Samstag, 13. September 2014

Taming the Nokia-770's OOM-Killer

The Nokia 770's kernel (2.6.16.27-omap1) does seem to have some issues with the OOM killer. Even with tons of free swap space availabe, it decides to kill larger processes, as I reported back in 2009 on the llkm: http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/886095

Kernel devs thought this was a bug, however without the possibility updating to a more recent kernel, this didn't help.

However, I recently came across a message of another 770 user who had issues with debian's locale generation process on the 770, also killed by the OOM killer despite free swap. He found out that setting swappiness to 100 solved the issues: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=185010

So, although modifying swappiness still doesn't fix the actual kernel bug, the tendency of the kernel to keep more memory available for the  page-cache with a higher swappiness-value seems to make the issue appear a lot less frequently (at the cost of decreased SD life).

Therefore, if you experience OOM issues on your Nokia-770 despite free swap, try:

echo 100 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness 

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