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How much ram does puppy need? Some test results
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2946
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec 2007, 16:00    Post subject:  How much ram does puppy need? Some test results  

I was bored the other evening and went through the last 6 releases and the current alpha 3 and checked how much RAM they used. The final figure is extracted from free after booting a frugal install with pfix fix=ram, xvesa as the xserver and nothing else running apart from mut/pmount, a rxvt window and a rox window
Code:
version pup_file size(MB) unsquashed(MB) mem-usage-by-free-(MB)
2.13              66                          169                                 138
2.14              67                          171                                 142
2.16              71                          181                                 148
2.17              74                          189                                 151
3.00              77                          198                                 187
3.01              79                          200                                 200
3.93              63                          160                                 171


here is a chart



The interesting bit in my anal opinion is that in the last few releases the RAM needed approaches the size of the uncompressed pup_xxx.sfs. In the current alpha it actually surpasses it. I am curious as to what causes this. It looks like slackware compatibility cost a lot of ram. The current alpha sfs is only 63MB, less than that of 2.13 yet it needs significantly more ram to run.

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Wolf Pup

Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 637

PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec 2007, 16:23    Post subject:  

does the mem-usage-by-free include or exclude the buffers and cached memory?
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2946
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec 2007, 18:24    Post subject:  

here are the lines from free
Code:

                           total            used             free                   shared    buffers
2.13  Mem:       507276       141580       365696            0        16604

2.14  Mem:       507276       145432       361844            0        17400

2.16  Mem:       507276       152540       354736            0        17736

2.17  Mem:       507188       155080       352108            0        17500

3.00  Mem:       507236       191944       315292            0        17720

3.01  Mem:       507236       204856       302380            0        17596

3.93  Mem:       506852       175672       331180            0        15236

I don't know how to query cached memory

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Leachim

Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec 2007, 18:36    Post subject:  

I use a very large Puppy - more than 1 GB sfs and more than 2 GB save-file - but have disabled loading into RAM (doesn't make sense with such file sizes). My Puppy runs on PCs with only 128 MB of RAM.
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 04:30    Post subject:  

Will,

I thought we had worked this out. That we were on the same page. No biggie.

You're testing is great, but you need the Full version of Free to do it.

Package contents:
    6348 2007-12-18 00:23 free*
    45088 2007-12-18 00:24 libproc-3.2.7.so*


Bruce

Note I think it is okay to overwrite busybox free link at least for a full install. If you don't want to then rename free.
free.tar.gz
Description 
gz

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Filename  free.tar.gz 
Filesize  25.01 KB 
Downloaded  413 Time(s) 
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Dingo


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1439
Location: somewhere at the end of rainbow...

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 04:49    Post subject:  

Leachim wrote:
I use a very large Puppy - more than 1 GB sfs and more than 2 GB save-file - but have disabled loading into RAM[...]

How? (I'm a Puppy newbie with very few RAM)
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 05:07    Post subject:  

Dingo wrote:
Leachim wrote:
I use a very large Puppy - more than 1 GB sfs and more than 2 GB save-file - but have disabled loading into RAM[...]

How? (I'm a Puppy newbie with very few RAM)


Welcome Dingo!

I'm one of the guys who likes specificity. Not that I'm a retired investigator, I just want answers that can help me better help you. How much RAM do you have?

Some Answers:

With a Full install it won't load files from the HD into RAM except on an as needed basis.

With a Frugal install it wouldn't load files in into RAM except on an as needed basis. UNLESS Puppy calculates that you have enough RAM.
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2946
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 07:27    Post subject:  

Bruce B wrote:
I thought we had worked this out. That we were on the same page.
I'm not sure what you mean. I don't think anyone has presented this information in this way before. I am specifically interested in the relationship between the size of the unsquashed pup_xx.sfs and the memory used
Thanks for the full version of free. I have also just looked at directly at /proc/meminfo
http://www.redhat.com/advice/tips/meminfo.html
Code:
 while [ 1 ] ; do  echo --------------;cat /proc/meminfo ; sleep 1  ; done

You've said here:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=148388#148388
Quote:
And those caches and buffers must be subtracted and I don't see this happening in these threads.

I don't really understand what effect the cached memory has on the minimum memory requirement. I don't why these must be subtracted. I am specifically talking about liveCD or frugal install here. Do you mean that the system will run even if space for the caches is not provided? I'm specifically interested in freeing the cd drive on a system with no swap.

If I go through the process of providing the output from full free, what extra conclusions might we be able to draw?

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Dingo


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1439
Location: somewhere at the end of rainbow...

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 07:29    Post subject:  

Bruce B wrote:

Welcome Dingo!
How much RAM do you have?

Hi and thanks for your answer! My RAM size, is not, really so few (256 MB) but hearing that is a way to economize RAM for applications like openoffice (so swapping is not needed). I say to me: why not try?

Bruce B wrote:

With a Frugal install it wouldn't load files in into RAM except on an as needed basis. UNLESS Puppy calculates that you have enough RAM.


