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How much of RAM is free?
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 14:40    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:
but if a swap space were to obviate your freezes that would at least be an advance of knowledge.


I think you misunderstand. I was intentionally pushing the limits and actively seeking a system freeze to determine where the limit was. Once I know what the limit is and stay short of it then there isn't a freeze of that nature.

Quote:
Our moderator does have a very good command of some four or more languages


And I find that very impressive, along with the time that they give the forum but this thread has taken up a great deal of words when I thought it would be answered within the first few posts.

I still think that raw figures won't help to get the question of how much RAM is free answered but currently Htop shows 212/2023MB. Firefox is the main offender (uses 50MB on two useless files allocations whereas an earlier version of Firefox happily used much less than 1MB).

Code:
 free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:      2072572      2020124        52448            0       162736
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:      2072572      2020124        52448


Code:
cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:        2072572 kB
MemFree:           54604 kB
Buffers:          161768 kB
Cached:          1623728 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:          1383752 kB
Inactive:         601268 kB
Active(anon):    1131996 kB
Inactive(anon):   244136 kB
Active(file):     251756 kB
Inactive(file):   357132 kB
Unevictable:           4 kB
Mlocked:               0 kB
HighTotal:       1186160 kB
HighFree:           1960 kB
LowTotal:         886412 kB
LowFree:           52644 kB
SwapTotal:             0 kB
SwapFree:              0 kB
Dirty:                 0 kB
Writeback:             0 kB
AnonPages:        199444 kB
Mapped:            62620 kB
Shmem:           1176604 kB
Slab:              19888 kB
SReclaimable:      12772 kB
SUnreclaim:         7116 kB
KernelStack:         800 kB
PageTables:         1440 kB
NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
Bounce:                0 kB
WritebackTmp:          0 kB
CommitLimit:     1036284 kB
Committed_AS:    1661860 kB
VmallocTotal:     122880 kB
VmallocUsed:        4740 kB
VmallocChunk:     109572 kB
DirectMap4k:       12280 kB
DirectMap4M:      897024 kB


Code:
 df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop1            248M   79M  170M  32% /initrd/pup_ro1
tmpfs                1012M   51M  961M   5% /initrd/pup_rw
tmpfs                 213M  212M  784K 100% /initrd/mnt/tmpfs
/dev/loop0            212M  212M     0 100% /initrd/pup_ro2
unionfs              1012M   51M  961M   5% /
shmfs                 450M     0  450M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                 1.5G  886M  643M  58% /mnt/sdzz
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 14:53    Post subject:  

Hi again,

So, using that published data, exactly how do you calculate 650 MB (or whatever the current number is)?

My regards
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 15:14    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:
Hi again,

So, using that published data, exactly how do you calculate 650 MB (or whatever the current number is)?

My regards


Those figures were a bad example as there were a few numbers that by sheer coincidence were similar to others that were unrelated.

After a reboot:
Code:
free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:      2072572       659252      1413320            0        37724
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:      2072572       659252      1413320


Code:

cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:        2072572 kB
MemFree:         1462516 kB
Buffers:           36732 kB
Cached:           470080 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:           101680 kB
Inactive:         479132 kB
Active(anon):      76548 kB
Inactive(anon):   254556 kB
Active(file):      25132 kB
Inactive(file):   224576 kB
Unevictable:           0 kB
Mlocked:               0 kB
HighTotal:       1186160 kB
HighFree:         635476 kB
LowTotal:         886412 kB
LowFree:          827040 kB
SwapTotal:             0 kB
SwapFree:              0 kB
Dirty:                 0 kB
Writeback:             0 kB
AnonPages:         74000 kB
Mapped:            38460 kB
Shmem:            257104 kB
Slab:              18092 kB
SReclaimable:      11452 kB
SUnreclaim:         6640 kB
KernelStack:         792 kB
PageTables:         1004 kB
NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
Bounce:                0 kB
WritebackTmp:          0 kB
CommitLimit:     1036284 kB
Committed_AS:     512452 kB
VmallocTotal:     122880 kB
VmallocUsed:        4740 kB
VmallocChunk:     109516 kB
DirectMap4k:       12280 kB
DirectMap4M:      897024 kB


Code:
df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop1            248M   79M  170M  32% /initrd/pup_ro1
tmpfs                1012M   52M  961M   6% /initrd/pup_rw
tmpfs                 213M  212M  784K 100% /initrd/mnt/tmpfs
/dev/loop0            212M  212M     0 100% /initrd/pup_ro2
unionfs              1012M   52M  961M   6% /
shmfs                 442M     0  442M   0% /dev/shm


Htop reading 135/2023MB

The things that I believe are currently taking up RAM are:
135MB (from Htop, this will vary especially with a web-browser)
212MB (pupxxx.sfs file)
52MB (tmpfs)

So there's something like 1600MB free.

