Odd long-term cycle of memory usage

  • Hi,
    I've had a pfSense installation running for the past ~5 months and am really enjoying it - I've never used such a capable firewall/router platform. It rocks!
    I've run into an odd issue though - the attached RRD graph shows it better. EDIT: Here is a link to a 3-month graph: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yem29abds2p3dmu/Aug_26_PFSENSE_3month_status_rrd_graph_img.png

    Is this something to worry about? I have Dansguardian, Squid, pfBlocker, (sometimes) darkstat, and OpenVPN running. 3GBs of RAM. Sometimes performance goes down without explanation; I'll admit that I'm still messing around and tinkering with things, but most of the time things work fine.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  • Mine does the exact same thing.  Never actually maxes out but will climb up to 75% percent memory usage or so, then suddenly drop back down to 30% and just keep going.  No resets required or anything - no ill effects.  I keep a great big chunk of available ram allocated to squid cache.

    I always figured its a harmless effect of the way pfsense marks the memory.  Looks like Free and Inactive just trading places.

  • It's alive!

    ![2013-08-26 20-43-01.png](/public/imported_attachments/1/2013-08-26 20-43-01.png)
    ![2013-08-26 20-43-01.png_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/2013-08-26 20-43-01.png_thumb)

  • Looking somewhat like a giant (insert noun of choice).

    I was thinking "squid" myself…

  • Banned


    I was thinking "squid" myself…

    Meanwhile, back on topic, the usual answer to this would be "unused RAM == wasted money".

  • Yeah - I agree.  I'd love to be able to keep 75% or so of ram in use at all times, but when I allocate more than 50% or so to squid, pfsense stops playing nice with me.  Maybe it will be a different story on 2.1.

  • Thanks for the replies, my mind is now at ease!

    Maybe I can give Squid some more memory - I was getting some really bad slowdowns where users couldn't browse the web at all, and so as part of my troubleshooting I took memory from Squid. Found out a few days ago that it was actually a Layer7 filter to catch torrent traffic - that was queuing into the ack queue (!!!). All fine… Torrent starts, web browsing grinds to a halt.
    Finally got traffic shaping working well enough... PfSense rocks  :)

    Thanks for the help,

  • Yeah - Don't go too crazy with how much RAM you give squid cache.  The Docs recommend no more than 1/2 and I've tried it higher and it was sort of flakey.  I'm only running 4GB on my home router.  Perhaps if you have 8 or 12 GB or more, you can allocate alot more than half.  Not sure.

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