Short answer: Yes, this is what you should expect, IF you're talking about what most applications refer to as "free memory", which doesn't
include free memory available for buffers and cache.
Notice that when you run a program the second
time, it runs much faster. Try this with something heavyweight like Openoffice.org
or Mozilla Firefox
. The speedup should be quite noticeable if you have
- a "fast" computer (at least 400MHz)
- plenty of RAM (at least 128Mb)
- just rebooted
This is because Linux fills all available memory with cached data
because it's slower to read from disk than to fetch out of RAM[/URL].
To see how much memory is "really" available
, I use the command 'free -m'.
$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 249 241 7 0 16 110
-/+ buffers/cache: 113 135
Swap: 823 70 752
A quick glance at free buffers/cache shows that I have about 135Mb available. If I fill this up (by starting a bunch more programs, for instance), that number will drop to zero, and Linux will start using the swap file.
Hope this helps,
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