free memory keeps going down on 5.4-release

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Nov 6 20:35:16 UTC 2006

On Mon, Nov 06, 2006 at 09:08:04AM -0800, Roselyn Lee wrote:

> Hi,
> We're running freebsd 5-4 release and notice that an idle system's free 
> memroy keeps decreasing.  The system has 1 GB memory and the free mem 
> starts at ~700M and goes down steadily until it hits 2M and stays there.  
> After that bringing up more apps on the system doesn't seem to make the 
> free memory any smaller.  I checked top and vmstat -m, vmstat -z and 
> can't see where all that memory is going.  Does freebsd use memory for 
> disk caching that is not accounted for in these stats?

I believe this is normal.   There have been many similar posts and 
explanatory replies about this sort of thing.   There may even be
a FAQ on it (but I haven't checked).   It is an artifact of how 
memory allocation works and improved efficiency of memory algoritms.

So, do a little archive and FAQ searching.   There may also be articles
in online publications such as Onlamp or others.


> Thanks in advance for any help.
> Roselyn
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