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Old 12-05-2018, 02:03 PM   #16
trafikpolisen
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Hmm, haven't thought of that, but I'm now working through every LTS release of Xubuntu on a VM with 2 Gigs or memory. I'll post my findings
 
Old 12-05-2018, 02:09 PM   #17
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did you read www.linuxatemyram.com already?
 
Old 12-05-2018, 02:15 PM   #18
trafikpolisen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan64 View Post
did you read www.linuxatemyram.com already?
I did not, but I have eyed through it now. But that reasonably has nothing to do with the fact that individual apps seem to use more and more memory.
 
Old 12-05-2018, 02:24 PM   #19
pan64
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yes, you are right.
Since Xubuntu 9.10 a lot of things were changed and a lot of new features are built-in now (into different tools).
Xubuntu 9.10 has been released on October 29, 2009
you can also compare a 10 years old car with something newer, and you will see something similar.

But if you want to get a really correct answer you need to check and compare the source code (and also the compiler).
 
Old 12-05-2018, 02:53 PM   #20
ondoho
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granted, this trend definitely exists.
one of these days, the system i currently use happily won't be able to run any sort of halfway decent linux desktop anymore. like my 10-year-old laptop, that still works well as a server though.

BUT:

i use an up-to-date system with many gtk3 apps etc. and my used RAM hardly ever hits 1GB (as reported by conky), even while browsing the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
Here's a few random comparisons:
Network Manager was 592 KB, now 16,3 MB
Thunar was 1,3 MB, now 12,6 MB
xfdesktop was 6,1 MB, now 34,9 MB
xfce4-session was 1,2 MB, now 13,5 MB
unfortunately the things that eat up most space are often those that do not contribute to functionality:
images and other media, and gui toolkits.

but some of it is probably also improved functionality; esp. with networkmanager i can imagine that it could benefit from a large database of supported hardware, ISPs and whatnot.

linux is getting better all the time, and to some extent that also means larger packages.

you'd have to inspect the packages' contents a bit closer to make a fair assessment.
 
Old 12-05-2018, 05:19 PM   #21
trafikpolisen
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Ok.. I'm now done with my little experiment. I've installed every version on a VM with 2 Gigs memory and then changed the display settings to the native resolution of my monitor, installed Gnome system monitor, rebooted the VM, started a terminal, then let it sit for a while before running the "free" command, then closing the terminal and starting Gnome system monitor. All versions except the last two ones are i386.

I guess that "available" in newer versions of free is the same as "-/+ buffers/cache free" in older versions. And if you take the total minus what Gnome system monitor is reporting, you get very close to the "available" number in free.

Anyway, seems like a gradual increase and it also seems that 64-bit versions are little more heavy on memory.

Here are the results:
Click image for larger version

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Old 12-06-2018, 07:11 PM   #22
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
Why is it that a just booted fresh install of for example Linux Mint or Xubuntu uses 600-700 MB+ of memory, when not THAT long ago Ubuntu or Xubuntu used only a bit above 100 MB with no programs launched? Even distros today marketed as lightweight seems to use wasteful amounts of memory for (me at least) no obvious reasons.
This got me thinking, so I installed old Xubuntu 9.10 on a VM, followed by the latest LTS version of the same system, 18.04.

Here's a few random comparisons:
Network Manager was 592 KB, now 16,3 MB
Thunar was 1,3 MB, now 12,6 MB
xfdesktop was 6,1 MB, now 34,9 MB
xfce4-session was 1,2 MB, now 13,5 MB

The systems back then felt just as usable and visually appealing as they do today (at least to me), but with a fraction of the memory consumption. Yes, memory may come in abundance these days, but why use for example 28 MB (galculator) when the job could probably be done with a MB or two?

One of the reasons I switched from Windows to Linux was how fast, efficient and lightweight Linux was compared to Windows back then. Might still be faster and more efficient, but when it comes to memory usage, the difference seems smaller these days.

And don't get me started on smartphones. Why does for example Spotify, an ONLINE music service, hog up almost 7 GB? Just seems stupid.. Yes, I know this is storage and not RAM, but it's still interesting..

When the car manufacturers design a car, they want it as efficient as possible to consume as little petrol as possible. When chip companies designs CPU's, they probably wan't them to use as little power as possible in relation to performance. Why couldn't the same philosophy apply to software?

Can someone explain this?
here something to nibble on

Quote:
9wm is an open source stacking window manager for X11, written by David Hogan (dhog) in 1994 to emulate the Plan 9 Second
Edition window manager, 8. Many later minimalist window managers for X were either inspired by, or directly derived from, 9wm. 9wm takes only 0.4 MB in RAM
 
Old 12-06-2018, 09:52 PM   #23
JWJones
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What services do you have running at startup? That could be a key factor. Things are definitely getting more bloated in the Linux world, but it doesn't have to be that way.

