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#1 2015-10-17 20:56:16

hhh
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jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

My general impression is that jessie with systemd holds onto a bit more RAM than wheezy with initd, so that even if you boot into a sub-100MB desktop it won't stay there for long. Open a browser and a file manager and let jessie cache some thumbnails, boom, your using 150MB RAM.

I was curious what everyone's experience has been, what importance you give to RAM usage at boot, etc...

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#2 2015-10-17 21:27:33

ghorvath
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

I have a laptop with 512 MB memory that I updated once to jessie and the memory usage went basically double. That is, without X it was using around fifty-something MiB on Crunchbang, and around 120 MiB with pure jessie. Went back to Crunchbang on that particular machine the next day. :-)

My other laptop with a freshly installed BL-rc1 uses 376 MiB RAM with iceweasel open only with this forum and another xterm. Well yeah, iceweasel eats up memory fast.... After a reboot and login the machine starts up with 190 MiB used RAM (out of 2 GiB).

BTW, I always had the feeling that the more memory you have, the more the OS is willing to use up.

Last edited by ghorvath (2015-10-17 21:30:33)

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#3 2015-10-17 21:33:35

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

I'm asking about performance. Was the jessie upgrade unusable, or did you trash it because you saw the RAM usage was higher?

Yes, more available RAM equals more RAM used, that's by design in Linux, I believe.

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#4 2015-10-17 21:35:49

Head_on_a_Stick
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

ghorvath wrote:

I always had the feeling that the more memory you have, the more the OS is willing to use up.

http://www.linuxatemyram.com/

@hhh -- does BL use less memory if you start it with sysvinit rather than systemd?
https://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianU … _Jessie.3F

My jessie system has GNOME so I can't tell...


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#5 2015-10-17 21:48:08

ghorvath
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

hhh wrote:

I'm asking about performance. Was the jessie upgrade unusable, or did you trash it because you saw the RAM usage was higher?

Yes and no. Somehow the update to jessie did not go smooth, even though I followed the advices I found on the #! forum pages. I did not manage to get the X working on the updated jessie system. This is an old laptop, mainly used for playing music for my wife when she is doing the laundry. It still would have worked fine for that, but she does not like to use only CLI, she wants a GUI. And when I saw that the CLI uses double RAM compared to #!, and that wheezy will be supported for several more years, anyway, then I decided to put #! back, track wheezy on it and only update to jessie when wheezy is not supported anymore. It was definitely faster than to properly troubleshoot the GUI problem, even though I cannot boot from USB natively with that laptop and needed to use a GRUB menuitem to boot the install from the USB stick.

As for the bootup time: it boots for more than 1 minute, which is almost unbearable for me (my other machines have SSD and BL boots in about 5 seconds), but it booted at least for 1 minute with systemd jessie, as well. I did not time it, sorry, so I am unsure about which was faster.

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#6 2015-10-17 21:48:53

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

@HoaS, I haven't checked, I'll post back since that's a fair question.

BL sucks up some RAM because of the damn systray applets... volti, clipit and nm-applet are absolute pigs. So swap pnmixer for volti, kill clipit (optional; swap ceni for Network Manager) and RAM at boot drops by over 30MB (~105MB instead of ~137 at boot using the 32 bit ISO). But after an hour of uptime, jessie's using over 155MB at idle anyway and there's no loss in performance, that's my point.

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#7 2015-10-17 21:53:55

ghorvath
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
ghorvath wrote:

I always had the feeling that the more memory you have, the more the OS is willing to use up.

http://www.linuxatemyram.com/

In my numbers I was talking about the used memory, where disk cache is not included. I count cached memory as free.

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#8 2015-10-17 22:32:00

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

@hhh -- does BL use less memory if you start it with sysvinit rather than systemd?

A little less, yes. Systemd RC1 32 bit at idle 105 MB (as reported by conky, which itself uses ~8MB). Sysvinit, 100MB. The RAM usage after 10 minutes uptime, opening Thunar, terminator, a browser and closing them, is about identical (~130M).

