X Windows memory consumption

X Windows memory consumption

Post by gmarkovi » Tue, 19 Feb 2002 20:31:02



I have installed RedHat 7.2 with GNOME desktop.
Is it possible that it allocates 240MB of RAM. I have heard a lot of stories
about Linux that it can run  even on 486 with 32 MB of RAM ??!?
How can I reduce the RAM consumption?
Best Regards
Goran
 
 
 

X Windows memory consumption

Post by Hal Burgis » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 01:11:19



> I have installed RedHat 7.2 with GNOME desktop.
> Is it possible that it allocates 240MB of RAM. I have heard a lot of stories
> about Linux that it can run  even on 486 with 32 MB of RAM ??!?

I have a box that runs on 6Meg (no X though). I've run X reasonably well
on 16M too. There are two factors here...one is that if you run a bunch
of memory hungry applications that actually require more than 32M,
something has to give. So if you are running X with a lot of big apps,
and a lot of eye candy, you are using apps that *need* memory. Linux per
se might not, but the apps have their own ideas. The other is that Linux
assumes you bought that RAM for a reason, and it will use as much as it
can so it doesn't go to waste. This is really 'normal' for Linux memory
management. A lot of that seemingly excessive usage is actually used for
buffers and cache to help performance. That part is scalable, so if you
didn't have as much RAM, it would not try to use as much either. Not to
worry. Also, I think ps and top report video memory as well, which
distorts things a bit too.

Quote:> How can I reduce the RAM consumption?

Reduce RAM :)

--
Hal Burgiss

 
 
 

X Windows memory consumption

Post by Alexander Boulgak » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 13:24:04



> I have installed RedHat 7.2 with GNOME desktop.
> Is it possible that it allocates 240MB of RAM. I have heard a lot of stories
> about Linux that it can run  even on 486 with 32 MB of RAM ??!?
> How can I reduce the RAM consumption?
> Best Regards
> Goran

It is true that Linux can run on even a measily 386. If you are using
a 486 (or any other computer, for that matter) the best way to save
memory is turn off Gnome/KDE (this is a desktop, not in any way
necessary for X), since these envioronments are bloatware you don't
need. Use fvwm, it is flexible yet small, or some other small simple
wm without any desktop.Also, if you use XFree86, check out   all of
their X servers, since some are specially made for smaller memory
consumption (these may, however, limit you a bit with
colors/resolution). If you use a major distro like rh/suse, they
should have packages like XFree86-Mono (for monochrome) or XF86-SVGA
or XF86-VGA16, etc. These should in theory consume less if you are
desperate.
 
 
 

1. memory consumption and X-windows

I am running ELF version 1.2.13 with 28 MB of RAM on a 486 dx2 system.
This system ran perfectly fine until I added 16 MB of ram (originally I
had only 12MB of ram).  I booted up linux with the floppy and tried to
start X-windows using startx.  The system just hung up - with no way to
get out. ctr-alt-del won't work and I had to press reset.  I tried this
time and again and the same thing happened. Finally I got the system to
boot and checked the free memory.  It reported that of the 28 MB ram all
excepting around some 1 MB is free!  This just doesn't make sense.  I
dont't have a clue what went wrong?

The kernel I am using is a recompiled one.  I clearly remember opting
out of the 16 MB limit while doing a make config before kernel compile.
I then tried to boot with the kernel which came with the installation.
Again the same problem.  I tried booting up with with the boot disk from
the boot/root disk combo.  I got the system to boot but got some warning
that there is a kernel mismatch (1.2.8 versus 1.2.13).   Otherwise
everything looked fine.  I found that the system is using only 5MB and
the rest is free.  When I tried to start X, it still hung up on me.
I could never recompile the kernel.  It crashed somewhere in the middle.
I have recompiled kernels in the past and so know for sure that I was
just following the procedure.  

If anyone can give me some suggestions, it will be very helpful.

You can reach me at this email address or at

thanks
Jay Raghavan

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