OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory

Last updated on Mar 7, 2017

A bug in OS X 10.9 Mavericks causes the operating system to become unresponsive. In many cases, an error dialog appears claiming that your system has run out of application memory.

A few days ago I noticed that my Mac Mini locked up and became unresponsive. So I power-cycled it but didn’t want to spend a lot of time investigating what the problem was. Today it froze again, and fortunately, I had an Apple Remote Desktop session open at the time.

OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
Apple Remote Desktop session
Shop mentioned products

Culprit: OS X Server

To my surprise, OS X claimed that it ran out of application memory. My Mac Mini has 16GB of memory and there aren’t any resource hungry tasks running on the Mini. I thought about what changes I had made to the Mini in the past couple of days and came up with two potential culprits:

  • Re-installed OS X 10.9 (since the official release has a slightly higher build number than the GM I had installed)
  • Upgraded OS X Server from a 2.x Beta to 3.0 GM

To see what exact process was eating up my memory I recycled the Mini, opened up Activity Monitor and let it just sit there. When I returned a few hours later I noticed that a process called “devicemgrd” was hogging memory.

OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
devicemgrd hogging memory
OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
It’s also using significant CPU cycles

I googled to see if I was the only one having this issue and sure enough I came across a thread on the Apple Support Forum addressing this very same problem. One of the users pointed to the “Profile Manager” as being the cause of the problem. To prevent the system from running out of memory completely I killed the offending process and memory usage returned to normal levels immediately. You can see the immediate drop in “Memory Pressure” in the Activity Monitor.

OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
Typical resource levels

A search on the command line for “devicemgrd” revealed that it’s indeed part of the OS X Server App I just upgraded.

OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
Find the devicemgrd executable

I guess I’ll do some cleanup tomorrow and re-install the application. If that doesn’t work I’ll call my friends at Apple Support again.

Update

Devicemgrd kept restarting automatically so I looked in /var/log/devicemgr/devicemgrd.log and noticed that there was an issue with the underlying Postgres database filling up said log file.

OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory
devicemgrd.log filling up

So I called Apple Support and an enterprise advisor had me run a couple of command in the terminal.

sh-3.2# serveradmin fullstatus devicemgr

devicemgr:state = “STOPPED”

sh-3.2# serveradmin fullstatus postgres_server

postgres_server:error = “FILE_NOT_FOUND_ERR”

Next, we ran the following SQL command, which stopped the resource starvation and memory build up:

sudo -u _devicemgr /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/bin/psql -d devicemgr_v2m0 -h /Library/Server/ProfileManager/Config/var/PostgreSQL -c “DELETE FROM db_notifications WHERE message LIKE ‘[DMDevicemgrd updateAllProfilesForID:%’;”

As soon as we executed the above command memory pressure went down. However devicemgrd still consumed over 100% of CPU cycles. So I restarted the Mini and voilà, devicemgrd was behaving correctly.

After I got off the phone with Apple I ran the “serveradmin fullstatus postgres_server” command again and it was still showing “FILE_NOT_FOUND_ERR“. So there is still something not quite right, but at least the rest of the system is running normally now.

Apple issues software update

On November 11th Apple released an update for OS X Server fixing “various Profile Manager migration issues.” After installing this update, I never saw the error message your system has run out of application memory again.

More bugs

Despite the updates and bug fixes Apple has released for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, there appear to be plenty of users still having this issue based on the discussions in the Apple Support Forum. On my Mac Mini, I have not seen this problem reoccurring since the fix described above. Also, On my MacBook Pro, I have not seen this issue at all. I’d highly recommend doing a clean install of OS X, without migrating or restoring anything but actual user data (documents, pictures, videos…). That means not restoring any profile settings or data.

Mavericks: Your System has Run out of Application memory

Unless you have a particular reason for using OS X 10.9 Mavericks, I would recommend upgrading to a newer release of OS X/macOS. I would probably skip OS 10.10 Yosemite and go right to OS X 10.11 El Capitan, or better yet to macOS 10.12 Sierra. Both are more stable in my opinion than Mavericks was.

Michael Kummer

Austrian | Blogger | Father of a princess and a preemie | Fan of Paleo lifestyle | Technologist | Frequent flyer | Amateur photographer

Leave a Reply

25 Comments on "OS X Mavericks bug: Your system has run out of application memory"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
madh
Guest
madh
Hello, I tried this command myself. It only deleted two records for me, but your article did lead me to “Profile Manager” and devicemgrd.log files. My log files were up to 27 Gigabytes in size! Some process of stopping “profile manager”, stopping “device mgr”, stopping Web services, cleaning out huge devicemgrd.log files, my problem went away??? I had an error being written every 2 one-hundredths of a second! ======== 0:: [173] [2013/10/31 13:20:23.669] Caught exception sending objc_msgsend-style notification [channel: ‘objc_send’, message: ‘[DMDevicemgrd updateAllProfilesForID:65]’]. -[PGDatabaseNotification sendToPayloadTargetInTransaction] (/SourceCache/RemoteDeviceManagement/RemoteDeviceManagement-848.17/Compiled/Framework-Models/Postgres/PGDatabaseNotification.m:150): “‘((m = class_getInstanceMethod(t, s)))’ is NULL” 0:: [173] [2013/10/31 13:20:23.670] EXCEPTION: NullPtr 0:: [173]… Read more »
Patrick Paul
Guest
Patrick Paul
Okay, I am not a mac expert, but I have the “system out of memory” after downloading and installing Maverick. What can a non-techie do to solve this problem? I vaguely understand what you guys are talking about, but I am not confident enough to go in and delete files. I don’t actually know what it means to “kill” a process that I see hogging memory in the Activity Monitor. Have any plain English suggestions for how to fix the problem? I could sure use some help so I don’t have to resort to holding down the power key over-and-over… Read more »
Alison
Guest
Alison

