1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

kernel_task is huge

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by guitargoddsjm, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    As I write this, kernel_task has ballooned to 682.8 MB of real memory.

    I noticed kernel_task yesterday when I had ~2.5GB of free memory (which is odd, because I recently upgraded to 8GB). I quit every application and restarted with "Reopen windows" unchecked. Immediately after restart, kernel_task was 488.1 MB.

    What's causing this? I have enough RAM that it doesn't matter too much, but I'd really like to be able to prevent this if possible.
  2. macrumors regular

    Hey, just noticed you cringing about that kernel_task. Just saying, but it's easily 700MB over here in real memory on a late 2008 MBP. No worries?
  3. macrumors 604


    That's actually not too bad, the kernel is taking up 1.88GB of RAM on my Mac Pro.
  4. macrumors regular

    So I'm curious. What do you guys do? Stare at Activity Monitor all day or something?!?

    Leave it alone. Mine's 653 MB. Obviously this is normal. Put Activity Monitor away and just use your computer. Seriously. How many threads on this topic do we need?

    From the name of the executable, it sounds like it does pretty important stuff. Needs RAM. What's the problem? :rolleyes:

    PS: No one's going to have a definitive answer btw. Apple engineers don't talk about that stuff, and no one else is going to know squat. Like asking "what's the meaning of life"—no one knows bro!!!
  5. macrumors 604


    Kernel_task is the operating system. Couldn't tell if you knew or not from your post.
  6. macrumors regular

    Yeah, I've read this.

    An an excerpt:

    So it's not the operating system... it's much deeper than that. And an operating system is a collection of apps, low-level programs, extensions, etc. It is an amalgamation of things, like a house (walls, windows, floors, etc.).
  7. macrumors 603

    I've also got problems with it. Immediately after quitting VMware Fusion 5, I saw that kernel_task was taking up one helluva lot more CPU power, making the fans spin up. It also screwed up my Ethernet connection (kept trying to disconnect from the ISP, but failed). All I could do was curse and reboot.
  8. macrumors 68030

    I suspect it is disk cache.

    My advice for people freaking out about memory usage on blah process:

    close activity monitor. if your mac chugs, buy more memory.

    use activity monitor to check CPU usage, and/or close hung apps. leave the OS to do its thing, if it needs memory it will use it.

    "free" ram is wasted ram. ideally a modern machine should be consuming all of the available ram for disk cache if no application requires it.

Share This Page