Linux memory usage and swap files

Jason Gurtz jason at tommyk.com
Sat Jul 10 11:51:19 PDT 2004


On 7/9/2004 18:02, Ian Molton wrote:

> so basically, that machine is busy 'wasting' 256MB of RAM thats sitting
> there doing nothing?

Yup.  Nonetheless, I find that more palatable then the results of the
current Linux VM

> buffering / not buffering isnt the issue - its paging things out that
> *were* in memory thats the issue.

Agreed, absolutely.

I would support the Linux way of doing things *if* the algorithm it uses
happened to be a tad more intelligent about what it swaps out to the
disk.  I'm sure creating that intelligence is rather challenging at the
least to figure out.  After all, how should the kernel know that Mozilla
or OOo should never ever be swapped out?  In this case--esp. WRT
2.4.x--there should definitely be a manual control over what is allowed
to get swapped out.  The "swappiness" control of 2.6 _is_ the "big
hammer" approach, but at least it's something (that works) and at least
it's there.  PPl wanting to run anything greater than hmm about
2.4.12-ac (and not ready for 2.6.x) are screwed right now.

Another nice enhancement, since we're going to buffer huge amounts of
the file system, would be a control on what parts of the fs should get
buffered first.  I do suspect that the current algorithm is all ready
pretty good at this and gains would be minimal.

Cheers,

~Jason

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