Ubuntu Deciding How To Tame Their systemd-oomd Killing Experience

One of the many changes with the recent Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release was enabling systemd-oomd by default as the out-of-memory daemon that can kill processes when under memory pressure. Unfortunately, for some users this has led to a poor desktop experience with finding their applications being unexpectedly killed. Ubuntu developers are now discussing how to improve this OOMD handling.

Various bug reports and other issues have turned up of user applications being killed “too frequently” such as the Chrome web browser and generally without notice or the user even being unaware they are under memory pressure. Ubuntu developers are now trying to figure out how to best handle the out-of-memory daemon’s behavior moving forward.

Among the items being looked at are to increase the “SwapUsedLimit” that controls the threshold for memory usage and swap usage, being more selective in its “ManagedOOMSwap” configuration, not enabling swap kill at all, or possibly but less likely is increasing the swap size on Ubuntu from its current 1GB default.

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