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I'm creating a 9GB tmpfs to hold read only database tables which occupy 5.7GB of disk space. The machine I'm working on has 12GB of memory and after these 5.7GB of data are copied to the tmpfs, top displays 11.9GB used. Before the copy, top displays 255MB of memory being used. I expected to see approximately of 6GB memory used. How is this process using 99% of my total memory when it should be using 50%? I have tried to create the ramdisk in the following ways and all produce the same result:
1) mount -t tmpfs -o size=9g aramdisk /mnt/ramdisk
3) in grub.conf add: ramdisk_size=9216000
mke2fs -m0 -b 1024 /dev/ram0
mount -t ext2 /dev/ram0 /mnt/ramdisk
...and then simply copy the data to /mnt/ramdisk. When all data is deleted from the tmpfs directory and then unmounted, the available memory doesn't return back to what it was before the copy took place, I have to reboot.
The memory results from the above tests reveal:
Mem: 11993532k av, 11983504k used, 10028k free, 0k shrd, 14816k buff
6260108k actv, 4364568k in_d, 218348k in_c
Swap: 2040244k av, 3016k used, 2037228k free 11786364k cached
Nothing is probably wrong. 6GB of your memory is used by data. Another 6GB is used by disk caches, I guess. Linux keeps everything it reads from disk in memory until the memory is needed for something else. Top shows always 99% memory usage, except just after boot.