Kubuntu uses too much memory. What is the cause?

Alvin info at alvin.be
Sat Jun 13 15:06:11 UTC 2009

On Monday 01 June 2009 17:49:06 Chris Jones wrote:
> Arnaud bourree wrote:
> > Here it is a nice page which explain why Linux looks to take too much ram
> > After you will enjoy it ;-)
> >
> > http://softwaretracker.blogspot.com/2007/08/understand-why-linux-uses-up-
> >all-memory.html
> That article is discussing a different thing. It is talking about file
> caching in free memory.
> I am talking about the difference between resident and virtual memory
> size. Resident is what the application is *actually* using at any given
> moment in time. Virtual is kind of the maximum the application could use
> if it where to suddenly use all the ram it could (or has told the kernel
> it could). Its actually more complicated that, more than I could
> describe (or know). Try googling for something like "virtual ram top" e.g.
> http://virtualthreads.blogspot.com/2006/02/understanding-memory-usage-on-li
> Chris
> > Arnaud
> >
> > 2009/5/30 Chris Jones <christopher.rob.jones at cern.ch>:
> >>> 2 GB for my home machine and 4 GB for my work machine. The few
> >>> applications
> >>> that use most memory are Kontact and Amarok. Amarok uses +1GB.
> >>> Kontact uses
> >>> about 700 MB. (One day, I will switch to mutt...).
> >>
> >> When you look at the memory usage in top, and you quoting the virtual
> >> or resident size ? If the virtual then basically ignore that,
> >> applications always over commit and it doesn't mean much. The resident
> >> size is the important one. I would be very surprised if amarok was
> >> really using 1G (i.e. resident)  ??

Thanks for the explanation. I was quoting the wrong memory type.

However, I'm still convinced something is wrong. I wasn't watching my memory 
usage, but suddenly (after upgrading hal in Konsole) everything started 
getting slower. Amarok was taking long pauses. Keyboard and mouse barely 
reacted, so I logged on with ssh (slowly) and started htop. I saw a full 2GB 
of swap used, together with a full 2GB of memory. After that, X crashed and 
the console showed an error, stating that swap space was full. Memory 
instantly dropped to around 80 MB in use.

I restarted kdm and now everything is workable again, but why? I was only 
- Kontact (kmail, akregator, korganizer, kjots)
- Amarok
- Dropbox
- a Konsole with bash, doing nothing
- A small windows program in wine

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