High memory and "can't fork" on heavy long-lived cron daemon

Bug #1702785 reported by Ryan Finnie on 2017-07-06
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
cron (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, cron 3.0pl1-124ubuntu2

On a server with heavy cron use (a few thousand entries across cron.d / users, several runs per second, a few dozen forks running at any given time), cron will creep up in memory usage. Last I saw was 6GB RSS, at which point it will start doing:

Jul 6 07:01:27 host cron[21699]: (CRON) error (can't fork)

Not all runs will fail, but this trend will continue until cron is restarted.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in cron (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
tags: added: trusty
Jamon Camisso (jamon) wrote :

I ran into this as well, with the same host's cron daemon reaching ~8GB RSS memory after a month.

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