[vbox-dev] Releasing memory to the host

Vivek Thakkar vivekt.vivek at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 11:10:07 GMT 2020


We are running a 32 bit linux guest on a 64 bit windows host using VBox.
Although the guest is configured with 4 GB RAM, it usually consumes around
700-800 MB in steady state. However, during bootup the guest may use around
1.5 GB RAM. Even otherwise, we expect that there would be some peak memory
usage that may happen in the guest but in a steady state very less memory
would be used.
Currently, the VBox doesn't seem to free up the memory (allocated for the
guest context) to the host even if the peak load has passed as there is no
guest to host interface that would tell the hypervisor to free up the
memory. If we are okay with paravirtualization of the guest, would it be
possible to modify VBox to release this memory to the host? How can we do
it - any pointers on this would be really helpful.

Our main objective is to release the memory pressure on the host, so that
it doesn't impact the system performance (other apps on the host can use
the extra memory for its allocations without paging).

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