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Power Use, RAM + Boot Times With Unity, Xfce, GNOME, LXDE, Budgie & KDE Plasma

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  • There's plenty of resources in modern computers, but it does not explain why one application needs significantly more resources than another. From my point of view, resource hogs most probably do something wrong, their quality as pieces of software might be lower overall. I recently did some benchmarking of Libreoffice Calc vs gnumeric. Surprisingly, LO Calc was several times and several dozens of seconds slower than gnumeric when importing some quite normal looking .csv files. (For those who don't know, gnumeric is a light weight spreadsheet program while LO Calc is the de facto standard in the Linux world - also notorious for it's fucked up development style with german comments, dependencies on several scripting languages, several years of bug fixing just to make it usable in day to day jobs). I'm going to analyze it further and file some bugs, but IMO this just shows that when something kind of works on modern machines, but isn't very close to being optimal, it can be a show stopper on older hardware. Imagine things like building kiosk PCs with Raspberries or some clones. It's just not possible if the machine has 1 to 2 gigs of RAM in total, with few hundred megabytes dedicated to graphics/GPU. I'm pretty tired of tuning some low end machines to use openbox when one needs to save resources. I used KDE in 2005 and my relatively okayish machine had 1 GB, my next laptop had 1 GB of RAM. I bought it as new. Now, they're telling me the desktop uses all of my RAM. It's getting ridiculous.


    • Originally posted by zoner View Post
      Most modern computers use 8 gigs of ram. If you are running a PC XT with 640 megabytes you have a problem with a modern distro.
      I wrote my first program in 1963, thousands more since.
      Hmm. You do realize that Linux never ran on XT to begin with, right? When it comes to 640 megabytes, many single board computers have 256 to 1024 megabytes of RAM, shared with the GPU. They all run modern distros. I'm surrounded by computer running kernel 4.9 to 4.13 here with just 512 MB of RAM. Some of them even run plain old X.Org with a desktop environment (XFCE). I can watch videos with mpv, edit text with abiword, spreadsheets with gnumeric, statistics with R, I even run Java (gasp) based openhab. Seems to work just fine.


      • Originally posted by mgraesslin View Post
        As a few readers here are surprised by the bad RAM usage values in Plasma I want to share some experience with Ubuntu: uninstalling the other DE is not enough. On Ubuntu you cannot properly uninstall a desktop environment and especially Unity is not able to deactivate its own services when another DE is started. So it's totally normal that you see Ubuntu's desktop below Plasma or that Ubuntu's power management service is still running.

        Given that, I personally - from my experience with many, many bug reports covering this problem - would take this tests with a grain of salt.
        Sadly you can't expect thorough analysis of the issue in modern times, that's the whole point of the comment section.


        • Originally posted by birdie View Post

          How much RAM is enough? There are plenty of laptops being sold which have just 2 gigs of RAM and no upgrade option. For their users every meg counts. TDE/KDE 3.5.10 consume less than 120MB of RAM. Your shiny modern KDE has this process cold Plasma which takes up to 300MB of RAM with zero plasmoids running. Why are people so full of shit?

          Also go fuck yourself, dick. Unlike you I've been using Linux for almost 20 years now. What about you, a recent Windows 10 convert?

          Also, using more RAM has never equated to being faster - actually the opposite is true. Old applications written in assembler/C run circles around their modern shiny JavaScript-everywhere counterparts which consume gigs of RAM.

          You should drink a lot less Kool Aid, dude. More RAM usage means faster applications, my ass. Never read such a heresy in my entire life.
          slow down there turbo!

          1) If you are buying a new laptop in 2017 with 2GiB of RAM, then you are not doing anything that requires lots of RAM, otherwise you would buy a laptop with more RAM
          2) "been using Linux for over 20 years now" - cool - have a cookie - me too - but I have used plenty of other operating systems as well in last 30+ years
          3) please do not fall in love with things written in assembler - you trade development speed for a smaller binary. Modern development practices run rings around those of 40 years ago. That and GCC/LLVM are much better at assembler on any architecture than nearly every developer out there.
          4) please, tell me again how the Linux slab cache does not speed up disk access in trade of using RAM? how does accessing things frequently off a slow disk drive make your system run faster than loading them into RAM and accessing them there?

          There are a million and one trade offs in compute land. A lot of them can be solved by throwing a little bit more money at the problem, some of them can be solved by throwing a lot of money at developers.

          please stop trotting out the "When I were a lad..." arguments - they stopped being true a really long time ago


          • Am I the only one who doesn't really care about RAM usage? I have 32GB DDR4 and RAM is the least of my concerns.


            • Originally posted by GhostOfFunkS View Post

              Nah. It is just you who don't get how Ubuntu do it. That is okay. It's new stuff outside RH so it will take time to do away with narratives. Do you plan to stick around telling the same old story next time someone goes GNOME+session? I mean you didn't get it with classic session or ubuntu session, so why not aim for three strikes?
              Sorry you lost me with your drivel. Please do continue, it's amusing.