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Just opened 5GB text file in Pico Text Editor.. server crashed.. SSH gives no reponse, pinging still works.

Will the server recover on its own? And how long will this take? The server has 6GB ram. Or wont it recover and do I have to reboot it? (server is a little bit far away)

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real men use vi[m] – Puddingfox May 3 '11 at 4:18

As far as I'm aware, nano (which most distributions put in place of pico) does not do this, but it's possible that pico loads the entire file into memory. If that's the case, and if you're in fact using pico, then you've got a complete crapshoot as to what the OOM killer is going to kill. Realistically, your best bet is probably to reboot the system, and then re-open the file in a better editor.

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Here is probably what happened

  • pico tried to load the whole file into memory
  • linux noticed.. oh no I have no more ram left.. i have to kill some processes
  • so it picks random processes it thinks are best to kill
  • it killed your ssh daemon

Or it just ran out of memory and the kernel crashed in some odd state

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I suppose you opened the file in a ssh terminal (not on a mounted drive if the server is unresponsive and not your connection or your machine) and in normal conditions (I don't know your linux distro and how is your server) I think there is a good chance it will recover alone. As your server is far from you (and if there is nobody able to reboot it) I would wait for an hour before going to reboot it if your server can spend this time unresponsive. Anyways I would reboot it after the recover if it happens...

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