System cache

Björn Lindberg d95-bli at
Thu Oct 11 05:01:01 PDT 2001

> Reboant wrote:
> Guys I just doubled my memory to 256m and it seems thats still not
> enough .Seems the cache just won't stop growing(especially when
> compiling).Is there a way to clear this darn thing  manually?Better
> yet is there a way to have it done automatically?At first I thought it
> was a memory leak but it stay constant at 143 megs.Never hit swap like

I think you've misunderstood things a bit. If I'm wrong I apologize. The
only relevant number from 'free' or 'xosview' is the memory usage with
cahce and buffers/shared memory SUBTRACTED. That is how much memory your
current applications are using. Your kernel will never 'give back'
memory used for cache, that's not how it works. Instead, it will discard
that cached information if it needs the memory for something else.

So, when you boot your computer you will have a lot of free memory. If
you perform a memory-intensive task like compiling a program, the kernel
will cache a lot of information, and you will _never_ get that 'back' as
free memory, but it will still be used if needed.

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