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2.1.99 with RH 5.1 A 2 slowing down

Subject: 2.1.99 with RH 5.1 A 2 slowing down
From: Honza Pazdziora <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 12:35:42 +0200 (MET DST)
Phone: 420 (5) 415 12345

I'm using RH 5.1 installation with Alpha 1 kernel and installator and
devel/Alpha 2 RPMs (where available). The system is running fine, but
seems to slow down during the time.

My, maybe naive, observation is that the buffers value from the free
listing is very high: on 32 MB system, the buffers value is about 13
to 15 MB, cached about 4 MB and there are like 500 kB freee memory.
The system doesn't swap, however when I try to run a process, it's
very slow starting it and running it. I'm for example am not able to
finish make dep on the kernel tree -- the activity just does to zero
after 5 minutes or so.

I've found out that I can force it to free the buffers (while still
having some free memory to actually start the perl) with something
        perl -e '$/ = undef; $_ = <>; $a = $_ x 3' /vmlinux

that creates a process allocating about 8 MB, but I have to do this
rather often (in while true ; done loop). I understand that my
description is rather fuzzy, so the main point is that the system is
slowing down, doesn't swap but has very low free memory, even if there
is a lot of memory used by buffers. I can of course send any
additional info/listings, if you tell me which.

Do you know what I might be doing wrong? Thanks,

 Honza Pazdziora | |
                   I can take or leave it if I please

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