On Thu, 2 Oct 2008 09:58:54 -0500
Kirk Strauser <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> I have an AMD system with 6GB of RAM.  From dmesg:
>     usable memory = 6428237824 (6130 MB)
>     avail memory  = 6203797504 (5916 MB)
> However, most of it is just sitting there when it looks like it could
> be used for buffers or cache:
> Mem: 1186M Active, 3902M Inact, 468M Wired, 233M Cache, 214M Buf,
> 138M Free Swap: 8192M Total, 900K Used, 8191M Free
> Since I've yet to find a great explanation for what the different
> types of memory are, could someone say why all that inactive memory
> is better than using it for cache or buffers?

The terms are a bit misleading, because the don't all relate to the use
of the memory from the user's perspective, but how it's seen within
FreeBSD's integrated cache/VM system.

Active, Inact, Cache and Free are all part of the life-cycle of normal
memory pages, they hold pretty much everything used by  processes,
and disk-caching. "Cache" actually has little to do with caching as
such; it contains pages that are still holding data, but can be
reused instantaneously because they are consistent with their backing

In not exactly sure what "Buf" is, but I guess it's low-level disk
buffering memory, that can't be discarded the way normal disk caching
pages can.

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