[Novalug] Why am I out of memory?

John Place jplace@unixsage.com
Wed Aug 10 15:29:36 EDT 2011

How are you determining you are out of memory? Top? Because Linux (and 
most other Unix platforms) will put memory to use leaving a modest pool 
behind for spikes.. If the system is very idle that pool can get quite 
small this is not "wrong" per say but it can be misleading. Free command 
will show you a different look and may lead you to a different outcome...

Also on swap I have not seen swap get in the way unless the system is 
trying to overcome a shortage of memory mine sits empty most of the 
time.. If this still does not work you can adjust the kernel setting:
vm.swappiness.. I have never had to set this just reporting its existence...

Good Luck

On 08/10/2011 03:20 PM, Ed James wrote:
> How odd.  I've run Linux/X Window systems for years on old machines with
> far less RAM successfully.  I even program with C++ and Xlib because
> I *don't* have memory problems.  Just checked - using 40% of my 1 GB
> RAM now, with quite a few open windows, including some flash stuff
> Any idea why some old, cwappy machines work fine, while new, expensive
> ones dont, even though they both run LINUX/X?  Some of my 'bot programs
> run 24x7x365 (until the power goes out), and I don't notice long-term problems
> like memory leaks either.
> Ed James
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM, Alan Grimes<agrimes@speakeasy.net>  wrote:
>> Hello, I bought a monster machine last year with 8 gigs of ram, yet I
>> ran out just now. I don't use swap space because Linux badly abuses it,
> ...
>> I can't wait for that new windowing system, X sucks nuts, as you can
>> see, it's the biggest memory hog on my system. =(
>> ...
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