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9.10. Balloon Driver

The balloon driver allows guests to express to the hypervisor how much memory they require. The balloon driver allows the host to efficiently allocate and memory to the guest and allow free memory to be allocated to other guests and processes.

Guests using the balloon driver can mark sections of the guest’s RAM as not in use (balloon inflation). The hypervisor can free the memory and use the memory for other host processes or other guests on that host. When the guest requires the freed memory again, the hypervisor can reallocate RAM to the guest (balloon deflation).