taraquedo
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:40 am

Hi,

I tried to reduce memory usage on my x64 Ubuntu 10.10 system to see if it is possible to use less than 256MB. I deactivated swap, killed all unnessecary processes, loged in with the text console (without a display manager) and used openbox with fbpanel as window manager. I opened up chromium browser and loaded the raspberrypi.org page. But this uses more than 280MB. So will it be possible to use a raspberry pi as a small browser? And how is this managed? (Do you or does debian arm compile against ulibc?)

Of course there are a few processes which can still be killed. Also a 32bit platform doesn't consum that much memory as a 64bit platform does. But there needs to be free RAM in the range of 100+MB to be useable and not only 20-50MB.

I hope my english is understandable ;-)
So greetings from germany!

P.S.: Memory overview is attached.

obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:34 am

Yes, both version of the Pi can browse the web competently enough (though, mainly without Flash).

- Indeed, ARM code is a lot tighter than x86 and especially x86-64. As an example, I run Ubuntu 10.4 in cli, plus transmission, dlna, ssh and samba in 50-90 MB on another ARM computer.
- Browsers, and well-made OSes and Apps, like to take as much RAM as possible instead of letting it sit idle, so the 280MB you saw mprobably includes quite a bit of caches, buffers, ...
- There are much tighter browsers than Chrome, Midori seems to work well.

tufty
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:21 am

As has been pointed out, x86-64 is not a very good benchmark as to how much memory you need to run a system on another architecture. ARM is 32-bit, but it's a load-store RISC architecture and the code is therefore a bit "fatter" than you'll find on a CISC architecture.

anyway. If you really want to know how much memory you're using on a per-process basis, this might well help :

http://www.pixelbeat.org/scrip...../ps_mem.py

If you want to see if you can run with (for example) 256M, booting with mem=256M on the kernel command line will restrict you to that amount.

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jojopi
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:42 pm

Quote from obarthelemy on November 5, 2011, 10:34
ARM code is a lot tighter than x86 and especially x86-64

A bit off-topic and not detracting from your main points, but I think you are technically slandering x86-64 a bit here. x86-64 code is often denser than x86-32, due to RIP-relative addressing and twice as many registers, leading to fewer memory references to stack. Of course x86-64 data is always larger, due to the longer pointers and coarser preferred alignments.

Also, ARM code would be rather sparse if it were not for the modern Thumb encodings. RISC architectures in general have poor code density.

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johnbeetem
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:00 pm

As a data point, one of my programs is 210 KB on 32-bit x86 and 211KB on ARMv7 Cortex-A8. I don't know how much Thumb the latter is using.

I think it's pretty ironic reading about worries over 128/256 MB when the first Unix machine I ever used had 256 KB of memory, with 64 KB virtual addresses: PDP-11/45. And this was used as a time-sharing computer. Perhaps the multitudes of RasPi model As will counter software bloat. That would be nice, and a huge contribution to the future of humanity.

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riffraff
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:54 am

Quote from taraquedo on November 5, 2011, 09:40
Hi,

I tried to reduce memory usage on my x64 Ubuntu 10.10 system to see if it is possible to use less than 256MB. I deactivated swap, killed all unnessecary processes, loged in with the text console (without a display manager) and used openbox with fbpanel as window manager. I opened up chromium browser and loaded the raspberrypi.org page. But this uses more than 280MB. So will it be possible to use a raspberry pi as a small browser? And how is this managed? (Do you or does debian arm compile against ulibc?)

Of course there are a few processes which can still be killed. Also a 32bit platform doesn't consum that much memory as a 64bit platform does. But there needs to be free RAM in the range of 100+MB to be useable and not only 20-50MB.

I hope my english is understandable ;-)
So greetings from germany!

P.S.: Memory overview is attached.

I used Xubuntu (Karmic Koala release) for a while on a 600Mhz Pentium III with 256MB memory. Xubuntu is Ubuntu with the lightweight XFCE desktop, so it's footprint is a little smaller than full-blown Ubuntu. Minimum system requirement is 256MB RAM and about 4G on the hard drive and it runs quite well (runs rings around the Windows ME that was originally on it). Though Ubuntu apparently has no interest in supporting ARM architecture, it's simply an example that lightweight linux distro's can run quite well in a smaller environment. I'm sure something comparable is, or will be, available for the RasPi.

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johnbeetem
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:13 am

Ubuntu does provide ARM support. I've used it myself on a FreeScale i.MX53 Quick Start Board and it's also available for BeagleBoard. Both of these are ARMv7 Cortex-A8, so it's unclear whether they'll support RasPi's ARMv6.

