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Hi, I've been using Linux for my online web server (run level 3) for several years, and I have noticed that the Operating System by itself consumes all the RAM ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux, an Operating System with Memory Leaks?


    Hi,

    I've been using Linux for my online web server (run level 3) for several years, and I have noticed that the Operating System by itself consumes all the RAM memory of the server, no matter how much it has!

    The moment I reboot the server the free memory is quite high, but it starts immediately to decrease little by little, even if no applications are running! The consecuence is that in a matter of hours or days, 99% of the 500Mb or 1Gb of RAM is used up!

    I have tried to fix this by trying different distros, and by updating packages, but with no success. One of the servers had RedHat 9 with 1Gb, the other two had Centos (4.1 and 4.3) with 500Mb

    So it seems to be a general issue with Linux, and I expect you all have noticed it (or can confirm it now by running 'free' from time to time after rebooting).

    Is there any way to fix this?
    I would appreciate very much any hints or help.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    Linux treats RAM in a different way than Windows.
    Linux has that memory cached for application usage and it is not using it. So it's normal to see 90% of the RAM used.
    Put your hand in an oven for a minute and it will be like an hour, sit beside a beautiful woman for an hour and it will be like a minute, that is relativity. --Albert Einstein
    Linux User #425940

    Don't PM me with questions, instead post in the forums

  3. #3
    Linux User fernape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czamora
    The moment I reboot the server the free memory is quite high, but it starts immediately to decrease little by little, even if no applications are running! The consecuence is that in a matter of hours or days, 99% of the 500Mb or 1Gb of RAM is used up!
    Well, I'm sure that you have some applications running... it is a server, right?
    As Juan Pablo said, Linux makes an intensive use of cache features. If you want a test, try to copy a CD or DVD to your hard disk and monitor your ram memory...

    Quote Originally Posted by czamora
    Is there any way to fix this?
    AFAIK no. But in 2.6 kernels, you can play with
    Code:
    /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
    to change the way your applications request memory...

    Best regards

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  5. #4
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    This article explains a lot about Linux memory management. Hopefully it will clear up your misconception that Linux is full of memory leaks.

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    Ok, thanks, that explains it clearly.
    I'm afraid I'm a newbie for lots of areas around linux even though I have been using it in my servers for years.
    The worrying thing is that people in the technical support for the two hosting companies I have used didn't know about this either!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by czamora
    Ok, thanks, that explains it clearly.
    I'm afraid I'm a newbie for lots of areas around linux even though I have been using it in my servers for years.
    The worrying thing is that people in the technical support for the two hosting companies I have used didn't know about this either!
    That's typical and par for the course nowadays.

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