question: high virtual memory usage

Brian Dessent
Tue Jun 14 02:36:00 GMT 2005

Andrew DeFaria wrote:

> That may be but it does represent the "footprint" of the process or at
> least the amount of memory + swap reserved (doesn't it?). As such I seek
> to minimize such usage.

No, I don't think so.  Taskman's "VM size" is what you are thinking of,
and is what procexp calls "private bytes".  This is the total footprint
of the process.  The working set is the amount of that that is currently
resident, i.e. available without a page fault.

Procexp's "virtual size" column seems to be a meaningless number that
procexp somehow arrives at.  It's not just cygwin processes that it
seems to come up with outragiously high values for.  On my system there
is a svchost.exe process (part of the operating system) that uses
10,192KB working set and 10,400KB private bytes, but process explorer
lists its "virtual size" as 143,260KB.  Clearly this process is not
using anywhere near 143MB of RAM.  I really think you should ignore this
column, it does not say anything useful.  If I add up the total sizes of
all the values of this column on my system, I get something like 7GB,
and I only have 1GB of ram and 512MB of swap.


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