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Can you explain a bit more how this works?

The `purge` command has a pretty short man page:

> purge -- force disk cache to be purged (flushed and emptied)

> Purge can be used to approximate initial boot conditions with a cold disk buffer cache for performance analysis. It does not affect anonymous memory that has been allocated through malloc, vm_allocate, etc.

[This seems to talk about it more: http://workstuff.tumblr.com/post/19036310553/two-things-that...

On my 10.5 laptop it didn't seem to dramatically decrease the memory marked "inactive".]

yeah, it's not directly attacking your 'inactive' memory. Just the disk cache, which shows up in the chart as 'inactive'. I'm not familiar with other cases that fit into the 'inactive' piece of the pie.

I have regularly seen 1-3G of ram get free'd up on a 'purge'

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