My question was marked as a duplicate, and sincerely, I don't get it. Please explain it to me.

My question: Best practice: mitigating OOM kills of KVM VMs [duplicate]
The other: Using linux oom_score_adj to aim the oom daemon at the right target

So, in my question I ask "What can I do to do ABC", while the other asks "How do I use instrument XYZ".

I see that usage of instrument XYZ is an answer and achieves goal ABC. But the two questions aren't the same.

So the other question together with its answer would be a valuable answer to my question, since I didn't know about oom_score_adj.

So, I really don't understand it and I would really appreciate somebody explaining this to me. If I can't ask such questions here, where else could I go? Especially since such questions are out of scope for SO and SU.

  • 5
    Lucky for you we skipped a step and saved you having to ask how do I use oom_score_adj after having told you what it was you were looking for ;)
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 12:32
  • :D Well, that's true :)
    – Scolytus
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Whilst I wasn't the only one voting to close - it took four of my colleagues to agree with me - I was the first person to so tag it, so I think it behooves me to offer some kind of explanation.

Your original question asked about how to prioritise processes so that the OOM killer would kill them in the order you desired. That has been answered, in the duplicate question pointed to. To the best of my knowledge, the technique described can be used to do all three of the substantive tasks you raised in your original question: make a process unlikely to be killed, make one very likely to be killed, and sort them in order of killing priority (which subsumes questions one and two, anyway).

Now, you might already know all that. You might have done a bunch of work with oom_score_adj and found that it doesn't offer you quite the control you have a clearly-communicable business need for, or established that in practice it doesn't work quite as described, and you need help tuning it. But you don't tell us about any research or work you've already done. You don't indicate that you've done any searching on SF, or anywhere else, already. You give us no reason to believe that oom_score_adj is anything other than the right tool for the job.

So either your question means what it said, in which case it's been answered already; or there's more to your question than meets the eye, but you haven't put in the extra work to make your question communicate that. If it's the latter, then expecting us to drag it out of you one comment at a time is just plain rude.

Edit: you asked "how can I do X", and have conceded that "use Y" was "a valuable answer". If that answer would have been enough for you to accept it, the question is a duplicate, because the answer to the one is the answer to the other. If it wouldn't, could you clarify what else you wanted from the answer?

  • Well, I guess you don't understand me. I'm talking about semantics. I asked 'How can I do?' and you flagged it as a duplicate of 'How do I use a particular tool?'. Those are two different things. And really it's not about this particular question. It's about me not understanding why these two question are a duplicate, the same. If one had answered "Use oom_score_adj" that would have been a valuable answer. I didn't mention it because I was looking for it! Again: This is about understandig why these questions are considered a duplicate on SF. :)
    – Scolytus
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 10:40
  • 4
    @Scolytus: 2+2=?, 2*2=?, 5-1=? 8/2=? ... lots of apparently different questions have the same answer.
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 12:28
  • @lain Exactly. And neither is a duplicate of another. As you mentioned, they are different. Different questions resulting in the same answer. So what you tell me is that on SF you mark questions resulting in the same answer as a duplicate per policy? That would be a different practice than on other sites.
    – Scolytus
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 15:51
  • 3
    @Scolytus: The focus here is on answers - we get lots and lots of duplicate questions which all have the same answer no matter how they are asked.
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:03
  • 2
    @Scolytus "That would be a different practice than on other sites" No, it's the overall guideline for all SE sites, as hashed out on meta.SO. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 22:38

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