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Why is Linux reporting “free” memory strangely?

I have noticed that the cache memory on my vps always stays around the max value. I have nothing running at the moment and the memory breakdown is:

Mem: 1024 | used: 7MB | buffers: 0MB | cache 1013MB

Is this normal? If not, how can I fix this?

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marked as duplicate by Michael Hampton, Tom O'Connor, John Gardeniers, Ward, Khaled Dec 29 '12 at 7:29

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Fix what? Having your memory used for caching things is a good thing? –  Zoredache Dec 28 '12 at 19:31
    
Hi there, I was actually not sure what it meant which is why I asked. Not sure if this is normal or not. –  Adam Dec 28 '12 at 19:33
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Ah, see linuxatemyram.com –  Zoredache Dec 28 '12 at 19:40
    
This post worth to be an answer :) ty mate. Was doing video streaming server and was confused where all memory is gone. –  Somebody Dec 29 '12 at 12:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, this is normal. Since the system has nothing else to do with the RAM, it just leaves data read from disk in it. That way, if the system needs the data again, it can save a disk access.

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I see the cache go up when I am running a download program. Would this be normal too? Cache slowly creeps up but the used mem stays stable at around 10MB –  Adam Dec 28 '12 at 23:10
    
Yes. As you download things, you wind up with stuff that you downloaded in memory. There is nothing useful the operating system can do, so it just leaves it there. (There's no point in making the memory free, that's just work the system would have to do that it would have to undo if it wanted to use that memory later.) –  David Schwartz Dec 29 '12 at 1:05

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