the
>> memory usage of the kernel and/or find the program or module or whatever
>> that is eating my RAM and not returning it?
>>
>> --
>> Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
>>
>> There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
>> right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
>>    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
>>
> 
> Is there an earlier kernel you can use?  

Yes, the previous kernel is booted now and it hasn't gone down in 13
hours, but that may be because we haven't hit the trigger condition. If
it is a kernel problem and not some hard-to-see userspace problem, then
I suspect using this kernel will get rid of it.

> I assume you're sorting in top by
> memory used?  

Yes.

> How much memory do you have?  

1G, 2G swap


> You might want to look into
> swapd and "and" (autonice daemon) as a temporary measure.  I use to rely on
> those when a left over Netscape browser could eat your resources for lunch.
> swapd will allocate extra swapfiles on the fly if you're running too low on
> swap.

Thanks, that could come in handy when troubleshooting. Though, it would
just delay the inevitable and eat my hard drive in the process. ;-)

-- 
Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach



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