MariaDB keeps out of memory in small droplet

Hello, been using DO for quite some time, i’m currently having a droplet ($4) in singapore which i installed wordpress manually, why sometimes the database is down (Failed with result ‘oom-kill’), even tough there is no traffic spike ?

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Bobby Iliev
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August 3, 2023

Hi there,

In addition to what has already been mentioned, there are a few things that I could suggest here:

  • Upgrade your server so that you could have some more RAM to handle the traffic
  • Add a swap file so you could have an extra buffer
  • After you’ve added the extra memory and swap, try tweaking your MySQL service for better performance and reliability as described here
  • Consider using a Managed MySQL cluster rather than a MySQL server running on your Droplet directly:

Let me know how it goes!



Site Moderator
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July 31, 2023


Even though there is no traffic spike, even small queries can cause some load to your Droplet, even for a fraction of a second but that might be enough to get the OOM signal.

In such cases where you are still not ready for an upgrade of the Droplet, I’ll recommend adding SWAP.

What is SWAP

Swap is a portion of hard drive storage that has been set aside for the operating system to temporarily store data that it can no longer hold in RAM. This lets you increase the amount of information that your server can keep in its working memory, with some caveats. The swap space on the hard drive will be used mainly when there is no longer sufficient space in RAM to hold in-use application data.

The information written to disk will be significantly slower than information kept in RAM, but the operating system will prefer to keep running application data in memory and use swap for the older data. Overall, having swap space as a fallback for when your system’s RAM is depleted can be a good safety net against out-of-memory exceptions on systems with non-SSD storage available.

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