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Virtual memory / Resident memory of server

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http://forums.opensuse.org – Dear, we found that if we use 'top' to show the memory usage of a server (SuSe Linux 10), we can get virtual memory usage as well as 'Resident memory' usage. For virtual mem or a particular process, it is around 1.1GB, which is large but for resident memory, it only consumes 300MB. Are there anyone who knows what the differences are? I would also like to know whether the difference (1.1GB - 300MB) = 800MB are actually available for use by other applications in the system. Thanks (Distributions)