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Date:      Wed, 27 May 2015 22:09:10 -0700
From:      Doug Hardie <>
Cc:        FreeBSD - <>
Subject:   Re: Swap exhaustion
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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> On 27 May 2015, at 17:06, wrote:
> On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 04:49:52PM -0700, Doug Hardie wrote:
>> I have a process that is eating up 6 GB of swap space.  At that =
point, FreeBSD 9.3 terminates a process.  However, occasionally its not =
the one eating up the space.  When I manually quit the process then the =
swap space returns to a few KB used.  The system runs fine after that.
>> I have very little knowledge of what this process is doing internally =
but would like to know what might be causing this issue.  There are 5 of =
these processes running (parent plus 4 children).  Normally each uses =
about 90 MB RES/SIZE.  However when the problem occurs they are about =
2GB RES/SIZE each.  The system has 4 GB memory.  I thought that a malloc =
would not be able to grab that much memory, even with swapping as it has =
to be in memory.  Could a malloc cause this growth in process size or =
need I look elsewhere?
> There's a difference between "real" memory and "virtual" memory. The
> malloc() call allocates _virtual_ memory. So the maximum amount that =
can be
> malloc'd and used would be the size of your real memory plus the size =
> your swap space.

If I am understanding correctly, then it appears that a process can =
actually allocate enough memory to eat up the swap space.  Then I need =
to find out why that process is allocating so much memory.  Thanks.

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