Process monitor on killing spree?

Hi folks

Couldn’t find any info on this, so apologies if there is already some FAQ about it.

I was trying to compile and install PLT Scheme. While installing, the make process is being killed midway. I tried ot multiple times, and some way through, it’d be killed.

So here are my questions-

  1. Can I blame the dreamhost process monitor for the killings ?
  2. What are the permitted resource limits (memory/fd/time/etc) which would keep my processes from being slayed ?

… and anything else I need to know.


  • Akhilesh

Hi, Akhilesh!

Most likely. The DH proc killer does jump in and make its presence known from time to time :wink:

Unfortunately, AFAIK, Dreamhost has never published these particulars; users have reported various experiences with the “murderer” and I suspect that it has been tweaked over time.

Years ago, people rarely saw it but of late it has been more visible. I suspect that is the natural result of increased loading on the servers due to Dreamhost’s growth.

Some have reported success by severely “niceing” their processes, though YMMV. You also might find more current info on this on the Dreamhost IRC channel, where this subject pops up from time to time. Good luck, and if you are able to locate any “hard limits”, please share the info! :wink:


Thanks for the quick reply :wink:

Hmm, I think I’m at the right path. Though can’t understand why “ulimit” won’t report anything.

I also tried nice’ing my poor processes, but it didn’t make them live longer :frowning:

Most bewildering observation is that, that was happening a couple of hours ago. Between 1-5 minutes, the process would be killed. However, I just tried it and it all went through like hot knife through melted butter :smiley: Though the load average on system is more than 5!!!

Hmmm… someone in the shadows. I’d investigate the issue a bit more. Thanks :slight_smile:

Ha! It is a strange beast at times! OTOH, it’s hard to argue with success (though it would be nice to be able to predict when you could expect to have that success :wink: )

Actually, though that load may seem “high”, the way Dreamhost is configured the traditional metrics for load can be a little misleading. 5 is not that bad (in fact it is considered to be within “normal” parameters by Dreamhost). There are some older threads in the Forum where this “anomaly” is discussed, though I don’t recall the particulars at the moment.

I’m glad you got your process(es) executed and I agree that more investigation would be needed to try to determine exactly when the proc killer strikes.


Well it should be possible to perform a statistical “testing” to determine the limits. But there are couple of issues-

  1. DH support has informed me that the killer script is tweaked often. So test results won’t be valid for a long time.

  2. The “testing” might result in being relegated to a sh*tty server or even getting booted-out of DH :smiley:

On the whole, not particurly enticing :frowning:

Both of those are very good points!