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I have a long-running process that also uses pretty much amount of memory with frequent memory allocation and deallocation.

The Resident memory size (RES on top command) is between 15~20 GB. However, the Virtual memory size (VIRT on top command) keeps increasing from 10~20 GB over 100 GB.

The program is not crashed, but I wonder (1) why does VIRT size increase? (2) can it cause any problem on the program?

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(1) why does VIRT size increase?

It might be due to memory fragmentation and/or a memory leak, i.e. some memory areas might never be freed.

(2) can it cause any problem on the program?

If the increase never stops, virtual memory might eventually be exhausted causing the program crashing. This will happen faster if you use an OS that doesn't overcommit memory.

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