Now after adding a large file (885MB) in tmpfs:
Code:
 free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:      2072572      1587240       485332            0        38580
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:      2072572      1587240       485332


Code:
 cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:        2072572 kB
MemFree:          485024 kB
Buffers:           38580 kB
Cached:          1398580 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:           212852 kB
Inactive:        1341852 kB
Active(anon):     186196 kB
Inactive(anon):  1110560 kB
Active(file):      26656 kB
Inactive(file):   231292 kB
Unevictable:           0 kB
Mlocked:               0 kB
HighTotal:       1186160 kB
HighFree:           1712 kB
LowTotal:         886412 kB
LowFree:          483312 kB
SwapTotal:             0 kB
SwapFree:              0 kB
Dirty:                 0 kB
Writeback:             0 kB
AnonPages:        117476 kB
Mapped:            41972 kB
Shmem:           1179212 kB
Slab:              20128 kB
SReclaimable:      13136 kB
SUnreclaim:         6992 kB
KernelStack:         824 kB
PageTables:         1168 kB
NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
Bounce:                0 kB
WritebackTmp:          0 kB
CommitLimit:     1036284 kB
Committed_AS:    1539280 kB
VmallocTotal:     122880 kB
VmallocUsed:        4740 kB
VmallocChunk:     109516 kB
DirectMap4k:       12280 kB
DirectMap4M:      897024 kB


So should be about 700MB free.

Last edited by hoven on Fri 18 Nov 2011, 15:26; edited 1 time in total
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 15:18    Post subject:  

hoven wrote:
I was intentionally pushing the limits and actively seeking a system freeze to determine where the limit was. Once I know what the limit is and stay short of it then there isn't a freeze of that nature.


That would be interesting if you find a way. I added free RAM by dumping the cache during a near freeze....which never helped at all. The solution was finding which programs were mis-managing resources to begin with.
Besides flash, ff, etc., closing down tray and desktop process widgets was a big help.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 15:42    Post subject:  

Hi,

Hopefully you will get a full explanation which would please me as well. If you do not; you might PM "Bruce B" since he stated that Htop does not report RAM correctly.

My regards
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 16:09    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:
you might PM "Bruce B" since he stated that Htop does not report RAM correctly.


I don't know what "Bruce B" was referring to but like I said before, I am not aware of a reason to believe that Htop reports incorrectly, but it only reports RAM used by running processes. Puppy uses RAM for other things as well (like the contents of /tmp for example). You have to use what Htop reports plus add on what is shown in "df -h" for the tmpfs and shmfs file systems.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 16:43    Post subject:  

Hi,

Your explanation has the ring of truth, thus you appear you have solved our problem - which perhaps someone may confirm.

Just a thought (as I could find no existing applications); it might be an idea for Puppies to have two tiny System Tray Graphs, perhaps showing say, the last 30 seconds of RAM and CPU usage - with on/off options if those graphs themselves use high resources.

My regards
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 16:57    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:
as I could find no existing applications); it might be an idea for Puppies to have two tiny System Tray Graphs, perhaps showing say, the last 30 seconds of RAM and CPU usage - with on/off options if those graphs themselves use high resources.


Not sure if you are aware of Gatotray but it does a pretty good job of showing CPU and I/O load. If the system is struggling it will go nice and red.
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=59930

(Sadly I preferred Traytemp for temperature but it appears not to work with current Puppies anymore)

Then there is Xload, I still have no idea what it means even after using Puppy for a few years and reading the thread on it.
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 17:23    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:

Just a thought (as I could find no existing applications); it might be an idea for Puppies to have two tiny System Tray Graphs, perhaps showing say, the last 30 seconds of RAM and CPU usage - with on/off options if those graphs themselves use high resources.


