"le9" Strives To Make Linux Very Usable On Systems With Small Amounts Of RAM
The le9 code has been developed over the past two years and is nearing its formal release, according to the developer who mentioned this to Phoronix. The intent of le9 is to protect the file cache from being evicted from RAM. Le9 protects clean file pages under memory pressure to prevent thrashing and what users normally encounter with high latency and locking issues in near out-of-memory conditions.
According to the Phoronix reader involved with the Le9 work, he's reportedly able to run Mozilla Firefox with 37 tabs as well as having Skype, Discord, two PDFs, and LibreOffice all running on an aging decade old system with just 2GB of RAM.
Protection of clean file pages (page cache) may be used to prevent thrashing, reducing I/O under memory pressure, avoid high latency and prevent livelock in near-OOM conditions. The current le9 patches provide two sysctl knobs for soft and hard protection of clean file pages. The current le9 patches are based on patches that were originally created by Mandeep Singh Baines (2010) and Marcus Linsner (2018-2019).
More details on the le9 work via this GitHub repository. Le9 has already been picked up by the likes of the XanMod kernel. When the le9 code is finalized, the developer does intend to post it for upstream review and possible inclusion in the future for the mainline kernel.