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I'm running MythTV on an Athlon 2800 with a gig of RAM. I'm recording HDTV so I have a lot of data flying back and forth but I should have enough horsepower to handle it. When I run 'top' I can see that I am using a ton of memory and sometimes my box has to resort to the swap partition. I have a couple of questions regarding the top output (below) because things don't seem to add up.
- What is the difference in active vs inactive memory. Is inactive memory that is allocated but just not being used at the moment?
- Are all these kdeinit processes normal (I;m on KDE 3.1) and does X normally consume over 130M of memory?
- My million dollar question is who is using all of this memory because if I total up the amount used by all of these process I don't get anywhere near 963372k used. /proc/meminfo shows me that 738M is cached but what process is caching it.
Linux has a different view on the memory than windows.
Instead of trying to keep as much free memory as possible Linux tries to maximaze the usage of your expensive and speedy memory.
Linux has a dynamic handling of buffers and cache meaning that if memory is available linux will increase the buffers so that next time that same info is needed from the hard disk it will be in memory instead.
I can't say that I have got a full grip on the different memory allocations or exacly where to look for available memory size.
My experince is that if the swap is being eaten up, not just a tiny bit, then the memory is getting crowdy. I have a 256MB on Suse roght now and that seems too small.
ok so it sounds like the occasional hit on swap isn't a problem, only if I am ~constantly swapping do I need to add more memory? How does linux determine what to cache from the harddrive? In my case I'm viewing video which is constantly changing so the odds seem pretty low of me accessing the same data from the harddrive over and over again...doesn't seem like cache would buy much in my situation.