Unaccounted memory usage when running Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a VMware guest

Solution Verified - Updated -

Issue

  • What is consuming all of the memory?
  • Unable to account for memory usage on a RHEL VMware guest :

    # free
                total      used        free     shared    buffers   cached
    Mem:       7927536    6071588    1855948       0      22428     209132
    -/+ buffers/cache:    5840028    2087508
    Swap:     12582896         92    12582804
    
  • System shows high memory usage even though applications are not allocating that much memory :

    # ps aux | tr -s ' ' | awk 'BEGIN{sum=0}{ sum+=$6 }END{print sum}'
    709340
    

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • VMware Virtual Platform ESX server
  • VMware Memory Control Driver ( vmmemctl.ko or vmware_balloon.ko )

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