I run an Ubuntu 64bit virtual machine (4 CPUs, 8Gb ram, 1Gb swap) on my Windows 8 64bit machine using virtualbox.
I often find that when I do something memory intensive (generally only using 1 or 2 CPU cores), the virtual machine will completely lock up with high disk usage reported on the host. This won't be something where the memory usage slowly increases, but rather something where memory usage expands exponentially. This seems like disk thrashing due to swapping. But given that my swap is so small compared to my RAM, surely this should just cause an out of memory error, and the OOM killer should kick in, unless I'm magically hitting a memory requirement between the physical and virtual limits every time?
Any idea whats going on or how to recover the system when this happens?