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I'm a bit unclear how the the RAM is used in this particular instance, so I'm wondering if when a user watches a video on my server, does it go from the filesystem, "out through the pipes" and onto my users screen, or does it go: filesystem>RAM>"pipes">User? If the video is loaded completely into RAM it will probably crash the server so knowing how this works is important to me.

I don't think it will go into the RAM though but I have to be absolutely sure because it's vital the videos can be watched by a number of people.

-- Forgot to detail what I'm using: my host is using nginx http server.

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closed as off topic by Hubert Kario, Jacob, Chris S Feb 8 '13 at 14:17

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I think we need more information here. What program are you using to share it with the internet at large? Apache? – trent Feb 8 '13 at 14:09
@trent ups, forgot, I've added the information to the post. – 01AutoMonkey Feb 8 '13 at 14:18
Server Fault is for Professional System Administrator (et al) only. Your question reflects a substantial lack of knowledge regarding the workings of computers; you don't have the baseline knowledge to understand a reasonably complete answer. The short answer is: No – Chris S Feb 8 '13 at 14:19
@ChrisS are you referring to "what the RAM is used for"? I meant to say "I don't know how the RAM is used in this particular instance", and I suspect it's not used allot here but need to be absolutely sure, I do know that data is fed into the RAM so it can be accessed faster when needed since virtual memory is faster then reading from a hard drive for example. – 01AutoMonkey Feb 8 '13 at 14:26
Yeah, you're still getting it wrong. Virtual memory is read from the hard drive (not from RAM), to that point. – HopelessN00b Feb 8 '13 at 14:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Most sane programs will read only parts of the file into the RAM and then stream it to users, discard it and read the next part.

There might programs which don't do and read the whole file that but I guess they aren't very popular...

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