top or htop? Which one lies?

Derek Broughton derek at
Mon Nov 9 13:55:49 GMT 2009

Mark Greenwood wrote:

> I hope someone on here can clear this up.
> According to top my RAM is as follows:
> 2060580k total,  1866728k used,  (which seems to me to be a ridiculously
> enormous amount of RAM to run a bare desktop)

It is, and it isn't.  You shouldn't need that much RAM, but if you have it 
it _will_ eventually be used.  You probably aren't using any of your swap.  
Any good swapper will ensure that your memory utilization is close to 100% 
before swapping anything to disk.

> According to htop (which I
> can't copy and paste) 269/2012MB (which seems to me to be a quite
> miraculously small amount of RAM to run a bare desktop)

I would really suspect htop.  But compare both to "free".  

> Which one lies? And why the mahoosive discrepancy? And why are there never
> any simple answers in life? (you may ignore the 3rd question, I asked the
> GF that one and she gave me "that look").

<that look />

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