I have a frugal install in fact
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 08:32    Post subject:  

@Dingo

If you want to economize your RAM usage, a full HD installation would a better choice than frugal.

As with horsepower in automobiles, it's generally better to have more RAM. You may not use it all in normal use, but when you do need it, it's nice to have available!

@HairyWill

A thumbs up and tip of the hat on the chart and graph. Good work and much appreciated.

@multitude

Let's not let the BusyBox Free vs CoreApps Free matter devolve into a holy war as Root vs User seems to have ...

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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 09:14    Post subject:  

I guess, Will, now that I know where you are coming from, I can explain it this way.

Linux likes to cache. But the cache is easily disposed of by Linux if you need the RAM for running an application not in cache. Conversely, there are other areas of RAM that Linux is actually using and will not and can not get rid of to make room.

Here is full version free output displayed in megabytes, one of the other features busybox free doesn't have.

Code:
          total     used   free  shared  buffers  cached
Mem:       2535     190    2344       0       3     125
-/+ buffers/cache:   62    2473
Swap:       541       0     541


It says I'm using 190 MB RAM, but after factoring the buffers/cache I'm only really using 62MB.

Having 2.5GB RAM, I'm not in a crunch, but if I had 192 RAM, Linux would give up cache and buffers as it could for other tasks before using the swap file.

PS Great looking graph!

Also, the work you did fascinates me as an interest of mine. Very informative and educational. Just wished you hadn't used the busybox free (ever again)

The Redhat link was great, they has such a great product and following. Shame the put it to rest at version 9 and when for the commercial end. Except for Fedora, but it doesn't seem the same.


Bruce
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 10:00    Post subject:  

Good input, Bruce. Thanks. I'm fairly certain I know how you'd vote should someone start a poll on replacing BusyBox Free with CoreApps Free in Puppy. Wink

For anyone else following this thread, Torsmo (and fork app Conky, I suspect) can be configured in the file .torsmorc to show either Busybox or CoreApps-factored free memory.
Code:
# Subtract file system buffers from used memory?
# no_buffers no     #uncomment this line to display BusyBox "free"
# no_buffers yes    #uncomment this line to display CoreApps "free"

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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2946
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 23:39    Post subject:  

I've spent hours playing with this and learned very little, just in case someone else finds it enlightening here goes:

I created a script to automatically log the contents of /proc/meminfo whilst it opened and closed some applications.
Code:
#!/bin/sh
LINE=`cat /proc/meminfo | tr -s ' ' ' '| cut -f 1 -d ' '`;echo time: $LINE
I=0
INTERVAL=5
while [ "$I" -lt 70 ] ; do LINE=`cat /proc/meminfo | tr -s ' ' ' '| cut -f 2 -d ' '`;echo $I $LINE;I=`expr $I + 1`;sleep 1; done &
sleep $INTERVAL
defaultbrowser &
sleep $INTERVAL
killall seamonkey-bin
sleep $INTERVAL
abiword &
sleep $INTERVAL
killall abiword
sleep $INTERVAL
defaultbrowser &
sleep $INTERVAL
abiword &
sleep $INTERVAL
gnumeric &
sleep $INTERVAL
gxine &
sleep $INTERVAL
mtpaint &
sleep $INTERVAL
killall seamonkey-bin
killall abiword
killall gnumeric
killall gxine
killall mtpaint

I booted 2.13,3.01 and 3.93 into ram and collected the output from running the script. I then stuffed all the data into a spreadsheet and created comparison charts between versions for all the values that did something interesting. I also made one for MemFree + Buffers + Cached shown below.



I have attached the spreadsheet which contains all the data and lots of charts. If you are interested in the data for your system you could try running the script, collecting the output and substituting in your data for one of the tabs 213, 301 or 393, you will need to be competent with gnumeric. Beware that the last few lines in /proc/meminfo vary depending on your kernel.
mem-analysis.gnumeric.gz
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gz

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Filename  mem-analysis.gnumeric.gz 
Filesize  34.29 KB 
Downloaded  399 Time(s) 

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Will
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2007, 23:53    Post subject:  

OMG very cool, HairyWill. Still digesting!
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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3425
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Wed 19 Dec 2007, 02:15    Post subject:  

It was always my understanding that Puppy only loaded as much into ram as was available.
I have Puppy ver 214R full install with swap partition running on an OLD 133 mhz Compaq laptop.
We are talking 1.2gig hard drive and 32megs physical ram on it.

It boots slow, but comes up with the desktop and apps available and memory left too according to Free.
So I figure that a true memory needed test is having enough memory to hold the kernel and xwindow manager. The applications can be loaded as needed after that!

So you just might have to rethink your minimum memory requirements for
each version.
This is the report from free:

Mem: 28672 total 27356 used 1316 free 0 shared 536 buffers
Swap: 96760 total 2152 used 94608 free
Total: 125432 total 29508 used 95924 free
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