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On a Suse linux machine, I have these swap stats from the top utility:

Swap:  2096472k total,  1230612k used,   865860k free,  1792880k cached

What does the last number (1792880k cached) mean, and why is it sometimes higher than the total swap space?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's the amount of physical memory being used for cache memory. Even though top lists it at the end of swap, it's really got nothing to do swap space.

Red Hat has a nice explanation of all the different types of memory usage.

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