swap usage

Fabio Fracassi turiya at linuxfromscratch.org
Mon Mar 4 12:24:10 PST 2002

On Monday 04 March 2002 20:49, you wrote:
>  --- Gerard Beekmans <gerard at linuxfromscratch.org>
> wrote:
> > If you;re not using your system to do anything else
> > (say running X, running
> > some heavy apps like KDE, Mozilla and so on) then
> > it's very possible to use
> > less than 256 of ram when compiling LFS.
> >
> > I've done it on a 128 MB machine with only 100 MB
> > swap and only 50 MB or so
> > of the swap was being used at any given time.
> What's got me wondering is that it _can_ use 500MB+ to
> build LFS. That's what is used when I build on the box
> with 512MB. Both boxes show the same thing, about 3-12
> megs free all the time. Since it will use the physical
> memory if it's there, why won't it use the swap? Is it
> that the memory it's using is refreshed so fast as to
> make swapping inefficient?

Are the figures you are stating, the ones without buffered and cached memory?

The free memory figure is often misleading, since linux never frees memory 
which was once used, unless it is needed.

To find out how much memory is realy used by a given program you can use top 
or something similar


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