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Old 09-09-2005, 09:43 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: SuSE 10
Posts: 32

Rep: Reputation: 15
memory allocation error

This only occurs once in a while, but its still annoying. I'm running a 2.4.27 kernel, and every so often the system will freeze for a short time. Sometimes it will snap out of it, but other times, it will stay frozen. When it is frozen, the CPU usage goes to 100% and stays there until it unfreezes. I've checked the messages, and the worst I've come up with is
Sep  9 17:10:38 Brain kernel: spurious 8259A interrupt: IRQ7.
but that is an hour before it actually froze. Just recently i got this. the computer froze and X died, but i couldn't switch to any of the terminals. I had to ssh in and restart it to get any control over the computer.
Sep  9 18:28:13 Brain kernel: __alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed (gfp=0x1d2/0)
Sep  9 18:28:15 Brain last message repeated 2 times
Sep  9 18:28:15 Brain kernel: VM: killing process X
Right above that was a whole bunch of programs being killed by VM. I don't think that i was doing anything memory intensive, just using the computer normally. I have run memtest for a while, no errors on 256 MB of ram. my swap partition is 512 MB.

Actually, what does "__alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed (gfp=0x1d2/0)" mean? I've gathered that it means that the computer is running out of memory, but I'm not sure.
Old 09-09-2005, 10:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,553

Rep: Reputation: 52
It means your system has slammed into no more available memory
there is most likely a race condition or something consuming memory in an out of controll way
possibly locks not getting unlocked.
or a bad memory leak somewhere even in the kernel (though not likely)
i read a SUSE post once where it appeared updatedb running as a cron job was the culprit.
whatever it is i bet it's something abnormal going on
try monitoring the memory and see if one process is going crazy on you
Old 09-09-2005, 10:43 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: SuSE 10
Posts: 32

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
how would i do that? top? while it goes out of control, everything stops, even ssh hangs for a sec, so I'm not sure how to monitor it. is there a way to write the name of the program that is going crazy into a file, while the rest of the computer isn't responding?
free gives me this:
            total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        255376     249932       5444          0      14964      87448
-/+ buffers/cache:     147520     107856
Swap:       530136        844     529292
so I don't know how I would use up that space just while using my computer as a word processor.
The small freezes have been happening for a while, but this is the first time I've gotten the "__alloc_pages: 0-order allocation failed" error.

Hmm. I just realized that flash causes a 100% spike when loading, could this be some sort of trigger?

Last edited by l00zer; 09-09-2005 at 10:49 PM.


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