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Old 09-13-2005, 04:29 AM   #1
hardian_97
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Registered: Jul 2005
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How to refresh memory in Red Hat 9?


Hi All,

I have some problem with the workstations in my office. Here, in my office, we are using Red Hat 9 to do some jobs and we are using a special software for interpreting data. This software is hungry for resource. Hence, we need to plug 2 GB memory. The problem is, every time the workstation has been used for several days without shutting it down, the memory is getting lesser until around 50MB.

Then, I was thinking to close the special software in order to gain more memory. But somehow after I closed the software, I only could get free memory around 600MB. I lost around 1.4GB of memory and I can get all my memory again by re-booting the workstation. It seems that the software didnít release the used memory. Hence, the Operating System is still thinking that the software is occupying the memory.

I tried to kill the process by using kill Ė9 <PID>, but it doesnít help also.

Do you know how to obtain my memory again without re-booting the workstation?

Thank you for your time,
With kind regards,
Hardian
Jr. System Engineer
 
Old 09-13-2005, 06:19 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Wait a minute - are we talking RAM here? Or is this disk-space?

Anyhoo - you should be aware that RH9 is obsolete.
It may not run all your software quite as well a you would hope - especially if it is very new software.

However - this sounds like bad software. I used to have this problem all the time undrer windows, some software (supervoice, and SIERRA "Lords of Magic" would do this) would crash the machine after a few hours by hogging all the resources. Sometimes the HDD would fill up with temp files (very sloppy) and sometimes the available RAM would just vanish.

Tell us what this software is - perhaps it is notorious for being broken?
 
Old 09-13-2005, 11:54 PM   #3
hardian_97
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Registered: Jul 2005
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Hi Simon,

We are talking about RAM, not disk usage. I checked my RAM using Ďtopí command and see my free memory is not fully recover after I closed the software. Well, this special software is being developed by my company and the people who are working in developing this software is in Europe, London to be exact. It is software for interpreting large amount of seismic data.

I think there are some programming errors in the software but to wait until it is done, well, itís gonna take some time.

Do we have some ways to clear up memory without have to re-boot?

Thank you for your time and Iíd appreciate your response.

With kind regards,
Hardian
Jr. System Engineer
 
Old 09-14-2005, 12:08 AM   #4
J.W.
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This is normal in Linux. Check out this highly informative article from sapphirecat -- J.W.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 01:45 AM   #5
wpyh
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Location: Beijing
Distribution: Slackware 9.1 but FUBAR with packages I compile myself, and OpenBSD (not exactly a distro) on QEMU
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Nice to see someone from Indonesia there

The article by J.W. is good -- in short, the "used" memory is used for cache. I think if a badly programed app misbehaves and doesn't release memory, and when we kill it the memory is still being held, that means it's a kernel bug. This doesn't happen in Linux (at least I haven't experienced it before), it was back in the era of DOS and Win95. Experts -- am I right here?
 
Old 09-14-2005, 04:18 AM   #6
hardian_97
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Hi Simon, J.W., and wpyh,

Thanks for the quick reply. I have to admit the article is great. I have some new knowledge about this memory behaviour.

Well, I guess, the only solution for me right now, is to re-boot the workstation. Because, everytime I end up with memory around 50MB, there are some applications couldn't be opened.

If it is kernel bug, then it is out of my reach
Thanks for the explainations, guys. I really appreciate it.

With kind regards,
Hardian
 
Old 09-14-2005, 09:49 AM   #7
wpyh
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Well, don't give up just yet... You said that you can't open apps when you only have 50 MB of memory? Well, what error message does it give when you can't open apps?
 
Old 09-14-2005, 10:59 PM   #8
Simon Bridge
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hmmm... as free RAM gets low, the cached pages should swap out. Maybe we have a program that keeps nlots of active cached pages or something? Even so - some of these should still end up in swap memory. How much swap is being used?

What is the program in question - what does it do? Maybe there is a tidier alternative.

And what distro is this? Oh RH9 ...
 
  


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