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I'm running a Fedora 12 x86-64 OpenVZ VPS and screen is using lots of virtual memory (98000+). I've also noticed that the UTMP file grows enormous over time:

[root@demon~]$ date
Wed Sep  8 22:02:58 EST 2010
[root@demon~]$ ls -la /var/run/utmp
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 313728 2010-09-08 22:03 /var/run/utmp
[root@demon~]$ date
Wed Sep  8 22:04:00 EST 2010
[root@demon~]$ ls -hla /var/run/utmp
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 334K 2010-09-08 22:04 /var/run/utmp

Any ideas? It's not uncommon for this file to reach 64MB over the course of a single day.

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The utmp file contains information about who is currently using the system. So it will grow with the number of windows created in your screen session(s). It will also reduce when you close a shell or session.

  • How many sessions are you running (screen -ls)?
  • How many windows are you creating with each session (C-a ")?
  • What's the scrollback buffer set to for each of them (C-a i)?
share|improve this answer
I'm running just one screen session, with 5 bash shells and each of them have a scrollback buffer of 100000. Comparing to my Fedora 13 x86 server, that only has 6000 VIRT usage and never has a large UTMP file. – Guest914 Sep 8 '10 at 21:46
How long is the output of who' and w' ? – zarkdav Sep 9 '10 at 9:01
Around 6 lines or so – Guest914 Sep 9 '10 at 9:52

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