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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Can 32-bit Puppy use >3 GB of RAM? (Yes, with PAE)
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 06:01    Post subject:  Can 32-bit Puppy use >3 GB of RAM? (Yes, with PAE)
Subject description: (Physical Address Extensions)
 

Hi Everyone.

I am well aware of the limitations of a 32bit operating system in recognising ram over about 3.1gig.

Many new computers have 4 or more gig of ram installed, which, if you have a 32 bit OS, is just a waste. Since puppy is 32bit, fatdog excluded, is there a way it can be utilised? Is it possible for my 4 gig system to have a 1 gig ramdisk partition, and 3 gig of system ram?

Is the limitation immediate, ie does an OS immediately see 4 and say there is nothing allowed past 3.2, or could it see 4 and set aside 2 for ramdisk and 2 for system?

Its an idea that perhaps in practical use may have no useful function, but I do somewhat feel that I am limited by puppy's, and others' 32bit ram issues in my 4 gig machine. Perhaps the ramdisk could function as ram based swap? Would that work?

Just a thought. Any bites?

Last edited by p310don on Fri 22 Apr 2011, 19:01; edited 1 time in total
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 07:07    Post subject:  

Maybe ask Barry at his blog, he like things like that http://bkhome.org/blog/?page=1
ttuuxxx

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 07:41    Post subject:  

wow, I read barry's blog pretty regularly, went there to follow ur suggestion ttuuxx, now I realise I don't know how / where to ask barryk? am I missing something obvious?
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 07:58    Post subject:  

p310don wrote:
wow, I read barry's blog pretty regularly, went there to follow ur suggestion ttuuxx, now I realise I don't know how / where to ask barryk? am I missing something obvious?


First PM him with a username and password you would like to use, then he will setup an account, then all you have to do is respond to any of the threads he has started.
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/privmsg.php?mode=post&u=52 <--- Barry's PM link
http://www.google.com/search?q=memory&sitesearch=http://bkhome.org/blog/ <--- google search his blog about memory to respond to

ttuuxxx

_________________
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http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 19:36    Post subject:  

Found this via google http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php

Maybe further research is needed.
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James C


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 5687
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 20:39    Post subject:  

What about using a PAE enabled kernel....supports up to 64 Gb of ram?

http://www.jonboy60.com/2011/01/20/howto-install-kernel-pae/
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 22:09    Post subject:  

James C wrote:
What about using a PAE enabled kernel....supports up to 64 Gb of ram?

http://www.jonboy60.com/2011/01/20/howto-install-kernel-pae/


Hi james I went there and well there was an ad covering the whole page after a few seconds, so I disabled javascript using Firefox click Edit-->Preferences --> Content and untick Enable JavaScript then refresh the page and the add will be gone Wink Then once your finished just follow the same steps and tick Enable JavaScript once again.
ttuuxxx

_________________
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http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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James C


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 5687
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 22:51    Post subject:  

ttuuxxx wrote:
James C wrote:
What about using a PAE enabled kernel....supports up to 64 Gb of ram?

http://www.jonboy60.com/2011/01/20/howto-install-kernel-pae/


Hi james I went there and well there was an ad covering the whole page after a few seconds, so I disabled javascript using Firefox click Edit-->Preferences --> Content and untick Enable JavaScript then refresh the page and the add will be gone Wink Then once your finished just follow the same steps and tick Enable JavaScript once again.
ttuuxxx


I was using NoScript so I never noticed that, should have checked before I posted the link. Smile
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar 2011, 22:52    Post subject:  

James C wrote:
What about using a PAE enabled kernel....supports up to 64 Gb of ram?

http://www.jonboy60.com/2011/01/20/howto-install-kernel-pae/

hmm even better here's the text from that link


Howto install Kernel PAE
January 20, 2011 No Comments

The Linux kernel with support for up to 64GB of high memory. It requires a CPU with Physical Address Extensions (PAE). Physical Address Extension (PAE) is a feature to allow x86 processors to access a physical address space (including random access memory and memory mapped devices) larger than 4 gigabytes. The non-PAE kernel can only address up to 4GB of memory. Install the kernel-PAE package if your machine has more than 4GB of memory.

