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After using the laptop for several days without rebooting, I start to get into awful swapping problems (combined with very poor responsiveness during IO operations, swapping 10mb could mean that the desktop is unresponsivel for 5s, but 200mb at once will mean that it is completely unresponsive for several minutes straight while it grinds the disk).

With all interface-apps shut down, the system monitor is reporting that over half of my 4GB is being used on something. What exactly, though? System Monitor, when showing 'All Processes', does not list enough to add up to 2GB.

Screenshots - memory used, processes visible.

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closed as off topic by jrg May 23 '12 at 17:17

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This problem sounds to me like there is a memory leak somewhere. It may be important to find out exactly where it is coming from and get a bug reported. –  Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 14 '11 at 7:11

1 Answer 1

The process list of the system monitor is not very detailed on my opinion. You should better use the command


in a terminal to monitor your ressources - system monitor consumes much CPU power with default settings.

Strange, however, is, that your ubuntu uses the swap memory in this situation... on my computer it fills the memory until there is nearly no space left and then uses the swap memory. However, it is long ago that that happened as I have 16 GB memory installed. So if the numbers in top are similar (much free RAM, but using swap), first try to disable swap (comment it out in /etc/fstab), hopefully performance increases then. With 4 GB system memory ubuntu should work without swap for standard applications. But Suspend to disk wont work without swap partition.

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It shows similar numbers - not a lot of processes using RAM, but the statistics show half used. The swap isn't an issue, I was running really close earlier - 3.5 out of 3.9gb, and it used swap for some things. My concern is what else is actually using it up that I don't see. –  Vadi Nov 14 '11 at 8:41

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