memory testing (other than on x86)

Ken Moffat ken at
Fri Nov 19 17:34:41 PST 2004

For those of us who need to test memory on non x86 boxes, I've now found
memtester (it's on freshmeat).  (OK, I know Tushar has a build script
for it, but I'd never used it before).  Not as nice and easy as
memtest86, it's a userspace program so you can't easily make a boot CD
for it.

Using it is a bit fiddly - 2.93.1 will recognise 'all' for the memory to
test and try to grab all available memory before getting killed (yes,
all physical plus swap if that is enabled), 4.0.4 thinks 'all' is less
than the page size.  I've successfully compiled a static version of
2.93.1, but not 4.0.4.  On my ppc box I can successfully run them on
492M (or 491M for 4.0.4 ) of the 512M physical, which in single user
mode with swap turned off can be determined as

memtest `free | head -n 2 | tail -n 1 | awk '{ avail = ( $4 / 1024 ) \
- 2 ; printf("%3.0fM", avail) }'`

(for 4.0.4 change prog name to memtester and "- 2" to "- 3").

Hope this helps someone in the future.

 das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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