FortiGate Next Generation Firewall utilizes purpose-built security processors and threat intelligence security services from FortiGuard labs to deliver top-rated protection and high performance, including encrypted traffic.
Article Id 194874


This article describes general actions which could be taken and which information should be sent to Fortinet Support in case of unexpectedly entry of the unit into Conserve Mode, the unit is out of memory.







  1. Run the CLI command 'get system performance status'; the output will look similar to the sample below:

get system performance status
CPU states: 1% user 0% system 0% nice 99% idle 0% iowait 0% irq 0% softirq
CPU0 states: 1% user 0% system 0% nice 99% idle 0% iowait 0% irq 0% softirq
Memory: 2004540k total, 586528k used (29%), 1418012k free (71%)
Average network usage: 1 / 0 kbps in 1 minute, 0 / 0 kbps in 10 minutes, 0 / 0 kbps in 30 minutes
Average sessions: 25 sessions in 1 minute, 25 sessions in 10 minutes, 25 sessions in 30 minutes
Average session setup rate: 0 sessions per second in last 1 minute, 0 sessions per second in last 10 minutes, 0 sessions per second in last 30 minutes
Virus caught: 0 total in 1 minute
IPS attacks blocked: 0 total in 1 minute
Uptime: 0 days,  23 hours,  41 minutes


Run the command above a few times and compare patterns of memory usage, throughput and number of sessions.


  1. Check total memory usage on the output.

Memory: 2004540k total, 586528k used (29%), 1418012k free (71%)


If the used memory is more than 75%, this may indicate that a further check may be required.

The unit is either getting overloaded or there is a memory leak in some process/kernel or there is a lot of cached memory.

Check the amount of traffic and compare it to the data sheet (throughput section).

If it is too close, the device is likely to be overloaded and there is a sizing issue.

If the amount is vastly different between last 1 minute and last 30 minutes, this might indicate a traffic spike.

Average sessions: 25 sessions in 1 minute, 25 sessions in 10 minutes, 25 sessions in 30 minutes
Session table is stored in memory as well.

Higher number of sessions lead to higher memory usage.

FortiGate performance data sheet also defines the maximum number of sessions firewall can handle.


  1. Run the CLI command 'diagnose sys top 1 45' to find memory usage per process instance.

'1' stands for refreshing period in seconds
'45' stands for a number of processes displayed. See part of it as example below:  
Run Time:  0 days, 23 hours and 54 minutes
0U, 0N, 0S, 100I, 0WA, 0HI, 0SI, 0ST; 1957T, 1271F
         newcli      308      R       0.9     0.5
           sshd      305      S       0.9     0.5
        pyfcgid      142      S       0.0     2.0
        reportd      154      S       0.0     1.8
        cmdbsvr      120      S       0.0     1.4
        pyfcgid      184      S       0.0     1.2
        pyfcgid      186      S       0.0     1.2
        pyfcgid      185      S       0.0     1.2
      forticron      149      S       0.0     1.2
        miglogd      139      S       0.0     1.1
         httpsd      141      S       0.0     1.1
      scanunitd      158      S <     0.0     1.0


In order: process name, Process ID, Process state, CPU usage %, Memory usage %.
To sort the memory usage to find out which process is consuming the most memory resource, press Shift + M.


Check % of memory usage to see if any process is constantly using an unreasonably high fraction of memory, which may be the process causing the issue.

Note 1: Some processes can have multiple instances like 'pyfcgid' in the example above.

WAD and IPSengine are also such processes.

In such cases, sum up the total memory usage for all instances, and it should not exceed -20 - 25%, but it depends on the device and its total memory - for small devices with small amount of memory, it might be normal. Security Profile like Webfiltering, AV can increase the memory usage.

Note 2: In rare cases the output of the 'get system performance status' command can show that memory utilization is high (e.g. more than 90%), but at the same time 'diagnose sys top' command does not indicate any processes which is using memory.

This can indicate that memory is utilized by the kernel and/or being cached. 


  1. In order to speed up troubleshooting, run the commands below to gather all the relevant log needed:

get system status


get system performance status    <- Use this command three times leaving a time 1 minute between each execution.


diagnose sys top 2 40                        <- Let this command run for 1 minute, then stop it via ‘q’.
diagnose sys top-summary             
<- Let this command run for 1 minute, then stop it via ‘q’ - on FortiOS 6.4 this command does not exist.
diagnose hard sysinfo memory
diagnose hard sysinfo slab
diagnose hard sysinfo shm
diagnose hard sysinfo conserve
diagnose debug crashlog read     
         <- It lists all instances with timestamp for conserve modes and crashes, if any.

And these commands for each VDOM, if configured:


get log disk setting
get log disk filter
get log memory setting
get log memory filter



  1. One can try to restart the process by terminating the process to make FortiOS generate the new pid for the process: 'diagnose sys kill 11 <WAD_pid>'.
    Signal '11' is recommended when terminating the process since it will generate the crash log which can be observed later with the command 'diagnose debug crashlog read'.

This step is recommended after relevant logs are collected.


Meanwhile, The following script can be used when FortiGate starts entering to conserve mode and exits out of conserve mode once rebooted. 


config system auto-script 

     edit "performance" 

        set interval 60 <- Will run every minute.

        set repeat 3600 

        set start manual 

        set script " 

> execute time 

> get system performance status 

> get system ha status 

> diagnose hardware sysinfo memory 

> diagnose sys session full-stat 

> diagnose sys top 1 20 1" 

        set output-size 20 




To start the script:


execute auto-script start SCRIPT_NAME 


To stop the script:


execute auto-script stop SCRIPT_NAME 


To view results for the script:


execute auto-script result SCRIPT_NAME 


This will be helpful to find the process responsible for the high CPU/high memory pushing FortiGate to conserve mode at the time of incident. 


If the process is still consuming an abnormally large amount of memory resources, consider opening a Technical Support ticket ( and attaching the output to the ticket along with configuration and debug.log files while contacting Fortinet TAC (


The 'crashlog' might correlate with SNMP monitoring to have set up for this FortiGate.
External monitoring and recording like SNMP can greatly help to trace when such issues might have started.


Related article:

Technical Tip: How conserve mode is triggered.