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memory leak in 2.6.18 ovz kernels [message #31415] Fri, 27 June 2008 17:33 Go to next message
Cliff Wells is currently offline  Cliff Wells
Messages: 30
Registered: June 2006
Member
From: openvz.org
Hi,

I've been running 2.6.18 releases on two servers and both of them have
suffered a slow but steady memory leak.  The first server is a dual
Athlon MP with 3GB of RAM, the second a quad Opteron 275 with 8GB of
RAM.  I first noticed the issue on the Opteron a few days ago when I
realized it was using 7.6GB of RAM and had started using swap (it's only
got about 2GB allocated to VE's).  Today the Athlon died after
exhausting memory.  Both had been up for around 70 days.

When investigating the situation on the Opteron, I stopped all the VE's
but no memory was reclaimed.  Nothing in "top" showed any significant
memory consumption.  I wasn't able to investigate on the Athlon system
as it was in an unusable state.

My immediate solution was to upgrade the Opteron system to 2.6.24 and
boot the Athlon system into a stock kernel (I'm not currently using
OpenVZ on it).

Anyway, my concern is that I've seen no mention of similar issues from
anyone else (and in fact, until the Athlon server failed today, I was
inclined to believe it was a configuration issue on the Opteron), so I
have a fear that if there is a leak, it might still exist in newer
kernels.

I'm going to babysit these machines to see if the problem reappears, but
has anyone else noticed similar patterns of memory consumption and is
there anything I can do to track this down?

Regards,
Cliff
Re: memory leak in 2.6.18 ovz kernels [message #31447 is a reply to message #31415] Mon, 30 June 2008 21:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kir is currently offline  kir
Messages: 1645
Registered: August 2005
Location: Moscow, Russia
Senior Member

From: openvz.org
First, I hope you know the difference between memory shortage and memory 
used for buffer/cache. In short: Linux tries to use all unused memory 
for cache -- and if more memory is needed cache is shrunk. This behavior 
is sometimes a source of confusion for some Linux users.

Second, can you give us more details regarding "Athlon died after 
exhausting memory"? If it was an oops -- we need its text.

Third, are you using x86_64 kernel? What is your exact kernel version?

Cliff Wells wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've been running 2.6.18 releases on two servers and both of them have
> suffered a slow but steady memory leak.  The first server is a dual
> Athlon MP with 3GB of RAM, the second a quad Opteron 275 with 8GB of
> RAM.  I first noticed the issue on the Opteron a few days ago when I
> realized it was using 7.6GB of RAM and had started using swap (it's only
> got about 2GB allocated to VE's).  Today the Athlon died after
> exhausting memory.  Both had been up for around 70 days.
>
> When investigating the situation on the Opteron, I stopped all the VE's
> but no memory was reclaimed.  Nothing in "top" showed any significant
> memory consumption.  I wasn't able to investigate on the Athlon system
> as it was in an unusable state.
>
> My immediate solution was to upgrade the Opteron system to 2.6.24 and
> boot the Athlon system into a stock kernel (I'm not currently using
> OpenVZ on it).
>
> Anyway, my concern is that I've seen no mention of similar issues from
> anyone else (and in fact, until the Athlon server failed today, I was
> inclined to believe it was a configuration issue on the Opteron), so I
> have a fear that if there is a leak, it might still exist in newer
> kernels.
>
> I'm going to babysit these machines to see if the problem reappears, but
> has anyone else noticed similar patterns of memory consumption and is
> there anything I can do to track this down?
>
> Regards,
> Cliff 
>
Re: memory leak in 2.6.18 ovz kernels [message #31494 is a reply to message #31447] Tue, 01 July 2008 23:06 Go to previous message
Cliff Wells is currently offline  Cliff Wells
Messages: 30
Registered: June 2006
Member
From: openvz.org
On Tue, 2008-07-01 at 01:00 +0400, Kir Kolyshkin wrote:
> First, I hope you know the difference between memory shortage and memory 
> used for buffer/cache. In short: Linux tries to use all unused memory 
> for cache -- and if more memory is needed cache is shrunk. 

Sure.  But actually it never uses more than a couple hundred megs, even
if it's available (certainly not 6GB).  Also in this case buffer/cache
was driven down to under 100K and the server was using a couple hundred
megs of swap (which is unexpected given it has 8GB of RAM and only using
~2GB under normal circumstances).

´╗┐Here's what top currently shows:

Mem:   8168892k total,  2161572k used,  6007320k free,   144216k buffers
Swap: 15631236k total,        0k used, 15631236k free,  1125972k cached

which is what I would expect.  I don't have exact numbers now, but
"used" was over 7.6GB at the time.

> Second, can you give us more details regarding "Athlon died after 
> exhausting memory"? If it was an oops -- we need its text.

No oops, just lots of processes killed by OOM, including sshd.  

> Third, are you using x86_64 kernel? What is your exact kernel version?

Yes, x86_64, kernel version 2.6.18-028.049 (Gentoo).

Currently, running 2.6.24 seems to have fixed it (but I may have to give
it longer to see).

Regards,
Cliff

> Cliff Wells wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I've been running 2.6.18 releases on two servers and both of them have
> > suffered a slow but steady memory leak.  The first server is a dual
> > Athlon MP with 3GB of RAM, the second a quad Opteron 275 with 8GB of
> > RAM.  I first noticed the issue on the Opteron a few days ago when I
> > realized it was using 7.6GB of RAM and had started using swap (it's only
> > got about 2GB allocated to VE's).  Today the Athlon died after
> > exhausting memory.  Both had been up for around 70 days.
> >
> > When investigating the situation on the Opteron, I stopped all the VE's
> > but no memory was reclaimed.  Nothing in "top" showed any significant
> > memory consumption.  I wasn't able to investigate on the Athlon system
> > as it was in an unusable state.
> >
> > My immediate solution was to upgrade the Opteron system to 2.6.24 and
> > boot the Athlon system into a stock kernel (I'm not currently using
> > OpenVZ on it).
> >
> > Anyway, my concern is that I've seen no mention of similar issues from
> > anyone else (and in fact, until the Athlon server failed today, I was
> > inclined to believe it was a configuration issue on the Opteron), so I
> > have a fear that if there is a leak, it might still exist in newer
> > kernels.
> >
> > I'm going to babysit these machines to see if the problem reappears, but
> > has anyone else noticed similar patterns of memory consumption and is
> > there anything I can do to track this down?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Cliff 
> >
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