How to understand the memory usage in Solaris ?

Posted on 2009-04-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I am very much addicted to use the 'top' of linux, but here in Solaris it looks convoluted.
Here is some of inputs from my system which I could figure out.

Physical Memory: 1GB
Swap space: 2GB

Output of swap -l is in block, whereas 1 block is 512 bytes, so the output of swap -l and 'format' of slice 1 is almost same.
Now the output of swap -s is in KB(not block) and it includes the part of physical memory(1024 MB) also
Used is 342092KB(334 MB) and available is 2204904KB(2153MB)

I can see physical swap is NOT used at all {as output of swap -l} and so I am subtracting 2GB from available space {2204904KB(2153MB)}
So I get 342092KB(334 MB) + {2204904KB(2153MB) - 2GB} = 334 MB + 105 MB=439 MB {Physical RAM}

But I have 1024 MB physical RAM, where is 585 MB {1024 - 439} RAM ??

Please let me know if my calculation is wrong!
bash-3.00# echo "::memstat" | mdb -k
Page Summary                Pages                MB  %Tot
------------     ----------------  ----------------  ----
Kernel                     112014               437   43%
Anon                        68509               267   26%
Exec and libs                5143                20    2%
Page cache                   6948                27    3%
Free (cachelist)            19276                75    7%
Free (freelist)             47804               186   18%
Total                      259694              1014
bash-3.00# swap -l
swapfile             dev  swaplo blocks   free
/dev/dsk/c0d0s1     102,1       8 4194288 4194288
#output of slice 1 from the format command
  1 unassigned    wu    1375 -  1636        2.01GB    (262/0/0)     4209030
bash-3.00# swap -s
total: 266084k bytes allocated + 76008k reserved = 342092k used, 2204904k available
bash-3.00# vmstat 
 kthr      memory            page            disk          faults      cpu
 r b w   swap  free  re  mf pi po fr de sr cd m6 m9 s0   in   sy   cs us sy id
 0 0 0 2397060 476264 87435 36205 72 0 2 0 96 39 0 0 -0 2636 91864 15145 11 47 42
bash-3.00# prtconf -v  | grep Memory
Memory size: 1023 Megabytes

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Question by:beer9
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 24211933
if not mistaken, this is taken by the files cache. When you access file for read or write then it is brought to memory cache then to the application (if reading) or to the disk (if writing) this makes the I/O faster and effective.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Brian Utterback earned 2000 total points
ID: 24213314
The files cache is not removed from the list. What you are missing is the kernel itself. That descrepency is the memory allocated to the kernel.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31574623
Thanks blu! :-)

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