Linux, RAM usage

This is a discussion on Linux, RAM usage within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I just installed a fresh new copy of Arch Linux 0.6 on a computer at home, and I noticed that ...

  1. #1
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    Linux, RAM usage

    I just installed a fresh new copy of Arch Linux 0.6 on a computer at home, and I noticed that it was running kind of slow in X. I did a procinfo and found that I only had 2 out of 256 MB of RAM free! I had nothing but the standard linux stuff running and X. So I quit X and did another procinfo, it says I only have 30 out of 256MB of RAM free. I don't get it, I'm not running hardly anything at all. My output from ps -A doesn't show anything that would take that much RAM. I'm running a very small kernel, I disabled a lot in it.

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    Try running 'top'. I believe that it shows RAM usage.
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

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    Registered User TravisS's Avatar
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    Originally posted by XSquared
    Try running 'top'. I believe that it shows RAM usage.
    Yep, and it works great

    Linux is surprisingly RAM hungry. Well, not Linux itself but the apps.

    Currently I am running Firefox, Gedit, Thunderbird, GAIM, XMMS, and two Gnome-Terminals. Sure, it's a lot of stuff, but that is using up 251 MB of my 256 MB of RAM.

    OK, well those are the apps I'm directly using, but I do have a total of 76 processes. Oh, and I'm using Blackbox window manager, which is one of the lightest around. With no additional GUI apps (ones listed above) I use roughly 90 MB of RAM.

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    Registered User linuxdude's Avatar
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    another useful app is ps -ax

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    And if you want ps to show the owner of the process, use 'ps aux', and if you want to see it's mem/cpu usage, use 'ps awx'. Both: 'ps auwx'.
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

    You. Fetch me my copy of the Wall Street Journal. You two, fight to the death - Stewie

  6. #6
    'AlHamdulillah
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    Linux is surprisingly RAM hungry. Well, not Linux itself but the apps.
    depends on the distro, I run Gentoo linux on my laptop and I usually run 2 windows of firefox, 2 terminals(so I can look at header and source files of my projects),gaim, gmplayer, gtk-gnutella, as well as aMule and it only fills up around 135-170 megs of my 512 mb sdram. You do not have fully optimized applications if you use binary files, so listing your OS Travis might help.

    To OP:

    can you give a link to archlinux so we can see with distro it is based off of, if any?

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    Registered User TravisS's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EvBladeRunnervE
    depends on the distro, I run Gentoo linux on my laptop and I usually run 2 windows of firefox, 2 terminals(so I can look at header and source files of my projects),gaim, gmplayer, gtk-gnutella, as well as aMule and it only fills up around 135-170 megs of my 512 mb sdram. You do not have fully optimized applications if you use binary files, so listing your OS Travis might help.
    Based on Redhat 9 but with 2.6 kernel and blackbox window manager.

    I'm not too concerned with it, since it very rarely actually goes into swap, but I am riding on the edge

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    Don't worry about it. A huge percentage of that is cached memory. For example I have 196 megs of memory, and free reports that I have 3.5 megs free. Dig a little further and I find out that 57 megs of that is cached, and almost none of my swap space is used (and I don't think I've ever seen it use the cache like Windows reguarly does).

    MemTotal: 190108 kB
    MemFree: 3572kB
    MemShared: 0kB
    Buffers: 2740kB
    Cached: 56868kB
    SwapCached: 1600kB
    Active: 47140kB
    Inactive: 14068kB
    HighTotal: 0kB
    HighFree: 0kB
    LowTotal: 190108kB
    LowFree: 3572kB
    SwapTotal: 264560kB
    SwapFree: 236484kB

    Linux will happily eat up as much memory as it safely can in order to run well. No biggie, that's just one of the many reasons it runs so much faster/better than Windows.

    Note - got that info off tmon 1.3, a nifty little app for SuperKaramba, if anyone's wondering.

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    When I started up XMMS with Fluxbox and nothing else running, I had swap space used up. So it is going into swap.

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    Registered User linuxdude's Avatar
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    linux uses part of the swap even though all of the memory is not in use.

  11. #11
    A Banana Yoshi's Avatar
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    485 MB out of 512 MB used... WOW, I am good.
    Yoshi

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