systemd-oomd issues on desktop

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Fri Jun 10 15:24:41 UTC 2022

On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 11:40:52AM +0200, Julian Andres Klode wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 09, 2022 at 03:19:36PM -0400, Dan Streetman wrote:

> > > I think that either option (1) or (3) would be the most reasonable --
> > > maybe trying (1) first and falling back to (3) if necessary. If anyone
> > > has an opinion on this, or can think of other options, I would
> > > appreciate the input.

> > Was systemd-oomd enabled by default for a specific reason? The kernel
> > is quite able to handle oom situations itself, and has been for years,
> > so while I'm not trying to suggest systemd-oomd is without any use
> > case, I'm skeptical that systemd-oomd should be enabled *by default*.
> > I think it's more likely to behave better when enabled to address a
> > specific system use case, and leave the default behavior of handling
> > oom to the kernel.

> No what the kernel does is it starts stuttering, the system becomes
> unresponsive and eventually needs a hard reset maybe.

> The bug reports we see show that systemd-oomd is working correctly:
> The browser gets killed, the system remains responsive without having
> become unresponsive as would be the usual case.

If systemd-oomd is killing in-use processes before the user is bothered by
the sluggishness, then it's not working correctly.

It's difficult to ensure the oom killer is working "correctly" given such a
soft definition, but I agree that the increase in user complaints on 22.04
indicate we haven't found the right balance yet.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                         
slangasek at                                     vorlon at
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