[clug] Out of Memory with large page cache

Ian Munsie darkstarsword at gmail.com
Fri Dec 18 06:03:21 MST 2009

I think I may have found a possible answer to my own question - I
realised after sending that message that I have some of my filesystem
(including /var/log) mounted as tmpfs.

My understanding of tmpfs and ramfs is that they sit on top of VFS and
tell it that none of their blocks should be automatically freed, so I
suppose they would therefore be reported as page cache by free, atop
and similar utilities.

Perhaps /var/log got excessively large and was the cause of the
unfreeable cache. I wish I hadn't rebooted and could check it, but
doing a quick test dumping a large file in /var/log and watching the
page cache size would seem to validate this theory.


On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be
heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but
develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone
will go superconductive.
     -- Eric S. Raymond, 2005
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

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