So my system is getting DOS'd, or I've just opened a kind-of-huge file (openstreetmaps planet.osm). The system goes totally unresponsive... so unresponsive that it'll take about 10 minutes to get into my shell, run top, and kill the offending process. I'm ready to hit the reset button.
Question: is it possible to set aside a certain minimum amount of system resources such that, if my system gets pegged, I still have 2% cpu (2ghz system ~ 40 mhz! - should be enough for shell right? I mean, it worked in the early 90's) set aside somewhere? Or some way to throttle offending processes?
I get these situations where I wish the OS would throttle back runaway processes so that I could still use the system, even if it meant a 10% performance drop overall. The ability to act in situations like this instead of being completely helpless would be ... nice.