Is it possible to give the user the option to cancel forkbombs?

Martin Olsson mnemo at
Sat Nov 17 05:51:27 UTC 2007

Dear kernel hackers,

This is a message from below 0x7FFFFFFF. Please look at this bug (it's 
not a new concept but still):

I'm no expert but I'd guess the "complete freeze" part of the bug has to 
do with the kernel, no? It would be nice to have a system which always 
lets me choose to abort stuff regardless of what kind of program mess I 
accidently started. Sort of like how you can "always" count on 
CTRL-ALT-DEL to work. Maybe it's possible to set some kind of 
MAX_PROCESS_COUNT for each user (I don't know) but it looks like this is 
not done by default in many distros today?

I mean, this effectively took down both my laptop and made the server of 
my shared web hosting company unresponsive for >10 mins (maybe it had 
some auto-reboot mechanism, I'm not sure).


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