Memory usage and swap (was Re: 2008.9 Basic questions)

Marcel Wirth marcel.wirth at
Sun Sep 21 14:40:50 CEST 2008

Alex Fitzpatrick wrote:
> Iain B. Findleton wrote:
>> And of course, the buggy software can hurt. Surprisingly, I activated
>> swap on my FR and stability and periodic slowing have improved. Don't
>> know why that should be, but there you are.
> The answer there is to run top while using the phone... you'll see that 
> it's running at pretty much at the limits of the 128MB built in.

I always thought that only "free" would report the correct memory numbers.
Right now, "top" reports this on my FR:

Mem:    123856k total,   118412k used,     5444k free,      136k buffers

Compare that to the output of "free":

root at om-gta02:/media/card# free
              total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        123856     118272       5584          0        136      75712
-/+ buffers/cache:      42424      81432
Swap:        65528         28      65500

The line "Mem" shows memory used including caches that will be 
overwritten whenever a program requires more memory.
The line "-/+ buffers/cache" supposedly shows the real memory usage, 
currently about 42M. If that were to reach 128M, we would be in real 
I'm going to turn the swap off again...


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