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[linux-help] Re: Error Message

[linux-help] Re: Error Message

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To: linux-help@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [linux-help] Re: Error Message
From: Tom Hull <thull@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2000 20:06:50 -0600
Reply-to: linux-help@xxxxxxxxx

Curtis Hawthorne wrote:
> Every so often on my server (P133) I have this error
> pop up:
> VM: do_try_to_free_pages failed for xxx...
> Where xxx is the name of a program.  It doesn't seem
> to be that big of a problem because it keeps on going.
>  I'm just curious what it means...

This looks like a kernel diagnostic message. I don't see it in any
of my kernels, so it is probably just some temporary cruft. I'd
say that it is: a) harmless; and b) there's nothing you can really
do about it. (E.g., adding memory may not make it any less frequent.)

Basically, do_try_to_free_pages() is called when a user process
needs more memory, and memory is in short supply. Since the free
memory scan code is expensive, the code tries to free more memory
than is currently needed, and returns 1 only if this quanta is
freed. It is possible for do_try_to_free_pages() to "fail" and
still make the allocation, which seems to be the case here. Even
if the allocation fails, the kernel may just put your program to
sleep enough until memory becomes available (e.g., by swapping
something out).

> Thanks!

 *  Tom Hull * thull@xxxxxxxxxxx *

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