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How to free Vmalloc memory on the fly

Posted on 2006-05-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm using linux to record DVB directly to disk. My problem is that  when Vmalloc fills up it freeze DVB driver. I need to find a way to empty that Vmalloc the fly. So far only solution is to reboot the server and it's not a good solution.

[root@refrecord ~]# cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:      2076108 kB
MemFree:       1965880 kB
Buffers:          8328 kB
Cached:          63164 kB
SwapCached:          0 kB
Active:          41336 kB
Inactive:        46100 kB
HighTotal:     1179596 kB
HighFree:      1094488 kB
LowTotal:       896512 kB
LowFree:        871392 kB
SwapTotal:     3068404 kB
SwapFree:      3068404 kB
Dirty:              28 kB
Writeback:           0 kB
Mapped:          28632 kB
Slab:             8788 kB
CommitLimit:   4106456 kB
Committed_AS:    88064 kB
PageTables:       1432 kB
VmallocTotal:   114680 kB
VmallocUsed:     21168 kB                              <--  when this fills up, it server will crash
VmallocChunk:    93008 kB
HugePages_Total:     0
HugePages_Free:      0
Hugepagesize:     4096 kB
[root@refrecord ~]#
[root@refrecord ~]# uname -a
Linux refrecord 2.6.16-1.2108_FC4 #1 Thu May 4 23:52:01 EDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Please, any suggestion

Question by:salmjuh
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LVL 43

Accepted Solution

ravenpl earned 252 total points
ID: 16668089
So far I know(but may be wrong) VmallocUsed never shrinks(it's only top marker of virtual memory space)
If it fills up, it may mean that Your kernel has a memory leak or want to use too much memory inside the kernel itself.
Do You happen to load third party kernel module? Sure it behaves OK.
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

pjedmond earned 248 total points
ID: 16846019
Oooooh - this is baaaaaaaaddddd....!!!!!
As ravenpl has pointed out, VmallocUsed never goes down, and continued increase is most likely due to either a kernel memory leak or their being some very poorly written code that you are using for recording your DVB.

I notice that you are using FC4. FC is used to test 'bleeding edge' ideas. Can I suggest that you try a kernel rebuild without the 'cutting edge' capabilities:


Alternatively, try one of the RHEL clones:



Their kernels only include the 'well tried and tested' elements in kernel, and shouldn't 'leak' as you seem to be experiencing.

LVL 43

Expert Comment

ID: 17167015
> Their kernels only include the 'well tried and tested' elements in kernel, and shouldn't 'leak' as you seem to be experiencing.
Started using RHEL43 - not really true. Many bugs that are already patched in vanilla(including some security flaws)
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 17168535
I'd also like to retract that statement as I'm now a little embarrassed by it. - Discovered that Xen is in there as well! - Hardly tried and tested. You have to ask yourself whether Redhat is now involved in 'feature' races with other distros! I think that a different ideology is now being used to develop the Redhat product.

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