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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
How much of RAM is free?
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 19:39    Post subject:  

If you have a (sufficient) swap file or partition (which appears unnecessary in your case) why do you think you will experience a freeze?
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:11    Post subject:  

Jasper wrote:
If you have a (sufficient) swap file or partition (which appears unnecessary in your case) why do you think you will experience a freeze?


Because with no swap I do get a frozen system when I exceed the physical RAM. I can replicate it every time. None of the memory readouts that have been discussed here give a warning. Yet I can approximate the level at which it will occur by simple addition of what I think is occupying RAM.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:28    Post subject:  

So, why not apply some gumption, make a swap file or partition, and report back?

If you followed the link in my first post above, the difference between us seems to be your real need, as opposed to my desire to merely understand.
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:47    Post subject:  

I have, by starting this thread and asking the question. Swap is irrelevant. There should be a way to tell how much RAM is free.

With regards to your Htop issue, I have no reason to doubt that Htop reports its figures absolutely accurately. However, it does not report RAM usage, just like a normal clock does not report the temperature. Htop reports memory used by running processes but there are other users of memory, especially with a Puppy frugal install.

Last edited by hoven on Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:56; edited 1 time in total
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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11775
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:53    Post subject:  

hoven wrote:
I have, by starting this thread and asking the question. Swap is irrelevant. There should be a way to tell how much RAM is free.
I have told you to look in PupSysIfo to have the RAM occupation.
Did you do that?

Also I have the impression you have a hidden agenda.
Why not tell why you want to know and why swap isn't an option.

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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:03    Post subject:  

Béèm wrote:
hoven wrote:
I have, by starting this thread and asking the question. Swap is irrelevant. There should be a way to tell how much RAM is free.
I have told you to look in PupSysIfo to have the RAM occupation.
Did you do that?

Also I have the impression you have a hidden agenda.
Why not tell why you want to know and why swap isn't an option.


Yes I looked, it reports the figure that Top does plus others which I do not understand but none tally up with what I believe is actual free RAM.

I have no hidden agenda. Why do you accuse me of such things???

Swap is not an answer to how much free RAM is left available, only a way to avoid having the answer matter.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:10    Post subject:  

I believe, on the one hand, that any forum member (and there will be many) who really understand your question could provide a simple answer (without directing you elsewhere); on the other hand, you seem to seek an answer rather than a solution which swap should provide.
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DPUP5520

Joined: 16 Feb 2011
Posts: 813

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:15    Post subject:  

Uh had anyone suggested HardInfo?
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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:23    Post subject:  

Swap is not a solution, it is a comparatively inefficient work around. Besides, I may wish to run the PC without the need to constantly write to disk, that's the beauty of Puppy.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:38    Post subject:  

How much RAM do you have and which package(s) are eating that RAM and to what extent?

Also, you might be right, but what makes you so sure your freezes are due to RAM shortage?
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 22:28    Post subject:  

No taking sides, but have been watching this over couple days.

What may be being asked is:
Is there a way that can be used to show RAM "saturation" regardless of whether a SWAP is used?

Yes, SWAP is a method (similar to Paging that has been used in the computing industry for approx 45 years. It works and many of us understand the benefit that it provides.

So, I've used all of these tools mentioned in this thread over the years. But, I had not thought about it until now, that I have not seen a measurement tool that answers the question in the way it is being asked. (Not just in Puppy, but across the Linux distros I have used thus far).

Up until this question was posed, I had been using the hardinfo tool (DPUP5520 shares that as well). But, I have never used it as a RAM monitor. Further, I am not aware of any Linux tool that will "alert" me that my system RAM is running low (although this "MAY" be in a log somewhere).

It is a question which has me thinking about how the system reports information to us. The system reports are accurate, but, its the how it reflects information that got me to thinking.

When I started using Linux it was in the days of Mandrake + SCO. Prior to that it was UNIX (ATT + IBM) where these were installed on HDDs. For personal use, I started using Knoppix3.8 Live media, then moved to Knoppix "roram", and on to Live media Puppy because of its ease in saving RAM-based sessions back to live media. I had come to rely on Hardinfo and free. But, this question has me thinking. "If I'm in a RAM based environment, is there some tool that I should be using to provide alerts should I be approaching a system saturation point?" Hmmm....

