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[ERROR] /usr/sbin/mysqld: Out of memory (Needed bytes)

Howdy!

The above error can come up quite often on a busy database-driven website or it could happen at one time or the other for different reasons. Today, we are going to cover the main two reasons for it happening. I shall break this down by architecture.

  • Linux x86_64 (64-bit)
  • The Out of memory error indicates that the whole system has run out of memory at that point in time. For example, I happened to be loading a customer’s database that required more than 4GB of free RAM on the system. The system had 2GB of free RAM to work with so the MySQL process failed to import the database due to a lack of memory. The solution here is to add more memory into the system.

  • Linux i386 (32-bit)
  • Here, the error indicates that either the system ran out of memory, just like in x86_64 above, or that the process cannot address more memory even if it is available. This is more peculiar to the architecture than it is a shortcoming of MySQL. 32-bit operating systems are not capable of letting a process address more than roughly 4GB of memory. The best approach here is to install a 64-bit OS that is capable of addressing that much RAM.

    Keep in mind that UNIXy fully manages its customers’ servers. Should this particular problem occur while assisting a customer, we are always more than happy to provide a complimentary memory upgrade to complete the task.

    That’s all folks!

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