Tired of guessing what 20 MB of RSS really means? Want numbers that give you statistics that aren't lies. Wait no longer. With a simple patch gnome-system-monitor version 2.14.2 gives useful information when combined with a modern kernel (in FC5, Ubuntu Dapper, or SUSE 10.1).
This new statistic is the
Writable Memory column in gnome-system-monitor. You may have to modify your preferences to expose this. This column gives you the private dirty RSS, the memory statistic which I've talked about in previous posts. This is the amount of memory that is private to your process, modified from the on disk version, and loaded into memory. The number is a very good indication of how much memory you are using.
Note how the Writable Memory column is less than the traditionally used RSS. This is becaused shared rss is not taken in to account.
I'd like to propose that we make One True Statistic for g-s-m: writable memory + X memory. This is an very accurate accounting of memory usage. I think it's as good as we can get without further kernel patches.