Recently I came across an application in my workplace which is still under test phrase thrashing cache on RedHat linux servers badly. If this application would run for an hour+ the Server would start slowing down and the only way out was restart the linux server.
Then I came across this:
Writing to this will cause the kernel to drop clean caches, dentries and inodes from memory, causing that memory to become free.
To free pagecache:
* echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
To free dentries and inodes:
* echo 2 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
To free pagecache, dentries and inodes:
* echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
As this is a non-destructive operation, and dirty objects are not freeable, the user should run “sync” first in order to make sure all cached objects are freed.