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It seems my server killed a process due to it using too much RAM. Is this possible? If it can happen, how can I know when and what process it killed?

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It's quite possibly OOM killer, killed your process. You may be able to find out what when etc by looking in the logs.

egrep -i 'killed process' /var/log/messages

The actual log file varies by distribution so it could also be /var/log/syslog or even

egrep -i -r 'killed process' /var/log
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  • Not only OOM killer can kill your process. Have a look at both dmesg and /var/log/messages. Also look at your application log to see if something went wrong before it was killed. Avoid using grep to parse log files, you could miss a line like this one : Jun 10 04:02:07 servername kernel: programname[3324]: segfault at 000000000000001a rip 00002af7f092dcd4 rsp 00007fff010ddf68 error 4 – user130370 Jun 3 '13 at 11:17
  • also, just because the oom killer kills a process, that does not mean that the process killed is the one causing trouble,. – Petter H Jun 3 '13 at 11:56
  • @befreeandgood:grep is the perfect tool for the job when, like I was, you are looking for a articular piece of text. Why don't you provide your own answer then there's plenty of room in the database for them. – user9517 Jun 3 '13 at 11:59

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