Impressions of Gutsy (Was: First impressions of dolphin)

Steve Lamb grey at dmiyu.org
Tue Oct 9 17:06:42 BST 2007


Derek Broughton wrote:
> Steve Lamb wrote:
>>     Er, ps auwx says otherwise:

>> 107       4746  0.0  0.4   3260  1188 ?        S    19:03   0:00
>> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/scd0 (every 2 sec)

> OK, you seem to be right that hal really _is_ watching, but if you just grep
> the hald lines, you'll see that hald-addon-storage is watching far more
> than /dev/scd0 with that 2100kb (on my system).  You can't look at ps and
> add up the memory fields and come up with the number of bytes actually
> being used.  If memory is shared by multiple processes it gets reported for
> every process.

    Er, yes, you can.  Top line of ps is this and lines up with the line in
question like so:

USER       PID %CPU %MEM    VSZ   RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND
107       5020  0.0  0.1   3260  1188 ?        S    08:47   0:00
hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/hdc (every 2 sec)

    From the ps man page:

vsz       VSZ    virtual memory size of the process in KiB
rss       RSS    resident set size, the non-swapped physical memory that a
                        task has used (in kiloBytes). (alias rssize, rsz).

    So my figure if 1.1Mb is from the "resident set size, the non-swapped
physical memory that a task has used".  The VSZ is the portion which is shared
with other processes through libraries.  You'll note I always was citing the
RSS figure, never the VSZ or the aggregate of both.

> First, it's not using 876kb, and second acpi is doing a whole lot more than
> power.  Sorry, you likely can't live without it.  It monitors temperature
> (turning on/off the fans), lids (on laptops), the power button (without
> ACPI you may not even be able to turn the machine off), cpu frequency,
> AC/Battery/UPS connections, and all special hardware buttons on some
> computers (things like audio controls, brightness, sleep).

    Good, none of those I use.  We're talking an almost 10 year old Laptop.
Moot now, yes, but good to know going into the future.

> You're trying to micromanage a laptop that is probably doing a fairly good
> job of managing itself.  I understand that there's a real problem with the
> cpu frequency management, but the rest of it is overhead that (a) you
> really can't just tear pieces out of and (b) isn't nearly as much as you
> think.

    No, really, it is.  That thing has 256Mb of memory and starting out with
KDE means that after I've loaded Firefox and Thunderbird pretty much anything
else touches swap.  Every process I don't need running because my laptop does
not have the hardware or I don't utilize what little hardware is there is just
wasted memory.  If that stuff is activated for any reason it is pulled out of
swap with a very expensive read from the hard drive.  I have been using Debian
and, for a time, KUbuntu on this laptop since I bought it almost 5 years ago.
 I'm afraid that no developer on KUbuntu is going to manage my laptop by proxy
better than I can.  That has become evident in this process.

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