Here's a recent item from the Canonical website: http://www.canonical.com/conte.....usiness-it

Naturally, Ubuntu is trying to get return on investment, so the latest big thing for Ubuntu ARM is HP ARM-based servers. Ubuntu is mentioned in this article: http://www.linuxfordevices.com.....-Redstone/

Skygod
Posts: 211
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:58 am

Quote from johnbeetem on November 6, 2011, 01:13
Ubuntu does provide ARM support. I've used it myself on a FreeScale i.MX53 Quick Start Board and it's also available for BeagleBoard. Both of these are ARMv7 Cortex-A8, so it's unclear whether they'll support RasPi's ARMv6.


On the Wiki :

"Ubuntu developers have now stated they will not be supporting the ARMv6 architecture"

Xenophone
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:40 am

Debian can float around 140-150 so I'm sure there's a way it could be cut down to at least run on the 256 boards. As well that was debian with full blown gnome. I'm sure fluxbox could lower those requirements further.

Josh
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:28 am

I'm just hoping other, smaller OSes come to the platform. Like Syllable (which I absolutely frickin' love), KolibriOS, MenuetOS etc.


whiteshepherd
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:59 pm

Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Ubuntu/Debian can be stripped down to require very little memory. One idea I had is these little computers can be converted into mini-web/ftp/ssh/smtp servers. There would be no need for a graphical interface and with ssh access kids could learn to compile and maintain their very own servers at home with their own custom web pages.

adric22
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:33 pm

Quote from fdufnews on November 6, 2011, 08:36
Distros like DSL or Puppy Linux use far less memory than this.
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
http://puppylinux.org/main/Ove.....tarted.htm
http://featherlinux.berlios.de/about.htm

last I checked, Puppy has never been compiled for anything except X86.

hippy
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Location: UK

Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:04 pm

Quote from adric22 on November 6, 2011, 16:33
last I checked, Puppy has never been compiled for anything except X86.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....#038;t=725
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PARM

ErvKosch
Posts: 82
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:33 pm

Is there an ARM version of DOS?

ffuentes
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:18 am

Quote from ErvKosch on November 6, 2011, 21:33
Is there an ARM version of DOS?

FreeDOS is in developing, I've found this http://thepiratebay.org/torren.....S-DOS.6.22 but I'm not sure if it will work.

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riffraff
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:19 am

Quote from fdufnews on November 6, 2011, 08:36
Distros like DSL or Puppy Linux use far less memory than this.
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
http://puppylinux.org/main/Ove.....tarted.htm
http://featherlinux.berlios.de/about.htm

Something like DSL would be ideal for orphan systems that don't require outside-world access. Problem is everything in it is pretty much dependent on x86 code and it uses an OLD version of linux with a much smaller kernel. Now, if someone wanted to take the time to re-invent the wheel, anything is possible. DSL's fun to play with and it stays in by trick bag cuz it's indispensable for boot and partition repair and password cracking, but you can't find a browser that will work with it that's new enough to connect to most sites. What I did love about it was the version of XMMS on there that's virtually identical to Winamp. I ran DSL on an old Pentium machine in our kitchen as a music box for a while - it's shockingly fast even on really grizzled-ancient hardware as long as you have enough RAM to load it.

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riffraff
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:56 am

I'm really, really wishing, hoping and praying the XFCE guys have plans for an ARMv6 port of their desktop. It's the right fit for this project. It runs very well in a limited memory environment and brings all of the functionality and elements that Windows users are comfortable with.

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riffraff
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:56 am

I'm really, really wishing, hoping and praying the XFCE guys have plans for an ARMv6 port of their desktop. It's the right fit for this project. It runs very well in a limited memory environment and brings all of the functionality and elements that Windows users are comfortable with.

Huulivoide
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:15 am

If my memory isint failing me again Arch uses around
60Mb on fresh install, dunno about the ARM ports usage
tougt. And anywa, Arch is best, don't use Ubuntu, it sucks.

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abishur
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:24 pm

Quote from Huulivoide on November 7, 2011, 08:15
If my memory isint failing me again Arch uses around
60Mb on fresh install, dunno about the ARM ports usage
tougt. And anywa, Arch is best, don't use Ubuntu, it sucks.

I seem to remember a song that's pretty relative to that comment :P

Let's not get into a distro debate here and keep it to the Dragnet Principal (Just the fact ma'am, just the fact) ;)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Loboexe
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:41 pm

Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:40 pm

On the OS and memory size debate.....
Quote from All OS's suck !
[I come from a time way back in the nineteen hundred and seventies when computers were used for 2 things, you either go to the moon or play pong! - Nothing inbetween.
You did'nt need a fancy operating system to play pong and the men and women, well the men who went to the moon, God blessem, they did it with no mouse, a text only black and white screen and 32Kb of RAM/i]

Full song found at

How quickly we forget where we came from :)

tufty
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Re: How to use a system with 256/128MB memory?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:42 pm

"Hey Hey 16K" in 3 ... 2 ... 1

[embed]http://www2.b3ta.com/heyhey16k/heyhey16k.swf[/embed]

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