Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Nov 2006 10:55 UTC, submitted by Jean Claude
Linux French députés' offices will be equipped with a Linux operating system and open source productivity software. There will be 1154 French parliamentary workstations running on an open source OS, with OpenOffice.org, Firefox and an open source email client.
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RE[2]: Things to consider
by hraq on Mon 27th Nov 2006 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Things to consider"
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

"linux don't need a lot ram, you can run a light windows manager like icewm with 16meg of ram "

In your imagination of RAM usage you thought that the problem would be the GNU part of Linux(KDE/GNOME/..), whereas the problem truly is from the applications that you will run on linux.

Linux applications tend to take more RAM than windows counterpart, even for the same application written by the same software developers.

Besides, linux loves Caching, thus your memory will be consumed with cache then when more applications start they will start using swap space, you can easily notice this on gnome-system-monitor in case of GNOME or ksysguard in case of KDE. I am currently running 4 applications on CentOS on 1GB RAM and 15% of swap space is already used, leaving performance of the system to hell. Solution will be to install more RAM.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Things to consider
by netpython on Mon 27th Nov 2006 13:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Things to consider"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

petnython@localhost ~ $ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1027644 957928 69716 0 57688 645972
-/+ buffers/cache: 254268 773376
Swap: 1959920 264 1959656
petnython@localhost ~ $ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1027644 985304 42340 0 58040 647728
-/+ buffers/cache: 279536 748108
Swap: 1959920 264 1959656
petnython@localhost ~ $

On my Gentoo amd64 1GB RAM box the only thing that obviously changes is the amount of free RAM.However the amount of used swap space stays the same.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Things to consider
by Almindor on Mon 27th Nov 2006 14:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Things to consider"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Hey "pal". You really don't have a clue do you?

Linux applications tend to take more RAM than windows counterpart, even for the same application written by the same software developers.

This is an outright lie. Most actually take much less RAM because in linux 90% of the code is shared with PIC-ed .so files, while in windows, most app take all their libraries with them. What you measure is probably all the memory each app takes + shared memory, which usually is actually taking most of it, and should be only counted once as one block for all.

Besides, linux loves Caching, thus your memory will be consumed with cache then when more applications start they will start using swap space...

Yes and no. Linux caches because it's much more effective than what windows does. And no it won't affect swapping because if linux needs more memory it takes it from the cached part which are oldest (afaik, I don't know the choice algorithm).

Actually this is what makes linux SO much more effective than windows. Running even big stuff 2x is what I call "silent" (no disk activity), unlike in windows.

All in all you said all lies.

BTW. I'm running about 5 big apps right now, my usage is 26% of 1GB, and I never saw swap being used. Perhaps CentOS is kind of broken? Even with big stuff like compilation/linking and image processing I never got swap active. Even with big late games like doom or nwn. Can't say so for windows tho. It's swapping like hell all the time.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Things to consider
by hraq on Mon 27th Nov 2006 15:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Things to consider"
hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

"Most actually take much less RAM because in linux 90% of the code is shared with PIC-ed .so files, "

OK in linux most of shared libraries that you must install for a given application will never be used for another application; so to install 10 applications you will need to install 100 shared libraries that almost all will never be shared because there is no app other than that you installed will use it!

And by the way dependancy hell in windows is unnoticable to customers, but in linux dependacies are deterrent to the platform, and need to be addressed soon.

"Perhaps CentOS is kind of broken?"
Never, it's Redhat Enterprise Linux without redhat logos, besides these horrible things will show up even more with some other weak distros.

"Even with big stuff like compilation/linking and image processing I never got swap active."

Compilation or image processing are CPU intensive tasks not memory intensive tasks Mr Genius. You have to try P2P networking with Gigabytes of files sharable or better try java based applications like Azureus and see the results, or open 20 tabs on firefox with heavy graphics and flash aniamtions; add to that a movie that you would like to watch with xine based player.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[4]: Things to consider
by angryrobot on Mon 27th Nov 2006 15:16 in reply to "RE[3]: Things to consider"
angryrobot Member since:
2006-04-26

Besides, linux loves Caching, thus your memory will be consumed with cache then when more applications start they will start using swap space...

Yes and no. Linux caches because it's much more effective than what windows does. And no it won't affect swapping because if linux needs more memory it takes it from the cached part which are oldest (afaik, I don't know the choice algorithm).

