shrinking swap space

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Fri Jul 9 20:24:25 UTC 2010

> From owner-freebsd-questions at  Fri Jul  9 08:18:56 2010
> Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 09:18:01 -0400
> From: John Almberg <jalmberg at>
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: shrinking swap space
> Since my server locked me out last week because it was out of swap 
> space, I've been monitoring the swap space every 4 hours. It started off 
> with 3% used and little by little it has crept up to 17% this morning.
> I've been reading up on the subject in my two FreeBSD books (Absolute 
> and Complete) but neither give me a hint on how to find the program(s) 
> that are slowly eating up my swap space.
> Is there a utility that shows which programs are using swap space? Or 
> that can help debug this problem?

'ps' is your friend.  it will show you the 'total' memory used by each
process, *AND* the 'working set' size.  The working set is the part of that
process's address-space that is currently mapped into RAM.  The -difference-
betwen the total size, and the working set size is the swap usage.

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