FreeBSD/i386 6-stable + 4 GB RAM

Eric Anderson anderson at
Tue Mar 14 16:47:03 UTC 2006

Oliver Fromme wrote:
> Hi,
> I'll be getting a few new machines for a customer soon.
> They will be SMP (dual processor Pentium-IV) with 4 GB RAM,
> and I plan to install FreeBSD/i386 6-stable on them.
> What's the current status of running with that amount of
> memory?  I'm not completely up to date in that regard, and
> searching the archive didn't get any definitive answers.
> I remember that there were several issues in the past, but
> I have no idea if they still exist.  They required fiddling
> with VM_KMEM_SIZE_MAX, or KVA_PAGES or similar things.
> Will FreeBSD/i386 6-stable run on a 4 GB machine out of the
> box?  Do I have to apply special tuning (kernel config or
> sysctl or whatever)?  Using PAE shouldn't be necessary, I
> assume.
> It would also be interesting to know if 4-stable (which is
> currently running on the predecessor machines) would run
> without problems on those new 4 GB ones, too.
> Thanks in advance for any information!

The base install, running GENERIC will only use 3GB.  I believe you 
would either need to use the PAE kernel option, or use the 64bit version 
of FreeBSD on a corresponding 64bit hardware.


Eric Anderson        Sr. Systems Administrator        Centaur Technology
Anything that works is better than anything that doesn't.

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