Hope this helps

Edited: I think "Free" may be the answer. But, its going to take a little bit of development work by someone to create an "alerting" tool and, maybe, a timestamp log somewhere of RAM usage.

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3217

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 02:04    Post subject:  

I've had my system grind to a halt on many an occasion...almost always after using firefox for a while and using flash. Generally I'm alerted by my fan suddenly going hyper...and the CPU topping out. My swap file isn't being used, and I'll be showing plenty of free ram, as I recall. I usually have to reboot.

I'm sure it's about FF and adobe maxing out resources, but I don't see it in the RAM report. Since I've started using mplayer for the videos, I haven't had the problem.

"top -n1" correctly displays the pigs, but there's probably no way to measure just how badly Adobe mis-manages your resources. Jobs was right.
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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11775
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 09:46    Post subject:  

hoven wrote:
Béèm wrote:
hoven wrote:
I have, by starting this thread and asking the question. Swap is irrelevant. There should be a way to tell how much RAM is free.
I have told you to look in PupSysIfo to have the RAM occupation.
Did you do that?

Also I have the impression you have a hidden agenda.
Why not tell why you want to know and why swap isn't an option.


Yes I looked, it reports the figure that Top does plus others which I do not understand but none tally up with what I believe is actual free RAM.

I have no hidden agenda. Why do you accuse me of such things???

Swap is not an answer to how much free RAM is left available, only a way to avoid having the answer matter.
I don't make accusations.
This is the second time you accuse me of such.

I still do think there is something you want to achieve, but you don't speak openly about it.

As far as your initial topic is concerned, I think it is answered and continuation of the thread is a waste of time.

Unless you make very clear what you want to achieve, and this might be interesting for all, I might close the thread.

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hoven

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 13:23    Post subject:  

Béèm wrote:
I have the impression you have a hidden agenda.


Béèm wrote:
I don't make accusations.


That sure looks like an accusation to me. I asked a simple question for which there should be an answer (it's a computer system after all and not a philosophical debate). Instead I get my character questioned by you, not once but twice.

I do not consider my question as answered. I cannot identify the amount of RAM which is left free to use from any of those tools. They all seem to report something else, or in the case of PSI it reports many figures that I don't know the meaning of but none by themselves match what I calculate to be actual occupied physical RAM. The closest seems to be "Active" and "Inactive" as reported by "cat /proc/meminfo" (at least they move in the right way) but the amounts are still off and free RAM is greater than the "Inactive" figure.

The size or existence of a swap file/partition does not change the question and answer, it only moves the goalposts. The same for the actual amount of physical RAM in the system. I consider any move to bring swap or size of RAM into the discussion as an obfuscation. Even so, I have given actual figures from my computer.

As for an actual use, I want to know how big a file I can load into RAM without crashing the system, but I would rather have an easier way to find out than by consulting different tools and figures, guessing others and then using a calculator, or by loading in files of various sizes and noting the position at which the system crashes.

Even though I consider the existence/absence of swap as irrelevant to answering my question, what I want to do is run a diskless system to keep noise, heat and power usage to a minimum while actually increasing efficiency and longevity.
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Jasper

Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1350
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 13:54    Post subject:  

Hi,

Of course the lack of a swap facility is not directly relevant to your question, but if a swap space were to obviate your freezes that would at least be an advance of knowledge.

I suggest that you post a screenshot and/or code and explain your calculation(s) in full detail. That would give someone with expertise a chance to give you an answer.

Some 2 GB of RAM is huge and if you click the RAM heading in htop it will sort your program usage in descending order (ascending order if you click again) so at least you can see what, if anything, is eating huge slugs of RAM.

Our moderator does have a very good command of some four or more languages, but English is not his first language so having explained he meant no accusation perhaps you can accept that it is a matter of his intention rather than his original words.

My regards
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