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Date:   Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:31:03 -0800
From:   Eric Dumazet <>
To:     Stefano Brivio <>
Cc:     Stephen Hemminger <>,, Sabrina Dubroca <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH iproute2 net-next v2 3/4] ss: Buffer raw fields first,
 then render them as a table

On 02/13/2019 12:37 AM, Stefano Brivio wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Feb 2019 16:42:04 -0800
> Eric Dumazet <> wrote:
>> I do not get it.
>> "ss -emoi " uses almost 1KB per socket.
>> 10,000,000 sockets -> we need about 10GB of memory  ???
>> This is a serious regression.
> I guess this is rather subjective: the worst case I considered back then
> was the output of 'ss -tei0' (less than 500 bytes) for one million
> sockets, which gives 500M of memory, which should in turn be fine on a
> machine handling one million sockets.
> Now, if 'ss -emoi' on 10 million sockets is an actual use case (out of
> curiosity: how are you going to process that output? Would JSON help?),
> I see two easy options to solve this:

ss -temoi | parser (written in shell or awk or whatever...)

This is a use case, I just got bitten because using ss command
actually OOM my container, while trying to debug a busy GFE.

The host itself can have 10,000,000 TCP sockets, but usually sysadmin shells
run in a container with no more than 500 MB available. 

Otherwise, it would be too easy for a buggy program to OOM the whole machine
and have angry customers.

> 1. flush the output every time we reach a given buffer size (1M
>    perhaps). This might make the resulting blocks slightly unaligned,
>    with occasional loss of readability on lines occurring every 1k to
>    10k sockets approximately, even though after 1k sockets column sizes
>    won't change much (it looks anyway better than the original), and I
>    don't expect anybody to actually scroll that output
> 2. add a switch for unbuffered output, but then you need to remember to
>    pass it manually, and the whole output would be as bad as the
>    original in case you need the switch.
> I'd rather go with 1., it's easy to implement (we already have partial
> flushing with '--events') and it looks like a good compromise on
> usability. Thoughts?

1 seems fine, but a switch for 'please do not try to format' would be fine.

I wonder why we try to 'format' when stdout is a pipe or a regular file .

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