Per-process maximum memory utilization???

Ryan Go ryan at
Tue Jun 11 21:34:00 CDT 2002


We had those type of situations before also. We were not able to figure
out what went wrong but I assumed it's the vm in the kernel since after we
upgraded to 2.4.18 the problem disappeared (I read there was some vm
changes to the kernel on or after 2.4.10). We also applied the rmap
patch since kswapd often goes zombie after some time.

I would think it's the new kernel, the rmap patch or a combination of the
both. As long as it's not happening again, I am happy.

AS with regards to your question about limits, the "official" kernel can
only do 4GB RAM max. I am not familiar with redhat kernels or where they
come from but i know SGI has patches to address more, IIRC 64GB.

Ryan Go
Renaissance Technologies Corp.
<ryan at>

On Tue, 11 Jun 2002, Ed Griffin wrote:

> Does anyone know if there is a maximum size a process can grow to before
> the system says "hey that's enough?"  The reason I ask is we are seeing
> some bizarre behavior on some Dell PE4600's with 4GB RAM 8GB swap (Redhat
> 7.2, kernel 2.4.9-34smp), where a process grows to 1.5GB and then dies.  I
> have attached some of the developer's comments...
> It reports that it is out of memory in our log file and then hangs (appears
> to be waiting for child threads to return but they are stuck on a
> sigsuspend call) so I can see the size of the process before it dies.  It's
> "only" 1.5G and there is 4G of memory on the box.
> We know we have a leak in the code but we are not sure why it locks up
> after using 1.5GB of memory when plenty more is available (swap hasn't even
> been touched).
> Here is the output of the limit command (run as the user running the
> process not root)
> cputime         unlimited
> filesize        unlimited
> datasize        unlimited
> stacksize       8192 kbytes
> coredumpsize    unlimited
> memoryuse       unlimited
> descriptors     1024
> memorylocked    unlimited
> maxproc         15103
> openfiles       1024
> Also what is the maximum number of threads that can be forked off a single
> process?
> I must admit that I am just a lowly sys. admin. not a software engineer, so
> any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.
> --Ed
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-PowerEdge mailing list
> Linux-PowerEdge at
> Please read the FAQ at or search the list archives at

More information about the Linux-PowerEdge mailing list