I've noticed that my Linux system often has a noticeable amount of Dirty Memory, as reported by KDE System Monitor

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What does this Dirty Memory stands for? What is causing these values, and how can I deal with this (should I even bother)?


1 Answer 1


'Dirty' memory is memory representing data on disk that has been changed but has not yet been written out to disk. Among other things, it includes:

  • Memory containing buffered writes that have not been flushed to disk yet.
  • Regions of memory mapped files that have been updated but not written out to disk yet.
  • Pages that are in the process of being written to swap space but have changed since the system started writing them to swap space.

Having a few MB of dirty memory is normal on any reasonably busy system, and even spikes up to a few hundred MB are not unusual. The only time to really be worried about it is if it's consistently very high, which is usually a sign that your disks are a performance bottleneck for your system.

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