My ThinkPad running Gentoo with fvwm (64-bit) with 8GB RAM idles at about 60MB of RAM after startup, but it's very lean, with no middle-ware. My Slackware system (64-bit) with 8GB of RAM and xfce idles at about 250MB. Even my Kubuntu system with Plasma5 and 8GB of RAM idles at about 350MB.

Last edited by JWJones; 12-06-2018 at 10:02 PM. Reason: clarity
 
Old 12-06-2018, 10:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
here something to nibble on
I think TinyWM still holds the crown for lowest RAM usage for WMs:

(source)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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ID:	29108  
 
Old 12-07-2018, 01:59 AM   #25
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWJones View Post
I think TinyWM still holds the crown for lowest RAM usage for WMs:
it's not much of a crown if you can't do anything with it (keybinds, menus, tiling, floating, stacking, etc.).
people always forget that when making these comparisons.

strangely, nobody compares how fast and responsive a window manager is. probably because it's much harder to measure.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:33 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
it's not much of a crown if you can't do anything with it (keybinds, menus, tiling, floating, stacking, etc.).
people always forget that when making these comparisons.

strangely, nobody compares how fast and responsive a window manager is. probably because it's much harder to measure.
It's a simple matter to use xbindkeys to do this. But yes, I agree about the responsiveness.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:06 AM   #27
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yes but some of them minimal wm have only one dt, no VDT.
 
Old 12-07-2018, 10:59 AM   #28
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Some have said it before but as software development technology progresses, developers add cool features, additional functionality, and this uses memory. Non-used memory is wasted. Hardware is cheap these days. I have modern hardware and a ton of resources, but I still use a lightweight window manager because I like it. The fluff and functionality (and massive complexity) of a full DE are meaningless to me because I can do everything I need with the tools I have.

Buy more ram if you need more...not sure what else to say about that.
 
Old 12-07-2018, 02:37 PM   #29
jsbjsb001
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It's an interesting thread and question, as well as some interesting replies too.

To me, it's horses for courses. Are you really going to expect KDE/MATE/Cinnamon/etc to run smoothly on a old machine with little RAM? Probably not. So how would you expect it to begin with?

There is one major misconception I see all the time - particularly with people that don't understand how computers work (not referring to anyone here BTW). This misconception is that; by virtue of adding more RAM, this is going "make your machine faster". Yes, if it hasn't got enough RAM for your use case, yes, it should make a noticeable improvement in it's performance. But take my machine, it's already got 8GiB of RAM, it barely uses even just half a quarter of it without any VM's running - even then I could still run at least a few VM's before it even starts getting close to running low on RAM. So in that case, NO, it would not make any discernible difference.

But yet, the misconception remains...
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:02 PM   #30
Myk267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
Here's a few random comparisons:
Network Manager was 592 KB, now 16,3 MB
Thunar was 1,3 MB, now 12,6 MB
xfdesktop was 6,1 MB, now 34,9 MB
xfce4-session was 1,2 MB, now 13,5 MB
Are these the measurements of these programs in memory?

If so, there's some interesting differences. My Debian 9 NetworkManager instance reports 3.5 MB in Top, but on my Fedora driven laptop it's 5.9 MB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
When the car manufacturers design a car, they want it as efficient as possible to consume as little petrol as possible. When chip companies designs CPU's, they probably wan't them to use as little power as possible in relation to performance. Why couldn't the same philosophy apply to software?
Cars aren't only 'as efficient as possible'. They're engineered to meet numerous targets: safety, looks, mileage, comfort, interior space, other creature comforts, etc. If they weren't, we would indeed live in the world of solar panels fixed to a minimal chassis*. All of those details add up to 'effective transportation', just like all the widgets in Thunar add up to an effective file management tool, at least to whomever dared add such features.

* Browse your search engine's image results for 'solar car'; those things are definitely out of the ordinary.

Storing everything into RAM is, or has been, way faster than reading it off of the disk. Here's some measurements of relative memory latency https://gist.github.com/jboner/2841832 (or a cute graphical version https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~rc...e_latency.html). It's possible that a displacement of spinning disks by solid state drives might change some things. A 1ms read from a SSD is quite an improvement over 20 ms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
Why couldn't the same philosophy apply to software?
You can setup a computer that way. Most Unix-like userland tools are setup to keep very little in RAM. So get good and comfortable piping programs together to output to the console.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
Non-used memory is wasted.
Mostly agree, but: OOM and OOM-like situations are a disaster.
 
  


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