perl and shared memory

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I just can't get my head around shared memory.

I am writing a mail server in perl which uses Mail::SpamAssassin.
Spamassassin adds about 9Mb to the memory size of the server. The
question is, am I duplicating this 9Mb each time I fork a new server?
Or does perl use the same memory for both processes?

This is a partial output from running top:

 15888  15M 14916 SMTP Server

Since nearly all the memory used by the server is in the share column,
does that mean that the overhead in forking a process is very low? I'm
skeptical that each new server requires less than 1Mb of memory. Will
my performance increase if I use a separate SpamAssassin server, or is
this as efficient as it gets?

- Alex Hart

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