Saturday, 9 June 2007

Ways of reducing memory usage in linux disto

  • The condition where system spends most of its time shuffling data between physical memory and swap space is known as thrashing.
  • If you have very limited hardware, you may wan to look at a distribution like Damn Small Linux, which claims to run on systems with specs as low as a 486DX processor with 16MB of RAM.
  • Kubuntu sits somewhere in between Xubuntu and Ubuntu in terms of memory use.
  • It is often the case that the best memory savings come from using an app that is tightly integrated with your desktop environment(DE). This is because such apps make heavy use of shared libraries that are embedded into the DE and are most likely already loaded. If you are a GNOME user, you may want to think twice before you use that simple little KDE app you've had your eye on, as it is likely to load a whole host of libraries that only it will make use of.
  • Have appropriate expectations, when running with limited memory : For example, If you want to edit a collection of photos, don't open them all at the same time. This will only eat up memory unnecessarily. You would have a much easier time of it opening them one by one and closing them afterwards.
  • other methods of reducing memory usage :
    • recompile the kernel with including only the drivers that are needed by your system.
    • compiling & building apps for your needs (like removing unnecessary features) & appropriate levels code optimisation (the O levels) & for your target CPU architecture. Gentoo distro is best for these kinda things, they extensively use something called USE flags, which is useful for doing these kinda things. The law of diminishing returns applies here, doing these thing will results in more work & less gain in therms of memory usage.

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