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SubjectRe: need help interpreting 'free' output.
On Tue, Oct 30, 2001 at 04:07:45PM +0000, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, Frank Dekervel wrote:
> > since i saw strange things happening with my free memory numbers, i tried
> > this:
> > - i compiled and booted a fresh kernel (no proprietary modules, no patches,
> > just 2.4.14-pre4)
> > - i did free.
> >
> > bakvis:~# free
> > total used free shared buffers cached
> > Mem: 384912 55644 329268 0 3652 29880
> > -/+ buffers/cache: 22112 362800
> > Swap: 136512 0 136512
> >
> > so i have 22 meg used right ?
> >
> > - i started the daily cron jobs (updatedb and htdig and some minor things
> > like log rotation)
> >
> > - i did 'free' again.
> >
> > bakvis:~# free
> > total used free shared buffers cached
> > Mem: 384912 377060 7852 0 29424 125660
> > -/+ buffers/cache: 221976 162936
> > Swap: 136512 752 135760
> >
> > so now there is 220 meg used memory right ?
> > and the memory is definitely used, because as soon as i start a memory hog
> > the system hits swap ...
> >
> > so what am i missing here ?
> > should i provide more info about my kernel configuration ? vmstat numbers ?
>
> I'm fairly sure /proc/slabinfo will show large inode_cache and large
> dentry_cache: which is natural after updatedb, nothing wrong with that.
>
> However, unlike 2.4.13, 2.4.14-pre (you tried pre4, I just tried pre5)
> seems much too unwilling to shrink_dcache and shrink_icache: your
> memory hog should shrink them, but it seems not to. Linus?

2.4.14pre5aa1 has a logic to try to shrink those caches at a better
time. Frank could you try again with pre5aa1 and see if it goes better?

Not shrinking the vfs caches when shrink_cache failed is wrong,
allocations from ZONE_NORMAL will fail without way to recover as soon as
all ZONE_NORMAL is eat in vfs caches.

Andrea
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