kernel: Couldn't get a free page

kernel: Couldn't get a free page

Post by Marc L. Alle » Thu, 21 Aug 1997 04:00:00



What (besides the obvious) causes this?  This tend to happen when I'm
doing a large link effort.  I've got a machine with 64Megs of memory and
100+ megs of swap.  Memory usage shows about 63 Megs used, but only 2
megs of swap used.

I'm running 2.0.18.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Marc

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kernel: Couldn't get a free page

Post by Brian McCaule » Thu, 21 Aug 1997 04:00:00



Quote:> What (besides the obvious) causes this?  This tend to happen when I'm
> doing a large link effort.  I've got a machine with 64Megs of memory and
> 100+ megs of swap.  Memory usage shows about 63 Megs used, but only 2
> megs of swap used.

"Couldn't get a free page" means that an atomic memory allocation deep
in the guts of kernel failed.  Atomic memory allocations (as found in
interrupt handers and so on) can't wait for stuff to swap out.  These
rarely do any real harm as something higher up will retry the action.

Failure to maintain sufficient contiguous free (or at least instanlty
avaiable) space for atomic allocations is a known bug in 2.0.x and
last I knew was still in 2.1.x but was getting better or at least
being worked on.

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1. getting "Couldn't get a free page" during install

Hi.

I'm getting a "couldn't get a free page" message when installing.  
This message shows on the Alt-F4 screen.  
I'm installing RedHat 4.2 from a store-bought RedHat
software package (not bundled with a "regular" book,
just 250 page guide).

The system is a 486-25 with 8MB of RAM and a
730MB Quantum SCSI-2 HDD.  The CDROM drive
is a Mountain CD7 changer (I'm only using disc
tray 1, and it accesses the drive just fine for the
install up to the point where I get the above message).
I switch to Alt-F4 to see this message after the Alt-F1
screen remains stationary for a long period of time.

The SCSI controller is an old clone (Tekram) that has
caching enabled (for some reason, I used to be able
to get into the Tekram configuration on boot-up
by pressing F2 or F6 to enable/disable disk caching
and setup other SCSI parameters, but can't now, so
I'm stuck with caching enabled on the hard disk
device).

I get the error while installing packages during the
initial install.  At first, I selected "Everything" and had
a 95MB swap partition.  Then I tried selecting just
Emacs and NFS and using about a 140MB swap
partition.  Results were the same.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and
thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

Cameron

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