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Old 06-02-2004, 09:24 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2003
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RH9 consumes 214MB of Ram?

hi, i did a fresh install of RH 9 with Gnome, no other apps r running and the system monitor tells me 214 MB of Ram out of 218MB are consumed up.
Even i add up all mem usage by all processes, it doesn't add up to 214 MB, is it telling me wrong info or sth is eating my mem.
the swap is used 1.8MB is it indicating that my mem is really low and system is moving to swap?
why phthon2.2 is using 14 MB of memory?

i don't think a freshly installed RH9 could use so much mem, even more than windows.
any ideas?
Old 06-02-2004, 09:51 PM   #2
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Linux caches to ram to reduce having to read from disk. For example, the first time you run mozilla after booting up it will load much slower that the second time. Linux has stored a lot of the mozilla files in a ram cache so mozilla will fire up much faster the second time around since it doesn't have to read from the much slower hard drive to load the necessary files. This is completely normal. The stuff in the ram cache will be cleared out as the ram is needed by the system. You can see this if you open a console and run:

$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 756 638 117 0 40 367
-/+ buffers/cache: 231 525
Swap: 1741 24 1717

That's my printout above(columns are not lining up on the paste but they will on your console). It shows 638MB used and 117MB free. But there is also 40MB under buffers and 367MB under cached. If you add up the initial free(117), buffers(40), and cached(367) you get the true amount of ram available to the system on the second line, about 525MB. Linux is very efficient at using memory and uses the ram cache to speed up the loading of recently used programs to the extent possible. However cached ram is accessible to the system; if needed the cached material will be overwritten and the system will go back to loading the program from the slower hard drive.
Old 01-07-2005, 10:41 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: NY
Distribution: Red Hat 9
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I know this is an old topic and im sorry to bring it back but I have a server with 1024MB of ram. I used to use the 'top' command to view ram usage and im using 'free -m' and my system reports from the command that I have:

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 943 933 9 0 57 724

I just want to understand this post.

If I add up Free + Buffers + Cached then that is what RAM I have available on the server for other applications to use?

Old 01-07-2005, 12:43 PM   #4
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That's correct and you also have access to swap if you run out of memory. However, with 1 gig of ram you will rarely use swap.
Old 01-07-2005, 01:02 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
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As a rule of thumb, I usually just watch how much swap I'm using. If you start using a lot of swap (several meg) then it's probably time to get more physical ram. Normally my swap usage is less then 100k which is normal.


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