[kde-solaris] ... people are running KDE3 on systems with as little as 64MB for daily use.

Rolf Sponsel Rolf.Sponsel at kstr.lth.se
Wed Jan 28 11:41:45 CET 2004

Please bear with me ;-) this is *not* a flame.
I'm just trying to understand this better.

Obviously there is something that I
haven't understood yet about Solaris.

 From my understanding, for Solaris 2 (SPARC),
the *available memory* is RAM + SWAP (which
can be either on a separate partition, or
a swap file on any ordinary partition).

Additionally, the '/tmp' file system (by
default) is allocated from the space of
available memory.

Now, if one has a set of applications that
run fine on, let's say 128MB RAM (alt .5GB)
and 384MB SWAP (alt 1.5GB); then I don't
understand why that *same* set of applications
with the configuration .5GB (alt 2GB) and
0MB SWAP (alt 0GB) should *not* run fine.

Best Regards / Rolf

Ps. I could accept the "magic" fact that one
     needs a swap of about 3 times RAM, but I
     do not yet understan why. I'm sure it's
     explained somewhere, but so far I haven't
     managed to find that information/document.

Stefan Teleman wrote:

> The problems you are having are not related to RAM. They are directly 
> caused by the size of your swap partition, which is too small. If you 
> increase swap to at least 3 times core RAM, you will no longer have 
> these problems. I personally know of at least one person happily 
> running the same 3.1.4 binaries on an Ultra 5 with 256MB RAM, and 
> with a correctly sized swap (which in this particular case, is more 
> than 3 times RAM).
> Comparing identical software's memory footprint between 2 different 
> OS's running on different hardware architectures built with different 
> compilers is not relevant. Binaries at identical software release 
> numbers, from identical source code, will have different sizes on 
> different operating systems with different compilers.
> I cannot confirm any of these miniature KDE sizes running on Linux, 
> and i have been running KDE on Linux (RedHat) since KDE 2.2. 
> Currently, i am running 3.1.4, with the binary build downloaded from 
> KDE, on RedHat 9, on a 1.2GHz P4 with 512MB ThinkPad. It is 
> configured with 1.5GB swap. With only KMail, 4 xterms and one Konsole 
> running, i see a memory footprint of 420MB in use, and 170MB swap in 
> use, as reported by KSysguard (the swap could very well be some other 
> system stuff running in the background).
> These sizes are consistent with what i see on the Solaris build (it's 
> actually less on Solaris, for the same exact apps), and with what i 
> have seen with KDE 3.0.* on Linux.
> I also do not remember KDE 2.2 using less than 350MB RAM on Linux.
> Even with this resource footprint, this laptop performs very well its 
> additional duties of NFS and NIS server for my 2 Sun boxes at home, 
> and i am exporting an external USB drive with two 40GB partitions. 
> And i can also build additional KDE software from source, with gcc, 
> on this laptop, while it's doing its job.
> --Stefan
> ----
> On Tuesday 27 January 2004 12:16, michael.szengel at philips.com wrote:
>>Since I am the guy who caused this discussion I would like to share
>>my personal (over 10 years) experience with memory usage of Sun
>>systems and finally ask for a reason.
>>I never experienced memory shortages on our Sun systems running
>>only a desktop since the days of SPARCstation 1 with 16 MB RAM and
>>about 45 MB swap (not counting the cases when sombody was trying to
>>start a whole chip simulation on his desktop mashine ;-).
>>For 4 years, my colleagues work on Ultra10 / Sun BLade 100 with 512
>>MB RAM and 1 GB swap ... and never problems with memory.  Some of
>>them open up to 10 desktops with dozens of terminals, xemacs and
>>other stuff. They criticized the Xserver because they can not open
>>more than about 80 windows at a time due to a resource limitation
>>inside of X but they never run into memory problems under KDE2 (gcc
>>Now I installed KDE3 from Stefan on my mashine to try it out and
>>only the KDE3 desktop with some terminals and other desktop tools
>>(not talking about MATLAB or a VHDL simulator, which is quit common
>>to use for smaller tasks on our desktops here as well) let crash my
>>Sun due to a shortage of memory !!!!
>>I do not have a explanation for the tremendious increase in RAM
>>usage. And this has been  the main reason for me not to start with
>>a rollout of the otherwise stable KDE3 release from Stefan because
>>I will have to repartition / reinstall all my Sun desktops.
>>Any root cause explanation of this effect is very welcome and I
>>would be very happy if the myth about KDE3 on 64MB RAM becomes a
>>reality ;-)
>>Just my experience, not a flame.


Rolf Sponsel


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