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Ionreflex 11-14-2009 04:21 AM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
Hi all,
I've just installed a fresh debian on an old IBM ThinkPad A21e (see cpuz info in attachement) and I'm kinda bedazzled - in the wrong sense! - at how much an idle system seems to hog RAM : out of 256, half of it is always used...

I've tried a default Ubuntu and Xubuntu install, but browsing the Internet was a sluggish nightmare, that is why I've decided to give it a go with debian, installing the base system and laptop pack only (added openssh-server after reboot). I'll attach a stripped log about memory info, if anybody as any ideas or hints about what's going on it would be really appreciated!

Tanks


Ion
Title: CPU-Z 1.45 HTML report file









CPU-Z 1.45 report file




Processor(s)*


Number of processors1
Number of cores1 per processor
Number of threads1 per processor
NameIntel Celeron
Code NameCoppermine
Specification*
PackageSocket nanoBGA2
Family/Model/Stepping6.8.3
Extended Family/Model6.8
Brand ID1
Core SteppingcB0
Technology0.18 um
Core Speed597.8 MHz
Multiplier x Bus speed6.0 x 99.6 MHz
Stock frequency600 MHz
Instruction setsMMX, SSE
L1 Data cache (per processor)16 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 32-byte line size
L1 Instruction cache (per processor)16 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 32-byte line size
L2 cache (per processor)128 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 32-byte line size


Chipset & Memory*


NorthbridgeIntel i440MX rev. 01
Memory TypeSDRAM
Memory Size256 MBytes
Memory Frequency99.6 MHz (1:1)
CAS# Latency (tCL)3.0 clocks
RAS# to CAS# (tRCD)2 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP)2 clocks
DRAM Idle Timer32 clocks


System*


System ManufacturerIBM
System Name2628CXF
System S/NXXXXXXX
Mainboard VendorIBM
Mainboard Model2628CXF
BIOS VendorIBM
BIOS VersionKUET36WW (1.13 )
BIOS Date06/11/2003

Andrei Popescu 11-14-2009 07:19 AM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
On Sat,14.Nov.09, 00:21:58, Ionreflex wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I've just installed a fresh debian on an old IBM ThinkPad A21e (see cpuz
> info in attachement) and I'm kinda bedazzled - in the wrong sense! - at how
> much an idle system seems to hog RAM : out of 256, half of it is always
> used...

If the system is idle than you don't really need the RAM, don't you?
Watch the swap usage, because it's a better indicator.

Regards,
Andrei
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Sven Joachim 11-14-2009 07:39 AM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
On 2009-11-14 06:21 +0100, Ionreflex wrote:

> I've just installed a fresh debian on an old IBM ThinkPad A21e (see cpuz
> info in attachement) and I'm kinda bedazzled - in the wrong sense! - at how
> much an idle system seems to hog RAM : out of 256, half of it is always
> used...

It is used as a cache for files from the hard disk. The services
running on the system take only 17 Megabyte, as can be seen in the third
line of the "free" output:

> frosties:~# free
> total used free shared buffers cached
> Mem: 256396 125280 131116 0 7908 99752
> -/+ buffers/cache: 17620 238776
> Swap: 369452 0 369452

This is absolutely fine.

Sven


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Ionreflex 11-17-2009 02:09 PM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
Thanks for your inputs, I'll proceed with Xfce installation for now... if I end up with another choking slug, I'll come back to haunt you! :o)

2009/11/14 Sven Joachim <svenjoac@gmx.de>

On 2009-11-14 06:21 +0100, Ionreflex wrote:



> I've just installed a fresh debian on an old IBM ThinkPad A21e (see cpuz

> info in attachement) and I'm kinda bedazzled - in the wrong sense! - at how

> much an idle system seems to hog RAM : out of 256, half of it is always

> used...



It is used as a cache for files from the hard disk. *The services

running on the system take only 17 Megabyte, as can be seen in the third

line of the "free" output:



> frosties:~# free

> * * * * * * *total * * * used * * * free * * shared * *buffers * * cached

> Mem: * * * *256396 * * 125280 * * 131116 * * * * *0 * * * 7908 * * *99752

> -/+ buffers/cache: * * *17620 * * 238776

> Swap: * * * 369452 * * * * *0 * * 369452



This is absolutely fine.



Sven




2009/11/14 Andrei Popescu*<andreimpopescu@gmail.com>

On Sat,14.Nov.09, 00:21:58, Ionreflex wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I've just installed a fresh debian on an old IBM ThinkPad A21e (see cpuz
> info in attachement) and I'm kinda bedazzled - in the wrong sense! - at how

> much an idle system seems to hog RAM : out of 256, half of it is always
> used...

If the system is idle than you don't really need the RAM, don't you?
Watch the swap usage, because it's a better indicator.


Regards,
Andrei

Nuno Magalhães 11-17-2009 02:22 PM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 15:09, Ionreflex <ionreflex@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for your inputs, I'll proceed with Xfce installation for now... if I
> end up with another choking slug, I'll come back to haunt you! :o)

As it has been said, just because linux reports more than half of
those 256MB doesn't mean it's actively *using* them, they're being
used as cache to avoid disc i/o (i think). Xfce - or any other light
wm (windowmaker, lxde, enlightenment) - is better for such a laptop
than gnome (good luck uninstalling it).

>From my free -m i get this:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 3934 3755 179 0 191 1703
-/+ buffers/cache: 1859 2074
Swap: 1906 50 1855

I doubt my computer's actually using almost 2GB (those 1859), and this
number is high because i have a whole bunch of stuff open[1] plus
services and daemons[2]. It's working like a charm and it would
probably make due with "just" 1GB, but it would probably use the disc
more often. My bottleneck's actually the processor.

HTH,
Nuno Magalhães

[1] grekllm, 1 netbeans project, 1 tab in opera, 1 tab in firefox,
audacious2, 1 tab in gedit, xchat, 3 filemanager windows, pidgin, 3
pdfs, 1 tab in pidgin, 1 terminal... :)
[2] mlnet, nginx, php and mysqld, plus the system usuals.

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Tony Nelson 11-17-2009 03:01 PM

debian-5.0.3 on ThinkPad A21e : dude, where's my RAM ?
 
On 09-11-17 10:22:38, Nuno Magalhes wrote:

> From my free -m i get this:
> total used free shared buffers cached
> Mem: 3934 3755 179 0 191 1703
> -/+ buffers/cache: 1859 2074
> Swap: 1906 50 1855
>
> I doubt my computer's actually using almost 2GB (those 1859),

But it is. That's what "- buffers/cache" means.

> and this number is high because i have a whole bunch of stuff open[1]
> plus services and daemons[2]. It's working like a charm and it would
> probably make due with "just" 1GB, but it would probably use the disc
> more often. ...
...

Lots, and then some. You can see memory usage in `top`; press "<" 3
times to sort on "RES" (RESident memory).

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