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Re: slow hard drives crushing interactivity

On Mon, 2005-01-24 at 18:01 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> On my IBM X31 laptop, the system entirely locks up when there's a lot of
> disk access, some common situations are:
>  - when getting heavily into swap due to a runaway process
>  - when running rpm/yum

I agree that the above is a real problem as it occasionally happens to
me and the reboots can be mighty disruptive.  It would be *very* helpful
if kernels could provide/enforce enough interactivity to allow users to
kill processes with "runaway disk usage".

And though I have no way to prove it, I think recent (eg. 2.6) kernels
do a slightly worse job in this area than historic ones (eg. 2.4, 2.2).

So are there ways to fix it?  And if so, how?


Edward H. Hill III, PhD
office:  MIT Dept. of EAPS;  Rm 54-1424;  77 Massachusetts Ave.
             Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
emails:  eh3 mit edu                ed eh3 com
URLs:    http://web.mit.edu/eh3/    http://eh3.com/
phone:   617-253-0098
fax:     617-253-4464

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