Chromium/Chrome out of memory crash / Aw Snap?


This appears to be a kernel issue, discussion here:

It is claimed that this will be fixed by the next kernel update.

A quick and dirty fix that appears to work is this:

sudo su
echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

edit: Seems like the "fix" needs to be applied every ~12 hours. A more permanent solution is to downgrade the kernel to 4.4.0-57.


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Updated on December 01, 2022


  • Community
    Community 22 days

    It's been the last two days that out of nowhere - my chromium/chrome browser is constantly crashing with the aw snap error / where firefox works without issue. I thought this might be related to an issue I was having with my last pass extension(as I was experiencing a known bug with their extension at this time). Since then I rebooted/disabled all my extensions and tested again - still the same issue happening constantly! Checked forums, confirmed in dmesg that I was running out of memory (I'm on a 16gb Dell XPS 13 with hardly any tabs open):

    [20968.163307] Out of memory: Kill process 11700 (chromium-browse) score 304 or sacrifice child [20968.163312] Killed process 11700 (chromium-browse) total-vm:2017292kB, anon-rss:123152kB, file-rss:84092kB

    Adding apt-cache policy:

      Installed: 55.0.2883.87-0ubuntu0.16.04.1263  
      Candidate: 55.0.2883.87-0ubuntu0.16.04.1263  
      Version table:  
     *** 55.0.2883.87-0ubuntu0.16.04.1263 500
            500 xenial-updates/universe amd64 Packages
            500 xenial-security/universe amd64 Packages
            100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
         49.0.2623.108-0ubuntu1.1233 500
            500 xenial/universe amd64 Packages

    I then amended my swappiness from 60 to 10 following these instructions: How do I configure swappiness? Still had the same issue... Read another link about extending my minvmfreekbytes - where I increased it to 160mb : ..still the same issue.. Can someone please help? It seemed to work fine for the last month and I have all my extensions set up so I want to avoid changing browser. Thanks

    • Admin
      Admin almost 6 years
      Can you add more information about the exact Chromium version and origin you use? It would be nice if you would edit your question and post the output of the command apt-cache policy chromium-browser therefore. Thanks.
    • Admin
      Admin almost 6 years
      What kernel version do you use (see the output of uname -r)? This may be bug #1655842.
    • Admin
      Admin almost 6 years
      i wish the hall monitors wouldn't close useful stuff.