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I have a box onto which I just installed pfSense 2.1. The box has 16GB of RAM and is a quad-core processor (yeah, we're planning on doing some serious traffic and using a proxy filter with a lot of clients).

The BSD shell is reporting correctly that 16GB of RAM is installed:

dmesg | grep memory
real memory = 17179869184 (16384 MB)
avail memory = 2604027904 (2483 MB)

My assumption here is that BSD reports memory usage much the same way as other Unix systems - the machine has gone ahead and "reserved" almost 14GB of RAM, which is why only 2GB is reported as available.

The confusion:

On the pfSense dashboard, it's only reporting the Available Memory, beside "Memory Usage" in the System Information Widget:

Memory usage 10% of 2534 MB

This concerns me. I need pfSense to see all 16GB of RAM, so that I can give an appropriate amount to the proxy content filter (SquidGuard).

Is this something to worry about? Why or why not? If it is something to worry about, how do I fix it?

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Great question - I'm curious to see the answer. All of my pfsense installs are on embedded boards with <1GB of RAM, so I've never run into this. – EEAA Mar 12 '14 at 2:09
This is the first time I've done a pfSense install on something other than an embedded board with <1GB of RAM. But with >500 clients (many of whom are students) on a 100mb connection to the world, we need some serious filtering power (keep 'em off "bad" websites). If I don't get an answer here soon, I'll post to the pfSense forums and if I find out anything, will report back. – David W Mar 12 '14 at 2:31
Yah, the forums or mailing list may be your fastest venue. – EEAA Mar 12 '14 at 2:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

*Smacks Self in Head *

The issue was a (very) silly mistake. I installed the 32bit version of pfSense, and not the 64bit version.

Problem solved!

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