Memory confusion in Ubuntu 16.04


I am upgrading my Elasticsearch cluster with 4 nodes from 14.04 (ES 2.3.2) to Ubuntu 16.04 (ES 2.3.3). I upgraded the ES first to the latest 2.3.3 on Ubuntu 14.04 to see what happens and everything is green and functional. So I started to install a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 and Elasticsearch with my configs.

Now I am seeing these warnings. Also it fails to lock the memory. I have swap off (no partition for swap at all) and 60GB of memory on each machine and all it shows in top is less than 2GB:

[2016-05-25 17:35:37,125][WARN ][bootstrap                ] Unable to lock JVM Memory: error=12,reason=Cannot allocate memory
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,126][WARN ][bootstrap                ] This can result in part of the JVM being swapped out.
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,126][WARN ][bootstrap                ] Increase RLIMIT_MEMLOCK, soft limit: 65536, hard limit: 65536
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,126][WARN ][bootstrap                ] These can be adjusted by modifying /etc/security/limits.conf, for example:
        # allow user 'elasticsearch' mlockall
        elasticsearch soft memlock unlimited
        elasticsearch hard memlock unlimited
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,126][WARN ][bootstrap                ] If you are logged in interactively, you will have to re-login for the new limits to take effect.
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,582][INFO ][node                     ] [cluster-es-1] version[2.3.3], pid[940], build[218bdf1/2016-05-17T15:40:04Z]
[2016-05-25 17:35:37,583][INFO ][node                     ] [cluster-es-1] initializing ...
[2016-05-25 17:35:38,755][INFO ][plugins                  ] [cluster-es-1] modules [reindex, lang-expression, lang-groovy], plugins [license, marvel-agent, kopf, graph], sites [kopf]
[2016-05-25 17:35:38,836][INFO ][env                      ] [cluster-es-1] using [1] data paths, mounts [[/data (/dev/vdb1)]], net usable_space [1.8tb], net total_space [1.9tb], spins? [possibly], types [ext4]
[2016-05-25 17:35:38,836][INFO ][env                      ] [cluster-es-1] heap size [19.9gb], compressed ordinary object pointers [true]
[2016-05-25 17:35:38,837][WARN ][env                      ] [cluster-es-1] max file descriptors [65535] for elasticsearch process likely too low, consider increasing to at least [65536]
[2016-05-25 17:35:42,242][INFO ][node                     ] [cluster-es-1] initialized
[2016-05-25 17:35:42,243][INFO ][node                     ] [cluster-es-1] starting ...

What am I missing?




bootstrap.mlockall: true


elasticsearch soft memlock unlimited
elasticsearch hard memlock unlimited
* soft  nofile 999999
* hard  nofile 999999
* soft memlock unlimited
* hard memlock unlimited
root soft  nofile 999999
root hard  nofile 999999
root soft memlock unlimited
root hard memlock unlimited

ulimit -a

file size               (blocks, -f) unlimited
pending signals                 (-i) 241446
max locked memory       (kbytes, -l) unlimited
max memory size         (kbytes, -m) unlimited
open files                      (-n) 999999
pipe size            (512 bytes, -p) 8
POSIX message queues     (bytes, -q) 819200
real-time priority              (-r) 0
stack size              (kbytes, -s) 8192
max user processes              (-u) unlimited
virtual memory          (kbytes, -v) unlimited
file locks                      (-x) unlimited

Node on Ubuntu 14.04:

   "jvm": {
    "timestamp": 1464192255402,
    "uptime": "23.9h",
    "uptime_in_millis": 86054857,
    "mem": {
      "heap_used": "518.5mb",
      "heap_used_percent": 2,
      "heap_committed": "19.9gb",
      "heap_max": "19.9gb",
      "non_heap_used": "105.7mb",
      "non_heap_committed": "107.3mb",

Node on Ubuntu 16.04:

"jvm": {
    "timestamp": 1464192290592,
    "uptime": "2.6m",
    "uptime_in_millis": 156539,
    "mem": {
      "heap_used": "389.8mb",
      "heap_used_percent": 1,
      "heap_committed": "19.9gb",
      "heap_max": "19.9gb",
      "non_heap_used": "81.7mb",
      "non_heap_committed": "83.2mb",

Even though the jvm stats are relatively the same but that's what I see in my machine:

Ubuntu 16.04: free -m

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:          60399        1653       58212           8         533       58618
Swap:             0           0           0

Ubuntu 14.04: free -m

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:         60400      58669       1731          0        326      35014
-/+ buffers/cache:      23328      37071
Swap:            0          0          0

Also this is what happens to the heap size in Ubuntu 14.04 compare to Ubuntu 16.04:

Ubuntu 14.04

Ubuntu 16.04 (Before 17:30 this node was Ubuntu 14.04)

I am not a expert but, according to definitive guide, I dont think you need to enable bootstrap.mlockall if the swap space is not mounted.

bootstrap.mlockall : true

Finally, if neither approach is possible, you should enable mlockall. file. This allows the JVM to lock its memory and prevent it from being swapped by the OS. In your elasticsearch.yml, set this:


You are absolutely right! I've been enabling mlockall for years even though the swap was off but this time I didn't even bother to create Swap partition but automaticallyI enabled mlockall in the configs like before. (serious muscle memory right there!)

I commented out mlockall on all the nodes and the warning went away!

Thank you very much :slight_smile: