Memory Leak in Kernel 2.2.19 and 2.4.20

Richard Lightman richard at
Sun Jan 19 08:55:34 PST 2003

* Dag Gruneau <dag.gruneau at> [2003-01-19 16:39]:
> I started 'top' to monitor and noticed how used memory increases over the
> time. I tried 2.4.20 with the same result. Has anyone else noticed this?
Yes - dozens have reported something like this to the list.

> During the time, no swapping ocurred, there was plenty of free memory at
> the end of the test.
> 60MB was lost used over a 12 hour period.
> Do someone have an idea how to diagnistic this further?
Explain why exactly you think there is a memory memory link, backed by
the output of whatever commands you used to measure it.

The chances are that you have not read up enough on what the output
of these commands mean. From the linux point of view, free memory is
wasted memory. Instead of marking released memory as free, the kernel
prefers to call it cached  - if it is a copy of some file.

The reasoning is that is is much quicker to convert a clean cache page
into free memory than to convert free memory into a clean cache page.

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