Did you find any easy solutions Patrick? I’m also a non-techie and having the same “system out of memory” problems after installing Mavericks and it seems after months of Apple’s customers having these upgrade problems they would have an easy solution figured out by now.

blah
Guest
blah

I had this problem and where I was getting the error your system has run out of application memory and fixed it by resetting the NVRAM /PRAM.
TURN OFF COMPUTER
Turn on computer and
HIT COMMAND / OPTION / P / R ALL FOUR KEYS at the same time before the gray screen appears
Hold the keys until you hear it start up for a second time.

I had to do it twice, one right after the other, and now my machine is fine.

Hope this helps

Check this link: http://www.mac-forums.com/switcher-hangout/320883-run-application-memory.html

Rob
Guest

Very helpful. Thank you.

Christian Hugues
Guest
Christian Hugues

Thank you very much, my problem is resolved with your advice. But I use this command which is a bit different than yours : sudo -u _devicemgr /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/bin/psql -d devicemgr_v2m0 -h /Library/Server/ProfileManager/Config/var/PostgreSQL -c “DELETE FROM db_notifications WHERE message LIKE “‘%updateAllProfilesForID:%’;”
I’ve got in return : DELETE 4
After restart my mac mini, everything is OK … no more devicemgr in memory tasks

Thank you a lot.

fuzzy
Guest
fuzzy

sh-3.2# serveradmin fullstatus postgres_server
postgres_server:error = “FILE_NOT_FOUND_ERR”

In other docs I’ve seen the command:
serveradmin fullstatus postgres
https://discussions.apple.com/message/23634768#23634768

Richard Philpott
Guest
Richard Philpott

In my case the culprit was Address Book / Contacts running out of control.
I suspect incontinent syncing: looping repeat entries from iCloud.
Switched off Contacts in iCloud prefs and threw out all the Prefs and the App Support folder for Address Book and the problem was solved.
Though I had replaced the 4GB Ram in the MPB with the max 8GB by then anyway…..

Glenn Willen
Guest
Glenn Willen

Just to help rule out theories:

I am having this problem on my NEW MacBook Pro Retina.

It had Mavericks from the factory, so no upgrades.

It doesn’t have Server installed.

I don’t use iCal, and I don’t use Contacts.

I don’t use iCloud.

The problem is still happening.

Michaela
Guest
Michaela

How to recycle the mini???? -_-

Mickey
Guest
Mickey
This lady has this problem on her MacbookPro since a month. First I could not start my whole Mac anymore. Then after I googled how to start up in a supporting mode I had to add a whole new partition on my Mac. Pffff. Well now I have 2 partitions (waste of my disk) but fortunately still could start up again and still have all my files and software. But now (and I have nothing more then before I ran Maverick) I have lots of memory left, it says I have not enough program memory. It sucks cause I can… Read more »
Alexx
Guest
Alexx

OOps I doubled posted! But I have reinstalled Mavericks several times now due to freezing, crashes or the application would not load up; Garage Band, iMovie, iPhoto and iTunes. So 10.9.2 may have solved some issues but not all. It seems to have created all new ones! The listed few that randomly failed has lead to performance issues after restarting. Which lead to me trying to repair permission that would not repair.

Arnout
Guest
Arnout

I have a mac pro 2008 and upgraded from snow to mavericks
Within five – ten minutes it ran out of memory
Activity monitor showed memory was eaten by pdftopdf
Culpit: hp printer software
Solution: uninstall hp and reinstall software and drivers
Cost: a day headaches

Vera
Guest
Vera

I have Maverick 10.10.2 with “Not enough memory ” message and is working extremely slow even after Apple Care has done something almost three times since I bought this Mac Mini on April 2014. I am not an computer tech, so I always call AppleCare but it seem that they do not know how to solve the problem or just doing a quick fix. I am getting frustrated with Apple’s machines and services !

Nathan Christie
Guest
Nathan Christie

Please continue the detective work! This problem has been bugging me on the latest iMac and Mavericks (10.10.2) version.

You are our only hope :)

owenb
Guest

I had this problem on my 2012 iMac with 8GB RAM and it turned out to be one particular tab I had open in Safari.

Found it by looking for the infamous devicemgrd thing, but I didn’t have it running – or OSX Server in fact! Instead I saw Safari Web Content hogging about 5.99GB of RAM. I had about a dozen tabs open but it’s never been a problem with double that open before. Closed them one by one, turned out to be a photographer’s really badly coded flash website.

wpDiscuz
26 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
+1
Stumble
Reddit