Out of memory Cent OS Linux: unicode_start hang issue: Solved

My Cent OS 5.6 RHEL based virtual machine has suddenly became very slow ..almost died ūüôĀ after few min I saw a message on console related to “Out of memory“, after doing a bit analysis and search I found that this is a known issue and also reported in redhat bug tracker (obviously got resolved in upstream versions).
Reason: Problem is that setting BASH_ENV=~/.bashrc runs /etc/profile, which sources /etc/profile.d/lang.sh. If TERM=linux, lang.sh runs /bin/unicode_start sending the whole process into an infinite loop.

I found two solutions (as of now)

1. Open vi /etc/sysconfig/i18n this file contains a reference to unicode (UTF-8). We have take out all the references to UTF-8)

Code before:


LANG="en_US.UTF-8"
SUPPORTED="en_US.UTF-8:en_US:en"
SYSFONT="latarcyrheb-sun16"

Code after:


LANG="en_US"
SUPPORTED="en_US:en"
SYSFONT="latarcyrheb-sun16"

2. Another solution is to change the shell from “bash” to “sh” in unicode_start script
We need to open the vi /bin/unicode_start¬†and¬†from first line¬†change “#!/bin/bash” to “#!/bin/sh“.

References: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=622981

Author: Pradeep Pant

Software Engineer

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