Memory Mangement Problem in 5.1-RELEASE

Jeremy Messenger mezz7 at
Thu Jul 24 13:27:45 PDT 2003

On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 15:53:21 -0400, Bill Moran <wmoran at> 

> Ahmed Al-Hindawi wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have 160Mb of SDRAM (PC100) on a 233Mhz CyrixInstead machine and I
>> seem to have memory mangament problems. The BIOS indicates I have 160,
>> so does the BSD bootstrap program.
>> When I launch GNOME 2.2 everythings is good as gold untill I open the
>> System monitor program. It says that I have 149 Mb of RAM which is fine
>> ( 4Mb of video..and the rest...god knows).
>> I open every program I have and after 107Mb the machine starts to swap
>> with about 50Mb left unused!!
>> I recompliled the GENERIC kernal for the sake of it really (Im still an
>> amature) I didn't mess with the configuration files or anything (I just
>> don't know how!!).
>> Is this normal or mismanagement of memory in the 5.1 version of the
>> excellent FreeBSD kernel??
> The mistake is in the way the Gnome System Monitor display the free 
> memory.
> I just watched both 'top' and the System Monitor as I opened program 
> after
> program until the system started swapping, and System monitor reports
> almost 100M free while top reported less than 10M.
> To _always_ have a little memory free is A Good Thing(tm).  FreeBSD has
> some pretty advanced memory management that will start swapping _before_
> the system runs out of RAM.  However, the System Monitor's display of
> this is simply inaccurate.  There was NOT 100M free when it started 
> swapping
> on my system.

Well, the 5.0, old -CURRENT and 4.8 have never touch the swap, until 5.1- 
CURRENT. My system has 256mb ram and it's always touch swap now. If I 
compile some stuff, sometime it will get around 300mb swap. Current, I only 
have Gnome 2.3.x and Opera running, so what my top looks like this:

Mem: 85M Active, 29M Inact, 51M Wired, 4496K Cache, 35M Buf, 73M Free
Swap: 512M Total, 79M Used, 433M Free, 15% Inuse

But, I will remove the Gnome System Monitor applet, then reboot and see how 
it goes for the whole afternoon.


-- 's moderator, mezz.

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