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Old 06-16-2010, 09:14 AM
Alex Schuster
Default 64 bits (was: Maximizing memory with 32bit)

I wrote:

> J. Roeleveld writes:
> > > > Probably your graphicscard uses the rest of the memory.
> > >
> > > Oh, thanks! Did not think about this. It's an ATI Radeon HD4300
> > > onboard card, so I guess this must be the cause. Seems like I will
> > > have to do the migration to 64bit then.
> >
> > Wonko,
> >
> > If your graphics card uses up the rest of the memory, moving up to
> > 64bit won't help either.
> Shouldn't I have 4GB minus the amount of graphics memory then, instead
> of 3G minus that?
> But I plan to add more memory anyway. With at least 6GB, and better
> 8GB, the graphics memory will not matter that much then. But I have to
> go to a 64bit system for this.

So I did, I just installed Gentoo again and now I have the 64bit system.
Wooooow. The system is SO MUCH more responsive now. It's not only because
of memory - I just removed 2GB, and the system still was more responsive
than with 2.7GB and 32bit OS. With 32bit, I was not able to play videos
with mplayer when updatedb or emerge -p --depclean was running, now this
is no problem, even without [io]nice being used.
I do not know why this is - I did a setup quite similar to the existing
system. make.conf is the same except for compiler flags, world file is
nearly identical, kernel .config (2.6.33-tuxonice-r2) is identical except
for some 64bit specific stuff, /home did not change.

> > Check in your BIOS to see if you can reduce the amount your graphics
> > card uses. For 'normal' desktop use, around 64MB should be more then
> > sufficient and if you have 4GB physically in your system you should
> > then see more memory appear.
> Good idea! Thanks, I will have a look there.

Found it. I can select 128, 256 or 512 MB, and set it to 128 MB.

I hopped on my bike and went to the local hardware store in order to get
another 4 GB of memory... but it was too expensive. Over a year ago, I
paid 56 EUR for 4 GB, now I would have to pay 60 EUR for 2 GB. I'll wait.

Now for the 64bit problems. There are few, it's working better than
expected, but some things are weird.

- At the first login into KDE4, four of my eight desktops were missing the
background image. With every login, one came back, now I have them all.
This issue fixed itself somehow.

- My KDE4 is mostly in English now, not in German. kde-base/kde-l10n is
installed, LINGUAS is set to "de". Some things are in German, though -
some parts of the systemsettings application, for example.
Oh, and after just another login - it's fixed. What's going on here? Maybe
I should not write about other problems, and instead reboot a couple of

- hibernate-ram does not work. When I resume, the display stays black. The
numlock key ativates the LED, but I could not switch to a text cnosole.
After Alt-SysRq-R, caps and scroll lock flash, I guess that means kernel
panic. Happened for two times, I won't try this anymore soon. I see
nothing in syslog.

- Fortunately, hibernate (suspend to disk with tuxonice) seems to work.
Did not try other yet, and the very first attempt stopped with the 'wacky
driver' message. But the 2nd and 3rd attempt succeeded. This worked
sometimes with the old system, but most of the times it aborted, I had to
try about ten times for one success. And sometimes the system crashed, so
I did not use this.
Next morning update: Resume did not work, I got a 'LUKS killed' message.
Oh no! I do not want to shut down the system every night again, I got used
to hibernation. I'll ask on the tuxonice mailing list, hopefully this time
someone can help me.
BTW, I did change the graphics memory size after this, so this change is
not the cause.

- There is some font problem. There is only one application (media-
tv/tvbrowser) in which the titles look bad, see the attachement (first
time I do this on a mailing list, but it's small). That's no
big problem, and I can activate antialiasing in tvbrowser, but I just
wonder why this happens, this system should be quite identical. A diff of
eix -I --only-names | grep font on both systems shows nothing.

- x11-libs/xview (from the science overlay) does not build, it has -amd64
in KEYWORDS. I know about this already, and that I should not even bother
to try compiling it anyway. But I need this libraries for stuff I am
building. Linking 32bit libraries to applictions I build with a 64bit
compiler cannot not work, right? Is there any easier solution than to
chroot into a 32bit Linux? Which wouldn't be too bad, I still have my
32bit Gentoo, and I could just trim it down and keep it running.

There were more problems, but they got solved while composing this mail.
You wouldn't believe how often this happens to me, I start writing an
email to this list, gather information that you might need to help, and
solve the problem myself along this.


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