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I don’t know what true OOM means, but my desktop has crashed I think at least three times in the last four months and the console said “OOM killer”. About 15GB of usable RAM, 2GB swap drive. I just have to have the usual applications open plus another browser in addition to Firefox, namely Chrome. (But naturally I don’t try to actively reproduce the behavior since I usually have better things to do than wait 10 minutes from everything becoming unresponsive -- even switching from the graphical session to a console -- to the OOM killer finally deciding to kill Chrome.) And I don’t run any virtual machines, just a big, fat IDE and stuff like that.

Your problem is the 2GB of swap. Get rid of it and it will just crash without 10min of slowdown (while swap disk is getting written to). </sarcasm>

Linux overcommitting memory and especially chrome/firefox beeing big-fat-memory-hogs are the problem. In fact every application which doesn't cope malloc beeing out of memory or assuming everybody has multiple gigs of memory to spare should "reevaluate".

Seriously though that’s a good idea. Might be better to just disable swap. :) Well, at least until I go out and buy more RAM.

The soft way would be to set ulimit for memory to something other than unlimited. To cap the max mem limit per process

Thanks, that’s a good suggestion.

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