Varnish memory consumption issues?

pub crawler at
Wed Sep 2 15:36:25 CEST 2009

Thanks Kristian for the explanation.

I posted this, and I believe it likely was our issue - perhaps not
starting Cherokee with proper parameters included. Our configuration
is pretty barbones default per se.

What is troubling is 153GB is more resources than this machine has RAM
+ disk combined. Stumped as to how Varnish or the OS would allocate
all this memory when the resources not there.

It's worth noting that we changed our commandline to spawn Varnish and
Varnish seems to be more reasonable with memory now:
5775 nobody    20   0 4363m 169m 162m S    1  8.6   1:00.03 varnishd

4GB is the size of the cache file we setup for Cherokee so VIRT is
right on consumption wise.  RES memory at 169m is quite fine /
reasonable also. These numbers seem to what others experience right?


On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 9:25 AM, Kristian
Lyngstol<kristian at> wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 12:09:15AM -0400, pub crawler wrote:
>> Hello, new to Varnish.
>> We have been running Varnish for about 5 days now. So far, excellent product.
>> We have a potential issue and I haven't seen anything like this before.
>> We just restarted Varnish - we have a 1GB cache file on disk. When I
>> run top, I see Varnish is using :
>> 10m RES
>> 153g VIRT
> I'll leave a more detail explanation to PHK or someone more experienced
> with the deep magics of a VM, but the 10m is the real memory consumption
> which I'm sure top/free can confirm.
> Though 153G seem very high for VIRT. What I usually see is VIRT = 2x cache
> size, or thereabouts, but that might not be conclusive.
> Do you care to paste your startup arguments and parameters?
> --
> Kristian Lyngstøl
> Redpill Linpro AS
> Tlf: +47 21544179
> Mob: +47 99014497

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