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Solaris™ Internals: Core Kernel Components by Richard McDougall, Jim Mauro

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5.1. Why Have a Virtual Memory System?

A virtual memory system offers the following benefits:

  • It presents a simple memory programming model to applications so that application developers need not know how the underlying memory hardware is arranged.

  • It allows processes to see linear ranges of bytes in their address space, regardless of the physical layout or fragmentation of the real memory.

  • It gives us a programming model with a larger memory size than available physical storage (e.g., RAM) and enables us to use slower but larger secondary storage (e.g., disk) as a backing store to hold the pieces of memory that don't fit in physical memory.

A virtual view of memory storage, known as an address space, is presented to the application while the ...

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