Cold feet

Brian Pitts brian at
Sun Jan 13 06:25:58 GMT 2008

>> 512 MB of RAM. I checked the processes that are running. I have about 
>> 420 MB used, about 65 MB free. A lot of this is Greek to me, but it 
>> looks like there are things running that I don't use -- e.g., three 
>> processes related to Evolution, using about 180 MB! -- and things that 
>> are running in several iterations -- e.g., something called "getty," of 
>> which there are six iterations.
> I use Gnome and not KDE, but even so that seems to be excessive memory 
> use. It is probably paging the disk a lot which would explain everything 
> being slow. You can try selectively disabling various services and 
> startup items. Unfortunately I don't know where in KDE's menus those 
> options would be. In Gnome there are /Services/ and /Sessions/ menus to 
> control that. Your old HDD is no doubt contributing to the slowness too, 
> especially with excessive disk paging due to the high RAM usage.

The memory numbers sound normal. It's easy to misled by the many 
different measures of memory usage in linux. A reasonable good overall 
measure that will work whether you use KDE or GNOME is to open a 
terminal, run the command 'free -m', and look at the number in the '-/+ 
buffers/cache:' row and 'used' column. For instance, on my desktop

$ free -m
              total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          2026       1878        147          0         73       1433
-/+ buffers/cache:        371       1654
Swap:         2047         33       2013

I see that I'm "using" 371MB of RAM.

BTW, RAM is cheap. Adding that second gig cost only $25.


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