[K12OSN] Memory limit per user?

Calvin Dodge caldodge at fpcc.net
Fri May 28 03:00:45 UTC 2004

Robert Arkiletian wrote:
> I know disk quotas for each user can be implemented by having /home on a 
> seperate partition. But is it possible to set a limit for the maximum memory 
> each user can have?
> This would prevent any one user from exhausting the server ram and causing the 
> class to a crawl as the swap comes into play. Today, someone in my class 
> somehow got gimp to eat 1gig of ram (I saw it with "top") and the whole class 
> really felt the lag as the active swap partition started growing. Also, what 
> if a student writes a program that gets into an infinite loop of allocating 
> dynamic memory. (*it could happen*)
> Somebody must have thought of this problem before?

I don't know about limiting memory per user, but you can limit it by process.

Here's ulimit.sh, which I wrote after problems like the one you encountered.

#limit CPU time to stop runaway Netscape/Mozilla
#limit data size due to runaway artsd (1 gigabyte!)
if [ $UID -ge 500 ]
     ulimit -t 300
     ulimit -d 200000
     ulimit -m 300000
     ulimit -v 300000

If you want to do the same, make your script executable, then put it in the 
/etc/profile.d directory.

If someone knows a better way to do this, my ears are open.


Calvin Dodge
Certified Linux Bigot (tm)

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