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Understanding the Linux® Virtual Memory Manager by Mel Gorman

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Chapter 10. Page Frame Reclamation

A running system will eventually use all available page frames for purposes like disk buffers, dentries, inode entries, process pages and so on. Linux needs to select old pages that can be freed and invalidated for new uses before physical memory is exhausted. This chapter focuses exclusively on how Linux implements its page replacement policy and how different types of pages are invalidated.

The methods Linux uses to select pages are rather empirical in nature and the theory behind the approach is based on different ideas. It has been shown to work well in practice, and adjustments are made based on user feedback and benchmarks. The basics of the page replacement policy is the first item of discussion in this ...

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