I have been a Linux user for four years. Recently, I have been using macOS and I see it has very efficient memory management compared to Linux.

For example, here is a description of the documents/apps I have open on a Mac Mini i5 1.4 GHz 8GB RAM 500 GB HDD @ 5400 RPM:

  • 40 pdfs
  • Blender
  • PowerPoint
  • Photos
  • iTunes
  • 12 Safari tabs
  • QuickTime video
  • Terminal
  • Maps
  • Sublime Text
  • Calendar

With these open the Mac showed 5.91 GB of RAM used.

My question is: What's different about the Mac that on Linux I can't even open half the apps with a machine with the same amount of memory and HD?

  • Repeat the test with only Qt-derived cross-platform apps and observe the exact opposite. Also: has your Linux memory compression enabled (zram)? Nov 16, 2017 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Most of the efficiency comes from large blocks of read-only memory being shared between applications. Most graphical Mac applications use common frameworks. Where possible macOS only loads one instance of a framework into memory.

For more about macOS memory management and organisation see:

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