I have the following situation - I've got a remote PC with an encrypted drive. If the PC needs a restart, I need to be physically present to enter the decryption password because I don't have any way of ssh-ing to it before the OS is loaded.

With this in mind, I use the PC to run my jupyter notebook. Only problem is, sometimes, I end up executing a piece of code which quickly consumes all available memory - 32G and then machine becomes unresponsive and that's it for my access to it.

I remember at uni, writing a C program which in a loop launched itself within itself - basically a RAM hog. The program got killed by a watchdog daemon before eating up all available memory and crashing the PC. What can I do to achieve this? Play around with ulimit? This seems too simple.

Thanks to Artem's suggestion, I found this about the solution he has proposed. Seems earlyoom will do the trick. https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/d2nssy/a_userspace_outofmemory_killer_oomd_020_released/

1 Answer 1


My personal favorite is earlyoom (included and enabled by default in Fedora 32): https://github.com/rfjakob/earlyoom

Otherwise you can choose from:

Edit 2021-12-21:

  • Modern distros with systemd now include a built-in OOM killer called systemd-oomd, check man systemd-oomd for more details.
  • Thanks! Could you clarify what you mean by "Then you can choose from" - do you mean I need to install earlyoom first and then one of the other 4? It looks to me that nohang, oomd etc are similar to earlyoom.
    – s5s
    Jul 15, 2020 at 21:31
  • I meant that the first one works pretty well for me but if you don't find it satisfactory you could try the other four. :-) Jul 15, 2020 at 21:55

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