On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 5:06 PM, Jim Nasby <jim.na...@bluetreble.com> wrote:
> Could the large allocation[2] for the dead tuple array in lazy_space_alloc
> cause problems with linux OOM? [1] and some other things I've read indicate
> that a large mmap will count towards total system memory, including
> producing a failure if overcommit is disabled.

I believe that this is possible.

> Would it be worth avoiding the full size allocation when we can?

Maybe.  I'm not aware of any evidence that this is an actual problem
as opposed to a theoretical one.  vacrelstats->dead_tuples is limited
to a 1GB allocation, which is not a trivial amount of memory, but it's
not huge, either.  But we could consider changing the representation
from a single flat array to a list of chunks, with each chunk capped
at say 64MB.  That would not only reduce the amount of memory that we
needlessly allocate, but would allow autovacuum to make use of more
than 1GB of maintenance_work_mem, which it looks like it currently
can't.  I'm not sure that's a huge problem right now either, because
it's probably rare to vacuum at able with more than 1GB / 6 =
178,956,970 dead tuples in it, but it would certainly suck if you did
and if the current 1GB limit forced you to do multiple vacuum passes.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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