SUMMARY: what's chewing up the swap space?

From: ert weerr (
Date: 01/12/05

  • Next message: Saul Santos: "Problems Installing Solaris 8 over the network"
    Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 14:47:48 -0800 (PST)
    To: Sunmanagers <>

    >Is that possible to check what applications are
    >sitting in the swap and not releasing the used
    >swap area?
    >We have an old box what we shouldn't reboot, but a
    >badly written application always chewing up the free
    >swap space.
    >We need to identify this application and kill
    >it if it's possible.

    I received a lot of useful solutions for my original
    Thanks to everyone who spent time to reply for my


    You can do /usr/ucb/ps -alxww and then check out the
    processes that have a large SZ.


    ps -ef or prstat will show the amount of memory (real

    & virtual) used by a process. if the memory used by a

    process grows other time, it is your memory-leaker.


    ps -elf shows a SZ column which is the size of the
    process in pages.
    Multiple that by the output of page size to find the
    total size of the processes in bytes. pmap -S <pid>
    will show the swap reservation of a process if you're
    running under Solaris 9.


    prstat -s size

    also check for files in (or applications writing logs
    into) /tmp


    "ps -el" should show a large SZ for the offending
    process (remember SZ is in pages, so its a lot bigger
    than it looks). Solaris 8 has "ps -eyl" which shows
    in kilobytes. Once you find a large process, you can
    use tools in /usr/proc/bin to learn more about it,
    or just watch it for a while to see if it grows.

    Also run lsof on /tmp. It could be some process is
    writing big files there. Since /tmp is a memory file
    system, that can chew up a ton of swap space.


    "lsof" can be used to view open files in tmp/swap with
    a link count of 0 (zero).



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  • Next message: Saul Santos: "Problems Installing Solaris 8 over the network"