Memory footprint of dhcpd process steadily increasing

Leif Arne Neset leifa at
Wed Apr 1 07:58:19 UTC 2009

sthaug at skrev:
>> Two of our dhcp servers failed with "out of memory" messages:
>>    Mar 30 07:39:17 DHCP-SERVER out of memory [8971]
>>    Mar 30 07:39:19 DHCP-SERVER last message repeated 42 times
>> (two hours later the second server in the active/active failover 
>> relationship had the same problem)
>> It seems the dhcpd process' memory footprint is steadily increasing 
>> until the system runs out of memory and dhcpd dies.  We do use OMAPI but 
>> we run version 3.1.1 which fixes that related memory leak.  I found one 
>> other mention of this problem posted by Steinar Haug:
> Yes, this is still an unsolved problem. We restart our DHCP servers
> regularly, to work around the problem.
> It would be good to know what could be done to get this problem higher
> up on the priority list.

We have the same problem at Fedora and ISC release 3.0.4rc1 and about 
150.000 active leases. It seems to be related to DHCPDISCOVER/DHCPOFFER 
packets. If we have one or more clients sending a lot of DHCPDISCOVER 
(somewhere in the number of 10-100 DHCPDISCOVER every sec.) and the 
client is ignoring the DHCPOFFER packets the memory usage of the dhcpd 
process increases rapidly.

Leif Arne Neset
leifa at
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