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#9 2015-10-18 00:28:53

tknomanzr
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

This is the way I look at ram usage. It is ok for Linux to use all it wants until you start hitting swap. Let's face it, once stuff is cached in buffer, Linux is really freaking fast. Of course, having used Windows for roughly 20 years now, I subscribe to the belief that more ram is better and stack all of it I can on any machine I intend to use for any length of time. Both laptops have 6gb. One desktop has 16 GB and this desktop is running at 32gb, which I could stack to 128gb,  but I may have finally built a machine where more ram might actually be overkill.

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#10 2015-10-18 06:25:13

ohnonot
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

generally speaking, yes, i experience that over time (even) linux is using more and more resources on my machines.
the sort of installation i'm using now probably uses more resources than the first linux distros some 10,15years ago, even though it is light.
what was considered a full-fledged desktop just a few years ago (gnome2, ubuntu 10.04 was my first installation) is now considered lightweight.

but:
when you say "jessie is using more ram" - what do you mean? an install of debian jessie with the default kde desktop? a netinstall without X, without ssh or any daemons? bunsenlabs?
and of course applications have developed, too. web browsers - it's the single biggest resource hog on my system. and even then it very much depends on what sort of web pages i open and how many.
so what you observe could very well be your habits just as much as debian.
plus the "linuxatemyram" thing, but that's nothing new.

so, unless you're measurements are very, very precise, this is mostly speculation and a pleasant chat about the weather or politics on a sunday.

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#11 2015-10-18 07:00:07

nobody0
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

When an app start up, its a process and those processes are in the ram, so its good to have more ram. The performance depends on how fast the ram chips are and how fast they can react with the processor. I don't know, whether you can buy 512 MB ram chips these days. New apps are getting more and more bigger these days, and the processes accordingly.

Using old comps might be considered cool, but if you do so, you'd have to use old, the so-called unsupported OSs with their thinner apps/processes. Those OSs stil work and work well. Having a lean system is not to have many (unnecessary ?) processes running in the background. Some processes can be called, when necessary.

Last edited by nobody0 (2015-10-18 13:50:30)

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#12 2015-10-18 08:05:47

ghorvath
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

My old laptop is from the end of the 90s, i.e. more than 15 years old. And it is still useful, even if only for playing music, and its capabilities are less than a raspberry pi nowadays. However, I do not like to throw away stuff just because I have the money to buy new ones. Further, I would hardly say the OS it runs is unsupported, as it is a wheezy-fied Crunchbang, that is it will be supported until 2018.

Of course, I do not do webbrowsing with it, but I could easily use LaTeX on it if I wanted to, and that would basically mean 80% of my needs on a (work) machine. Video play is really bad, but I even managed to get flash working in a slow and laggy way despite the non-sse2 cpu.

But you are right. I mostly did it because it is cool. :-) I could have bought a raspberry pi and be done with it.

As for the comparison: as I mentioned in my earlier post, I only checked the memory state straight after boot, and without GUI, nothing else.

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#13 2015-10-18 12:55:28

nobody0
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

Old is gold!
If you cut down some auto starting processes, you'd still use your laptop for web browsing. I'm sure it is still a very good machine.
Crunchbang would work even after 2018, even without the "official" support.  "If it works, don't fix it" is the best I heard in Linux.

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#14 2015-10-18 13:20:20

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

ohnonot wrote:

so, unless you're measurements are very, very precise, this is mostly speculation and a pleasant chat about the weather or politics on a sunday.

Yes, it's based on what I called an "impression". There are some people who put a high priority on RAM usage at idle being low, I guess that's not really the case on this forum.

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#15 2015-10-18 15:15:56

pvsage
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

^ There are a few here who do, but most of us agree with what you said in the thread title: "So what?"  What matters is memory usage while actually doing work with the machine.


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#16 2015-10-18 17:10:46

Nili
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

Tweaking netinst of Jessie also Reduce Debian, also removing other stuff that i don't need i end up under 45MB Idle.

To be correct my system start with 31MB, but since i auto open from WM spectrwm a few terminals with apps i go to 70MB idle "app like ranger/weechat and stuff".

I don't know much Jessie in default without tweaks.

Installed this way (tweaked jessie), after learning tweaking Crunchbang.

