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  #1  
Old 4th April 2007, 09:19 AM
guarriman Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 72
"bash: fork: Cannot allocate memory" error

Hi.

Working on Fedora Core 2 (kernel 2.6.9), I got this error message when accessing my machine via shell:
------
bash: /bin/egrep: Bad file descriptor
-bash: fork: Cannot allocate memory
-------

What does it mean? How can I fix it?

I'm experiencing some shell problems (some commands won't work), and my memory status is:
Code:
-bash-2.05b# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          8101       8063         37          0        271       4405
-/+ buffers/cache:       3387       4714
Swap:         4094         75       4019
Thank you very much in advance
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  #2  
Old 5th April 2007, 05:06 AM
RupertPupkin Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 5,685
It probably means that you have too many processes running.
What is the output of this?: ps -ef | wc -l
That will show how many processes are running.

Also, what is the output of this?: ulimit -u
That will show the maximum number of processes allowed per user. Your ps output may show that this number has been reached by your userid. To view all the current limits, do: ulimit -a
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  #3  
Old 5th April 2007, 05:36 AM
stevea Online
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 8,914
WTF - you have 8GB of dram and you are still using 75M of your 2G swap ?!!? The system is either has a huge load of processes or else something is wrong.

If you really have that much memory use, add another 4-6GB of swap and try again.
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