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I'm using Slackware 10 (kernel 2.4.26), and the amount of free RAM is getting lower and lower, constantly, in a steps of just a few kilobytes, but I installed the system with only basic services, as I need it just for very busy web server...
You may see a screenshot of a top utility after 16 minutes at i.vizio.biz/linux-top-2.gif, and after 2hr52min at this address: i.vizio.biz/linux-top-2.gif
The CPU is Intel Pentium 1 MMX 200 Mhz, RAM is SDRAM 256 MB...
Is it normal behaviour (I believe it is maybe a disk cache?), or is it an error?
Distribution: Red Hat (8.0, RHEL5,6), CentOS, SuSE (10.x, 11.x, 12.2, 13.2), Solaris (8-10), Tru64, MacOS, Raspian
You could try looking at the process subdirectories under /proc. In each of these, there is a file called "status". In that file there are records that show the VM (I think I'd grep for "Name:", "VmSize:", and "VmRSS:") usage, etc. for that process. You could try writing a script to read all the "status" files in each of those subdirectories, grepping for these records, and stashing the results in a temp file, wait a while and run it again. Then compare the results to see which process's memory utilization is growing. That's a pretty simplfied description but that might help you out. But I wonder if what you might be seeing is growth in the I/O buffers. What does "free" show over time?
On my system when I type "free -m" it says I have 123 total, 121 used and 1 free. The line below w/ "-/+ buffers/cache:" says I have 68 used of that. If you look at "free" over time you will see that the buffers/cache number grows over time. There is nothing wrong w/ this. If another program needs memory then the buffer/cache get moved out of the way.