Wired memory analysis

Matthew Dillon dillon at backplane.com
Thu Jan 17 12:31:50 PST 2019

I went through three machines and so far wired memory is fully accounted
for, but does stabilize at a modest level... around 20% of system ram.  An
8G test box uses 1.5G of ram.  A 32G workstation has around 6GB of wired
memory.  One of our big machines with 128G of ram is using ~20GB wired.

If you only have 128M of swap, it could be that something in your UI is
eating memory.  The most common culprit we've found is chrome or firefox.
Though I don't think their user memory is counted as wired per-say so it
doesn't fit well with the reported 'wired memory' symptoms.  That said, if
you don't have much swap, chrome can easily eat up all your ram and start
forcing process kills if you let it sit there with a bunch of tabs.  In
that situation its a good idea to configure a lot more swap... at least 8GB
of swap.

But as I said, it doesn't fit your 'wired memory' symptoms... unless you
have some very large VSZ processes sitting in memory whos page tables are
big enough to eat that much ram.  *that* would definitely eat up a good
chunk of wired memory (for the page tables).

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