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Re: Virtual Memory gone mad

Sharpe, Sam J wrote:
2009/3/10 Jonathan Ryshpan <jonrysh pacbell net>:
Investigating why my computer had suddenly become very s.l.o.w, I
noticed that virtual memory usage had become very large.  Following is
an extract from a "$ ps axuw" for the system sorted according to VM
usage, the top 20 processes in VM usage.  Does anyone know why evolution
+ evolution evolution-data-server use not quite 2 GBytes?  Or why the
ordinary applets use together 1.4 GBytes?  Or why sealert uses about 0.5
GBytes?  Or anything else on this list?

2656  1.2  5.2 1668576 53708 ?       Sl   12:20   1:26 evolution
2662  0.0  0.2  444628  2680 ?       S    12:20   0:00 /usr/bin/python -E /usr/bin/sealert -s

You can't add up the VSZ sizes of processes and arrive at a simple
sum, because you don't have enough information.

That's true, but I'm not sure it's relevant to the question of why the rocesses are so huge. I can't think of any justification for a simple mail program being 1.6GB, no matter how loaded with features it might be. So the answer is probably that it either (a) mmapped about half the Internet, or (b) leaks memory badly. Those are not mutually exclusive.

Program 1 links to library A and uses shared memory B
  => VSZ1 = SizeOf(1) + SizeOf(A) + SizeOf(B)
Program 2 also links to library A and uses shared memory B
  => VSZ2 = SizeOf(2) + SizeOf(A) + SizeOf(B)

So you'd think that the total memory in use would be VSZ1+VSZ2,
but each library is only in memory once so in actual fact it's only
I'm unsure that he's adding anything, one line says it all, and your observation really sums up the problem:
But yes, Evolution is a memory hog ;o)

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
  "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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