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Old 11-06-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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low processor memory

Dear linux users

I wonder why I often run on low memory, when I just open a firefox, a text editor & some terminals (no graphic visualization softwares being used).

cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal: 4121656 kB
MemFree: 783220 kB
Buffers: 115252 kB
Cached: 2507872 kB

Many thanks!
Old 11-06-2009, 12:45 AM   #2
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As you can see from the last two lines the vast majority of your ram is just being used for buffers and cache. Linux will do this with unused memory, but then hand it over to active processes that need it.

There is plenty of info about this very topic on the web.

Old 11-06-2009, 01:09 AM   #3
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cat /proc/meminfo shows just a snapshot of the memory usage at the instant of time when the command is processed. As such, it doesn't give a good idea of your system's behavior.

I'd suggest you use "top" command to view your system's performance in real time and see how your system behaves. May be then you'll have better idea where your system's resources are being used and sort out the problem.
Old 11-06-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by biiuser View Post
I wonder why I often run on low memory
The stats you quoted do not indicate you are on low memory.

Memory allocation is not the simple "used vs. free" that most people expect.

If you need to think about memory with a simple "used vs. free" viewpoint, then you should add the Cached and Buffers value to free.

The most meaningful single measure of free memory is the sum of MemFree, Buffers, and Cached.

That does not mean that sum really measures the amount of free memory. Memory use is too complex for any one value to really represent the effective amount of free memory. That sum just is the closest you can come to a single number that is a meaningful measure of free memory.

Since that sum is well over half your total memory (in the example you posted), you don't need to worry about subtleties of whether that exactly measures the effective amount of free memory. It is reliably telling you that you have plenty of free memory.

Last edited by johnsfine; 11-06-2009 at 09:03 AM.


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