I recently upgraded from SuSE 10.2 to SuSE 11:

installator@dhcppc0:~> cat /etc/SuSE-release
openSUSE 11.1 (i586)
VERSION = 11.1
installator@dhcppc0:~> uname -a
Linux dhcppc0 #1 SMP 2008-12-04 18:10:04 +0100 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Today, after a period of inactivity (maybe 1 to 2 hours) I found the system was almost not responding and the graphical interface was not usable any more.

Using vmstat I found that the CPU was at > 90% waiting for I/O and that the system was heavily swapping. Using top I found that knotify4 used almost all of my 2GByte of swap space and used > 2GByte of virtual memory. Thus assuming knotify4 was the culprit I did terminate this process using kill -9. The system returned to normal operating after a while and the graphical interface became usable again.

However I wonder what is the cause for such behaviour of one process and how to avoid it in the future.

My system has 2 CPUs @450 MHz, 2 GByte of swap space and 1Gbyte of memory.

I’ll appreciate any help on this matter
thanks in advance and kind regards