I think Jessie 100MB may be correct as you noted, perhaps a little more heavy than Wheezy, (systemd, or other services are to blame about the weight)?

I mean with a few tweaks or replacement can reduced a lot but this applies more to personal usage rather than for measure.


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#17 2015-10-18 18:12:24

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

^Thanks for posting the ReduceDebian link, I had forgotten about that!

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#18 2015-10-18 18:22:52

nobody0
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

All processes work in RAM. There is no such thing as an idle state, when your OS boots up. The amount of RAM used at boot depend on the apps you or your distro wants to work on boot, the rest--opening other apps/the type of the apps--is up to you. It is not the amount of installed apps, but the amount of apps actually working at a given time, in other words, the amount of processes.

If you have another Linux OS installed in your hard disk, check its /proc and /sys directories, from your running install. You'd find nothing there, while the /proc and /sys directories of your running install would have lot of files in them.

If you need a good performance you need lot of RAM, and good quality RAM chips.

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#19 2015-10-18 18:33:33

Head_on_a_Stick
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

Nili wrote:

Awesome -- thank you!
smile


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#20 2015-10-18 19:33:03

brontosaurusrex
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

The more interesting question is why would any idle system need to take 100 megs of ram? (irc I did 3d rendering on a machine with 14 megs of ram some years ago)

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#21 2015-10-18 20:00:26

ohnonot
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

hhh wrote:

There are some people who put a high priority on RAM usage at idle being low

yes, i noticed that.
but then i think, it always depends on what i want/need the machine for and how much physical ram i have.
i mean, if it never goes beyond 10%, i can say: "i am the guru of ultimate linux ascetism", but what's the point?
me, i have a slow processor but enough ram, so cpu usage is more crucial, but the same principle applies: if you have it, use it.

i think that goes for linux development, too. devs code in a different way than ten years ago, because the typical use case has shifted, even if you allow for the typical linux user to have slightly older hardware.

because my hardware is pretty effing old, i use the LTS kernel, hoping that it has some damping effect on other applications, too.
in other words: i'm hoping that my system somehow becomes more lightweight or more suitable for old hardware.
i have never investigated how much factual truth there's in that, or of it's just superstition.

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#22 2015-10-18 20:25:57

nobody0
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

The apps are getting bloated, so the processes are getting bloated. Sometimes the "development" is making things more complicated. In the DOS days, there was a very good word processor called TAG in Poland, which of course was pushed out by MS Word.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA80uc4W0no  The RAM was 8 MB then.

Last edited by nobody0 (2015-10-18 20:26:30)

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#23 2015-10-18 21:14:15

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

brontosaurusrex wrote:

The more interesting question is why would any idle system need to take 100 megs of ram? (irc I did 3d rendering on a machine with 14 megs of ram some years ago)

In the case of BL, something like this...
Screenshot_10182015_05_06_26_PM.jpg
You'd see something similar if you were running, for instance, jessie mate or xfce4. So something approaching a DE.

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#24 2015-10-18 22:06:44

nobody0
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

^ The sum of RSS values need not be the actual RAM they're consuming. In your case, the scrot shows your system is using 130 MB of RAM, but the sum of the RSS is ~270 MB. Some child processes share the same RSS with the parent. Only, you scrot shows that some processes such as screenshooter, nm-applet, pnmixer, compton, lxtask, lightlocker should be not started automatically, but called on-demand, that is, if you have little RAM in your computer.

Last edited by nobody0 (2015-10-19 06:19:01)

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#25 2015-10-18 23:14:18

hhh
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Re: jessie sub-100MB RAM at boot

ostrolek wrote:

^ The sum of RSS values need not be the actual RAM they're consuming. In your case, the scrot shows your system is using 130 MB of RAM, but the sum of the RSS is ~270 MB.

Of course, you go by the graph, so 130 minus some for lxtask itself, or conky, or the terminal you run htop in, or however you monitor such things.

The rest of what you wrote is neither here nor there (in this case the processes are being started in ~/.config/autostart and ~/.config/openbox/autostart. xfce4-screen-shooter is there because I'm taking a screenshot and lxtask because I'm monitoring tasks *cough*).

I edited the thread title, it seemed unnecessarily flame-baitey.

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