VM size = 148 GB, but no process is using it?!! Help!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Earendil, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    Okay, I'm a self confessed nerd. I know what Virtual memory is. I know what a process is. So why when I use Activity monitor to show me all my processes does it not show me who is using my VM?! Am I missing some processes?

    Also, the VM use is climbing to consume all available HD space. It's growing as I type this. This screams memory leak, except wouldn't that show in a process? Or not?

    I already tried restarting, no no avail. If I wasn't on the Mac side, and a constant news reader, I'd think I had a virus of some sort.

    Is there any other tool I can use to investigate this? Any other ideas? Help? :(


    http://imgur.com/6bmoa.png
     
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #2
    My VM is at 102GB. Given that I only have 20GB of hard drive space available, I wouldn't worry too much.
     
  3. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #3
    My worry is that I was given the "low HD memory" warning. So I cleared out 15 gigs of stuff. A day of web surfing later, and a restart, and I'm down to 1 gig. This strikes me as something to worry about :(

    ...

    Actually, I had 1 gig remaining an hour ago. I'm down to 500mb as I type this...
     
  4. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #4
    Could it be something besides the VM? AFAIK the VM is the only thing that can up and randomly consume large amounts of HD space. Can the system do this on a whim for some other reason?After a restart, I only have mail, firefox, and Activity monitor open. One of those or the system just ate 500mb of disk space, and did it while I had 770mb of free memory(RAM).
     
  5. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Grab a copy of OmniDiskSweeper (free) and check what's using your free space. Guessing doesn't fix things.

    <edit>
    Also the process with the large vsize is likely not running as your user. You need to pick "All Processes" in the show toolbar item in Activity Monitor.
    </edit>
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    i think the virtual memory of a process here is just how much could be allocated, it doesnt necessarily mean that a process it using all of that memory. and the VM size is just the total amount of these allocations.
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #7
    VM size has nothing to do with swapfile size. Swap files are stored in /var/vm, if you want to check what the real file size is (MUCH smaller). Basically, you're worrying about something you don't need to worry about. On my system, my VM size is 180.8GB, but the swapfiles are 68MB each (0 & 1). (I have 8GB of physical RAM.) Here's a brief (rather than pointing to the OS-X reference library) description of what's going on with that VM size number: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showpost.php?p=1189565&postcount=7

    Activity Monitor doesn't have a column for Virtual Memory Size - only Virtual Private Memory. If you inspect a process, you can get its Virtual Memory Size. For instance, Preview is showing 249.9MB VPM, but has a Virtual Memory Size of 2.92GB. So, if you're trying to add up the VPM to come up with the VM size, it will - as you've found out - come up short.

    If you're worried about swapping to disk too often (and the resultant slow-down), you can look at the ratio of page-ins vs. page-outs (you can get the number, rather than size, by using top in Terminal). If you have a relatively large number of page-outs (especially in a short amount of time), you might benefit from more physical RAM.

    edit: this too
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Why not reboot?

    If something is eating up your Virtual memory or your swap files have increased dramatically, just reboot. Your swap files will be deleted any programs that had memory leaks will be expunged from ram.
     
  9. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #9
    Thank you for the explanation of the different virtual memory areas. I was unaware that OSX (or all *nix?) Handle it this way.

    That said, noticing the size of the VM was a result of the actual problem, which is that any hard drive space I have, it being eaten up by something. I have 21mb available right now. Last night before I went to bed I had 500mb, when I wrote what I did last night I had 1 gig, which was after a restart. 2 days ago I cleared out close to 15 gigs of space and trashed it. I've downloaded nothing (in the traditional sense) since I cleared out those 15 gigs, and yet they are gone.

    So perhaps the VM size is not cause of the problem. But I believe I still have a problem.
     
  10. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #10
    Like I said, I did reboot and that didn't solve the problem. If it were just a memory leak, or just the VM acting normally, this would have solved it if not temporarily. It did not. So something else is happening.
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #11
    Check your /Library/logs/ and ~/Library/logs/ for a large log file. Perhaps there's a process generating continuous errors and filling up a log. You can also do a Spotlight search for large (say, >100mb) files. Be sure to include System files in the search.
     
  12. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Grab a copy of OmniDiskSweeper (free) and check what's using your disk space. Guessing doesn't fix things.

    Seriously. Why are people still guessing. This is pointless.
     
  13. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #13
    Guessing also doesn't hurt anything. Right now I'm at work and unable to try out ideas. Omni will only really help me if there is a large file, no?
    What if something is caching a bunch of little files?
    What if it is a problem outside of a tangible file?

    I'll try out all the guesses when I get home this evening (PST).

    Thanks everyone for the ideas!
    Cheers!
     
  14. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #14
    I think I found it. But I'm not sure how to fix it, I may start a new thread for it if I don't get much traction here.

    Mail.app is storing a bunch of "Recovered Messages" with names and extensions like 78769.emlx, all of which are exactly 26.3mb in size.

    According to the file creation dates, they started about 3 months ago, and download a bunch every so often. I currently have 57 gb of files in that folder.

    They also all appear to be of a single email. So I'm going to go to my IMAP server and try and find that email and delete it. I'm hoping that will work...
     

Share This Page