VMWare not releasing memory? Kernel_task??

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ddoonie, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. ddoonie macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    Is this normal?

    System: MBP 2.4ghz, with 2gb of ram.

    I just installed VMWare, with windows XP today. 512mb of Ram is allocated to it, and uses it as expected when it is running. I suspended the session (VMWare), and in my activity monitor the kernel_text releases the majority of active ram but keeps 170 of real memory, 1.2gb of virtual memory, and 6% cpu usage.

    I figured it was due to me suspending it, so opened up vmware, and shut it down. But my activity monitor showed the same results.

    Is there anyway i can get my real memory released? I understand it will keep the virtual memory for the cache, but the program is not running, why wont it release my real memory?

    It isnt a HUGE deal, but still, i dont like inefficiencies in my system. Can anyone please educate me?

    Thank you for your patience!

    ps. rebooted the computer, and still have my kernel task up there with 4% cpu usage, 62 threads, 84 real memory, and 1.16gb of virtual. Should this not be released after a reboot, at the very least??

    pps. Can anyone tell me what their stats are for the kernel_task, just something i can reference mine too?
  2. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I posted a similar question here:


    My issue, I thought was with FF3.

    However, my kernel_task seems to be getting larger and larger. My MacBook has been on for 10 hours and it's up to 157mb right now.

    I just don't remember having this issue before.
  3. ddoonie thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    Very interesting. I have recently installed FF3 as well... could this be the culprit?
  4. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I think it might be, but I'm no expert.

    Earlier today, I had (chose) to restart my MacBook because the kernel_task was using 300mb RAM. :eek:

    I know I was fine before FF3.
  5. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I just started up my Fusion with my bootcamp of XP SP3 to see how much my kernel_task goes up.

    I have Fusion set up to use 1.5 g RAM.
  6. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I hope my MacBook doesn't implode...my temp is at 180 F!!!!
  7. ddoonie thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    180 FFFFF that is ridiculous! What speeds are your fans running at? Are you only running FF3 and VMWare?

    Check your activity monitor, with all proceses selected (drop down on the top right), and sort by cpu usage, what is using the most, and how much?

    So right now our issue could possibly be either vmware or firefox, as we share those programs...
  8. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Now I'm at 151, fans at 2297 rpm.

    I am using 201 mb VMware, 161 mb kernel_task, 148 mb FF3.
  9. ddoonie thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    i'm going to close my firefox, and run vmware, quit it after say 30 minuts and see what my kernel creeps up to. right now it is at a normal level 70mb real memory, 1.15 virtual, 9%cpu.


    interestingly enough, vmware did not have much effect on my kernel_task. Will try out ff3 tonight...
  10. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    If the kernel_task isn't releasing memory, then that sounds like a classic case of a memory leak. Not much you can do about memory leaks, unless something is hooking into the kernel. I don't know much about Mac OS X's kernel and programs that might hook into it, but I know in Windows, Norton and a few other programs liked to hook into the kernel (which was extremely annoying and unnecessary IMO).

    I believe I read a few years ago that Firefox would ramp up the memory usage for Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) giving Firefox the appearance of using less memory, when in fact it was just loading stuff into explorer.exe. I don't know if this is still happening and I'm not sure about the validity of the claim and with FF3.
  11. ddoonie thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    asking around the discussion forums, this may explain why my memory is not immediately released.


    specifically this

    "Wired memory is not immediately released back to the free list when it becomes invalid. Instead it is “garbage collected” when the free-page count falls below the threshold that triggers page out events."

    What is filling up my kernel_task, no clue, but this is why the wired memory is not released when the programs are quit.

    from my basic understanding of course.

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