I use a CPU bar with pwidgets, which accurately shows a resource freeze. At that point, rebooting seems to be about the only thing choice to restore functioning. I've got a ram bar also, which doesn't indicate any problem.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 22:06    Post subject:  

We must understand that Puppy is a special kind of LInux. And, because of its expected RAM based environment, it would be prudent to have a tool (either available as a PET, or built-in to the system) that actively monitors and reports RAM usage.

This is NOT going to stop the opportunity to freeze the system thru an overzealous application's(s) operation which impacts storage quickly, but, it "could" in certain situations alert and maybe avert a RAM saturation which is eminent.

Puppy is RAM based, thus Puppy's tool need is a little different than other Linuxes which are NOT operating in a RAM-centric mode. Further there are times when Puppy user might be operating on PCs that do not have SWAP partitions/file, as well as those when SWAP is available.

That's why this thread is leading all who read this to think about whether RAM based Puppy would benefit from a tool which focuses on RAM.

Not just a graph, but, to address system stability, it must ALSO product alerts!

Since persons here understand the need, who among us, can produce such a tool. And how do we work together to contribute to its requirements.

There are several things at play in Puppy when its running as a RAM basis. We have:
  1. Puppy filesystem
  2. System resident programs
  3. staging/buffers/caches/spools/etc space requirements for normal system operations
  4. Space requirements for time-slicing active programs carrying out user needs.
We don't necessarily need a report on each of these, but, it should be able to sum up all these parts to alert as the Puppy system approaches saturation.

Saturation would mean something a little different when SWAP is available on a RAM-centric distro. So, the tool may also need to take into account the "total" elements, similar to something like what is reported in the Free Linux command.

Beware that there are those among us who might not see the need, for they process skills to avoid a system freeze. But, for newbies and novices whose Linux skills are lacking, a tool like this would help them and help those of us who are trying to help them when there are problems.

So, my question, how do we get a useful helpful tool? Can/should we collaborate on it?

Hope this helps.

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 22:41    Post subject:  

gcmartin wrote:


So, my question, how do we get a useful helpful tool? Can/should we collaborate on it?


Well, I can just listen to my fan.....with 100% accuracy. It tells me it's time to reboot. After the warning, I've got about a minute left to save work before things grind to a halt. The problem was what was causing it.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 22:50    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
gcmartin wrote:
... So, my question, how do we get a useful helpful tool? Can/should we collaborate on it?
Well, I can just listen to my fan.....with 100% accuracy. It tells me it's time to reboot. After the warning, I've got about a minute left to save work before things grind to a halt. The problem was what was causing it.
Yeah, that's a good useful "tool" although it wasn't intended for that.

But, that just what I'm getting at. Its not just the "alert", BUT ALSO some sort of a companion log. And. given enough warning, a chance to save that log for analysis when the Puppy is operating RAM-centric.

What this brings to mind is a RAM tool which start off addressing one aspect "alerting", say, then matures to "analysis", per say. Or vide-versa.

Thanks for that, though.

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 23:10    Post subject:  

Maybe something like vmstat:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/8178
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov 2011, 01:52    Post subject: dstat  

Here's a vmstat substitute: dstat -v

Needs python-2.6.6
dstat2.png
 Description   showing cpu usage
 Filesize   13.12 KB
 Viewed   325 Time(s)

dstat2.png

dstat.png
 Description   vmstat clone
 Filesize   13.52 KB
 Viewed   342 Time(s)

dstat.png

dstat-0.7.2.pet
Description 
pet

 Download 
Filename  dstat-0.7.2.pet 
Filesize  135.57 KB 
Downloaded  91 Time(s) 
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov 2011, 05:53    Post subject:  

I noticed that stalling out is associated with high cpu usr activity and siq (softirq)..which I think involve second-level interrupt handlers:

"These threads sit on a run queue in the operating system until processor time is available for them to perform processing for the interrupt. SLIHs may have a long-lived execution time, and thus are typically scheduled similarly to threads and processes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt_handler

You can have plenty of free ram while this occurs. I didn't see much if any paging or use of swap while this was happening.
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