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Old 07-18-2004, 10:27 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Washington D.C, USA
Distribution: Slack 12, Etch, Gutsy
Posts: 453

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updatedb not releasing memory?

I noticed on my Laptop (X31, 1.4GHZ Pentium M, 1.5GB RAM running Slack 10 with custom 2.6.7 kernel) that when I left it on overnight memory usage was going from around 20MB used to in excess of 200MB used. This is used memory not cache. Total memory usage jumped from 140MB to 769MB, most of it being cache.

After a bit of playing around I figured out that it was the slocate task in /etc/cron.daily. Running /usr/bin/updatedb -c from the command line caused the same jump in memory usage. Looking at my other systems this is the only one that jumps that much, though I suspect updatedb is using around 10MB on my other boxes with a similar setup.

So my questions are:
1 - Might it be that the laptop has windows mounted account for the memory difference?
2 - Why might this memory never get freed? I do not see any tasks that account for the missing memory.
Old 07-18-2004, 04:03 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 519

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From what I've read around the forum, this is typical of the way linux handles its memory, it doesn't release it unless the memory is required. -

I'm not sure if it explains what you are reading from your stats, but does it actually causes other programs to run as if the memory was taken up, or are they running okay?
Old 07-18-2004, 11:37 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Washington D.C, USA
Distribution: Slack 12, Etch, Gutsy
Posts: 453

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Rep: Reputation: 31
No, everything runs fine and I have memory to spare on this box, but it is still annoying. Linux caches with free memory but what I am discussing is it not releasing active memory, which is not quite the same thing. For the moment I have pulled the updatedb command out of cron, which is not a big deal to me since I don't use locate very often. I'll just call the updatedb command by hand periodically.

For me it is more a need to know WHY it is consuming so much memory. It is almost as if the update.db were being stored in memory...


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