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Old 01-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
AlastairSC
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enough memory?


Hi everyone,

My first post. Just wiped Windows on a Dell Inspiron 8000 and installed Ubuntu. Most things going well but ran GIMP today and noticed the dissolve very slow. Think I might need more memory? I typed $ free -m and got this:

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 497 483 14 0 15 215
-/+ buffers/cache: 251 245
Swap: 839 43 796



I take this to mean I have 500MB of memory but most of it is used up on something? Does this explain why opening new windows incurs a lag of a few seconds and my GIMP slideshow runs very slowly?


Any answers appreciated but please keep it simple - I was a pretty good Windows user but know very little about Linux.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 04:34 PM   #2
btmiller
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It does indeed look like you have 512 MB of memory (some of it is hardwaired by the kernel and not visible in free, which is why you see only 497 MB). Of your 497 MB of available memory, 383 MB are used. However, if you look at the second line of your output, you see that when buffer/cache memory is subtracted only 251 MB is in use. Linux actually tries to use as much of your memory as possible (after all, what good is having it if you don't use it?). However, in most cases much of the memory used is in buffers/caches which can be released to applications if needed. So it doesn't look like you're terribly short on memory. However, you seem to have 43 MB in swap. If you start seeing more and more swap usage, that's bad! Your system should swap rarely, if at all, since swap space on the hard disk is so much slower than RAM.

GIMP is a very processor and memory intensive application. It would be helpful if we knew a little more about your hardware (processor, graphics card, etc.) and what other software you're running.

All this being said, 512 MB is a bit on the low side these days for heavy graphics work. Bumping yourself up to 1 GB could be helpful.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
worm5252
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You only have 14MB of physical memory available and 796MB of your swap space available. That would explain your lag. Things will move much faster when being processed in physical memory.

Really an upgrade is up to you, I mean you are not at a system crippling state or anything.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
speck
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You have 245MB free out of 512MB (approximately 50% so that's OK), but you've used 43MB swap space (not so good). If you're comfortable working in a more minimalistic environment, I would suggest you use LXDE or just a window manager like Fluxbox instead of the full Gnome environment. That would certainly free up a good chunk of your 512MB, which could then be used for applications (like Gimp).
 
Old 01-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #5
AlastairSC
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Gosh thanks folks - I'm amazed to get such quick answers. I've googled my system and 500MB is the max, btmiller.

I've managed to install Irfanview and get it working so I can do basic image editing. I'm impressed with GIMP, though (Iview doesn't have a clone tool, for one thing) so I'd like to use this or perhaps some lighter Linux image editing software if there was something?

Speck, I don't know how to switch from full Gnome to LXDE or Fluxbox but I'd be happy to do it if I would still recognise the environment! (What I have now is similar to Windows so I'm getting comfortable with it, even using the occasional terminal command).

Perhaps someone could point me in the direction of how to do it, please? If I couldn't cope with it would I be able to switch back to my present environment and just accept things? It's an old laptop and I'm just glad it's still working at all!

Thanks again in advance to everyone - what a great forum!
 
Old 01-02-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
syg00
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Gimp is basically it - and it is hungry.
Better perhaps to toss Ubuntu, and maybe look at installing Xubuntu - a lighter Ubuntu that is pre-packaged. Seems 9.04 latest is available, but that may be a good thing given the problems with 9.10.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
MTK358
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Xubuntu is lighter because it uses the less resource-hungry Xfce desktop instead of GNOME.

You can also skip the whole desktop environment and go with a plain window manager.

http://www.xwinman.org/
 
Old 01-02-2010, 11:31 PM   #8
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlastairSC View Post
Perhaps someone could point me in the direction of how to do it, please? If I couldn't cope with it would I be able to switch back to my present environment and just accept things?
If done correctly, yes. In the terminal, type:

Code:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
When the installation is finished, reboot and select XFCE from the menu on the login screen and set it as your default environment. If you're not happy with it, simply select Gnome from the same menu at next startup.

Cheers

Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 01-02-2010 at 11:32 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
AlastairSC
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enough memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonslayer48dx View Post
If you're not happy with it, simply select Gnome from the same menu at next startup.
I am happy with the Xubuntu/Xfce setup - very happy. It's seems indistinguishable from the Gnome desktop. Is is possible to uninstall the ubuntu/gnome setup I had originally? I want to free up more disk space.

Thanks again.....
 
  


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