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From John Haxby <>
Subject Re: Websphere and Dark Matter
Date Mon, 22 Jan 2007 15:52:45 GMT
Nadav Har'El wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2007, Rollo du Pre wrote about "Re: Websphere and Dark Matter":
>> I was hoping it would, yes. Does websphere not release memory back to 
>> the OS when it not longer needs it? I'm concerned that if the memory 
>> spiked for some reason (indexing a large document) then that would 
>> hamper the rest of the OS because it'd hold on to far more memory than 
>> is needed.
> This is a well known, may I say infamous, Java issue. Java could, in theory,
> easily shrink its heap as soon as it needs less memory, because in Java's GC
> model, memory can be moved around so fragmentation is not a problem. But
> unfortunately, the JVM's heap rarely does shrink by default: once the JVM's
> heap grows, it rarely ever shrinks back.
Are you implying that the process memory shrinks, that memory is 
returned to the kernel? I didn't read the page you referenced that way.

I know that if I allocate memory by memory mapping anonymous regions 
with Linux/Unix I can give it back, but is that the technique that JVMs use?

It's not generally a problem though. Provided you have a compacting 
garbage collector (and the Sun Java GC is one) then the unused memory 
will just get paged out. It may be a different story on windows and it's 
certainly a different story on an embedded platform, but releasing 
memory to the kernel under Linux is not generally necessary or desirable.


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