You are absolutely right. One of the keys of how Linux uses RAM can be summed up with the statement "Unused RAM is useless RAM". That is to say, if the RAM is just sitting there unused, then what good is it? Linux caches aggressively so that the system runs faster, putting items in the buffer cache so they don't need to be read from disk every time.

Naive Windows users think this means Linux "needs more RAM than Windows", but that's truly not the case. It doesn't "need" it, but it will use it if available to make the system run faster.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Things to consider
by Xaero_Vincent on Mon 27th Nov 2006 17:28 in reply to "RE[3]: Things to consider"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Windows Vista caches memory much like this.

The more memory you have, the more memory Vista will use for caching and the better your applications will perform.

This debate about which OS uses more memory wont exist past January.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Things to consider
by ma_d on Mon 27th Nov 2006 18:30 in reply to "RE[3]: Things to consider"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Linux also doesn't calculate memory usage correctly in multi-threaded programs.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Things to consider
by wibbit on Mon 27th Nov 2006 14:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Things to consider"
wibbit Member since:
2006-03-22

"linux don't need a lot ram, you can run a light windows manager like icewm with 16meg of ram "

In your imagination of RAM usage you thought that the problem would be the GNU part of Linux(KDE/GNOME/..), whereas the problem truly is from the applications that you will run on linux.


I would agree with this whole heartedly, at least to say. If you were to specifically choose all of your applications to be "light" on memory usage, then choosing a light window manager is worth while.

However, if you choose to use a light window manager, and then run Firefox, Evolution, Gaim, OpenOffice, on top of it, the memory use of the "modern" applications dwarf that of the window manager by so much, the choice is rendered redundant.

Linux applications tend to take more RAM than windows counterpart, even for the same application written by the same software developers.

I may be wrong, but I think one of the main reasons for this, is the fact that when running windows and Microsoft Application, a lot of the libraries that they require and data, are pre-loaded, and as such when you start the "application" be it word or any thing else, the memory foot print does not appear to change all that much. But that is not due to the application taking less ram, it is due to the information already being loaded.

Some may ask, "So What". My only real answer is "I'm a pedant" ;)

Besides, linux loves Caching, thus your memory will be consumed with cache then when more applications start they will start using swap space, you can easily notice this on gnome-system-monitor in case of GNOME or ksysguard in case of KDE. I am currently running 4 applications on CentOS on 1GB RAM and 15% of swap space is already used, leaving performance of the system to hell. Solution will be to install more RAM.

I'm sorry but this is crap, in so far as...

Yes, Linux makes EXCELLENT use of the ram, and any thing that is unused will be used for file system caching. However my understanding is, that as soon as ram is required, file system cache will be dropped, and RAM will be provided. It does not force the use of swap.

That being said, I had noticed that with one of the FC Test releases, that over time ALL of my ram and SWAP was consumed. This was a bug/glitch some where.

A fresh builds with the final release does not echo this issue, and I am fairly certain that all final builds of just about any distro, will not do what you are describing.

I've been runing Evolution, Gaim, Open Office, Terminals, audio players, blah blah blah. And no swap is in use.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Things to consider
by dylansmrjones on Mon 27th Nov 2006 19:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Things to consider"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

On 1 GB system Linux uses no swap space at all, while Windows uses several hundred megabytes of swap. At least that's the case for my system. And I'm even running eclipse, firefox, thunderbird, gaim and openoffice at the same time. No swap space is being used (but 69% of my ram works as cache, e.g. as RAM swap in stead of HDD swap - when more RAM is needed, the cache is reduced - I use no more than 28 kilobytes of swap ;)

OTOH Linux uses a lot of ram for cache, but that's not a problem, since it's reduced as ram is needed by other applications. Linux only trashes the harddisk when you have very little ram, while Windows always trashes the hard disk ;)

So basically I call bullshit on your post. You really don't know what you are talking about.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Things to consider
by zerohalo on Tue 28th Nov 2006 01:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Things to consider"
zerohalo Member since:
2005-07-26

[quote]In your imagination of RAM usage you thought that the problem would be the GNU part of Linux(KDE/GNOME/..), whereas the problem truly is from the applications that you will run on linux. [/quote]

In my experience in running both Linux and Windows for years, this is simply not true.

Reply Parent Score: 1