Do your computer had more than 4GB RAM? Did you upgrade your computer to a 4 GB or more RAM? Do you have a 32bit system? If yes, then your machine may not show up total 4Go, in this case you Linux need to use the Linux kernel compiled for PAE capable machines. The PAE package includes a version of the Linux kernel with support for up to 64GB of high memory. It requires a CPU with Physical Address Extensions (PAE).

Checking Processor
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -i PAE
(If you see pae, then your processor supports PAE)

Installing PAE in Fedora/RHEL/CentOS
For fedora /RHEL and CentOS open terminal and Run the following command :
$ yum install kernel-PAE

Then
Reboot

Now PAE kernel should be booted as the default option in the GRUB boot menu.

Installing PAE in Ubuntu
If you had more memory before to install Ubuntu 10.04 and above then you don`t need to do anything since ubuntu automatically installs the PAE enabled kernel if it detects more than 3 Gb of available memory. In the case of the liveCD, a working network connection is required, since the PAE enabled kernel packages are not present on the CD.

If you have Ubuntu 10.10 already installed and you just upgraded your Ram to 3GB or more, then you need to install PAE kernel. To do that open terminal and type the following command :
$ sudo aptitude install linux-generic-pae linux-headers-generic-pae

Then
Reboot

Now PAE kernel should be booted as the default option in the GRUB boot menu.

ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 00:00    Post subject:  

PAE looks just like the ticket. Any ideas what extra size it would incur? How hard would it be to include? Might it break everything else? Kernel compilation is beyond my level of expertise...
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 00:57    Post subject:  

ya it would take a kernel compile, If anyone uses Ubuntu, there are kernel specif packages located at http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid-updates/linux-image-2.6.35-22-generic-pae right hand column near the bottom.
ttuuxxx

_________________
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http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2226

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 04:28    Post subject:  

It is using all 4GB -it's just that the kernel reserves 1GB for itself. Using PAE is for over 4GB of RAM, so no need for that. It is possible to change that 3:1 split, but you have to patch the kernel sources and recompile.
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 2059
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 08:32    Post subject:  

This is VDISK all over again after 30 years Smile

The question is - supposed we do have a PAE kernel, will what p310don says will work? Can we use that extra memory for ramdisk (or tmpfs, for that matter)? Ie will that memory be allocated from extra high-memory, or will that eat the "normal" memory - and thus has no advantage proposed?

Google the omniscient doesn't seem to know the answer. (Or perhaps I didn't ask the right question).

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 09:34    Post subject:  

ttuuxxx - I have ubuntu on this pc, but it is the 64 bit edition, so 4 gig is no problem. I might try a temporary install, and then try the PAE extensions you linked to, and see if it actually makes any difference.

amigo - I'm not sure what you mean that the kernel reserves 1 gig for itself? Can you explain, or point me to some further research? It is/was my understanding that PAE is for over the 32bit limitation on ram at about 3.2 gig, which if that is the case, PAE is useful. Furthermore, lots of newer PCs are coming with more than 4 gig ram. I have seen a number of posts on this forum asking why puppy doesn't see their 4 gig, or more. My initial thoughts behind this idea were along the lines of perceive value for money. Even though puppy is free, it becomes crap when people who don't know better, think its a fault that puppy doesn't see all their ram when bios or vista or 7 or ubuntu does.

jamesbond - I think we're on the same page. I don't have any answer, just the idea, and not enough knowledge to do the experiments. Google is difficult to use to find out an answer, because its not something that seems to be done lots in desktop linux. There is some stuff regarding server application of the idea, with servers running 64gig ram, and using PAE kernel.

Back to my original post, does anyone know how memory is recognised by the kernel? Can it be split up before 32bit says no to upper memory, into 3 gig and excess for use as ramdisk? Can this be done without the use of PAE, if PAE turns out to be too big, hard, slow, difficult, scary, useless?

In my experience with puppy, I rarely get over 1 gig memory usage, after all it works on ancient hardware. But I like the idea of using it on good, modern hardware with plenty of everything.

If I were a new to linux person, and had a new (ish) pc with 4 or more gig or ram, I would be disappointed to find out puppy didn't see it.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10960
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar 2011, 16:31    Post subject:  

Keep in mind that some of the very useful programs which run in 32-bit Puppy might not run in 64-bit Puppy. If you don't really need more than 3 GB of RAM, why not just live with this insignificant imperfection? Hardly any applications need or use more than a few hundred MB of RAM.
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