I am trying to delete an extensive number of files(in several million) with command, find . -name "file*" -delete Terminal showed output of Killed. I searched over the internet and seen dmesg,

Out of memory: Kill process 25284 (find) score 691 or sacrifice child
Killed process 25284, UID 0, (find) total-vm:11666436kB, anon-rss:3229204kB, file-rss:620kB

I think it is due to OOM killer, as /proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory shows overcommit is set to 0. I was wondering how can I avoid this issue? I can't delete the files manually.

1 Answer 1


The process its' not overcommiting memory, its' consuming actual memory almost 3 GB (anon-rss) making it legit to OOM.

Try remove command with regex , if its' show the same behavior ,its' likely because number of file here a post https://superuser.com/questions/1174259/high-memory-usage-of-the-find-command that propose listing all file to be deleted and perform removing one by one through Shell/Perl script.

  • If it's not OOM killer, who killed my process?I mean why it leads to OOM?
    – lsbmsb
    Jun 28, 2017 at 17:25
  • Obviously the process is draining system memory, try deleting in loop with delay between iterations.
    – hoshoh
    Jun 29, 2017 at 7:57

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