How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux?

How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux?

How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux?

Although, daily here at Desde Linux, we usually offer you many informative news and useful tutorials about various events that have occurred in the Linuxverse, and its infinite and growing GNU/Linux Distributions, applications, games, technologies and communities, From time to time, we usually share one or another TI reflection on a particular topic.. The last one carried out is one where we address in a practical and simple way how the following controversial question should be resolved: ¿How to correctly classify a computer, in regards to its modernity?

And just as it says, in it we try to establish a minimum, logical and rational basis, to successfully achieve the ability to appropriately say when a computer is old and has few resources, and when it is modern and has vast resources. But, there are many other controversial questions in the Linuxverse, and to cover them one by one, today we will do the same, in a practical and simple way, with the following controversial question: «How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux? »

IT Reflection: Old and modern computers, and low and high resources

IT Reflection: Old and modern computers, and low and high resources

But, before starting to read this publication about this next controversial question of «How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux? », we recommend the previous related post with this series of reflections, made in June 2022, for later reading:

Starting in 2024 we could be seeing the birth of a new and third generation of personal computers. With not only new technologies, but radical technologies, which adapt deeply to the most recent and new technological changes. Therefore, we could be at the door of personal computers, with pieces of hardware or software modules based on current revolutionary technologies, which require greater consumption of CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD and Internet. Future third generation of personal computers

IT Reflection: Old and modern computers, and low and high resources
Related article:
IT Reflection: Old and modern computers, and low and high resources

RAM memory consumption in Linux: Is more better or worse?

RAM memory consumption in Linux: Is more better or worse?

How much RAM memory consumption is ideal to achieve when starting a GNU/Linux Distro?

This controversial question, without a doubt, It is not something that can be resolved definitively, and even less so in a few words.. However, based on the practical experience and vast bibliographies available online, to consult on this matter, we can highlight the following 2 important points:

1 point

The ideal initial RAM memory consumption in Linux, like other operating systems that are similar or not, may depend on various factors. Such as: How modern or old the hardware used and its architecture (32/64 Bits), the amount of total RAM installed, the desktop environment chosen, the applications/services configured at startup, and the specific technical configurations for use of the operating system, and the visual and functional customizations applied for the productivity of the end user(s).

Even technologies such as Xorg/X11 or Wayland, Pulseaudio and Pipeware, Systemd or SysVinit, among many other pairs of classic and modern technologies, can indirectly and slightly influence the initial consumption of RAM, in any operating system.

2 point

Another important factor is how modern or old the Linux Kernel used is and the GNU applications installed, which by default usually load services/routines at startup. Also, the fact of whether or not a Swap memory partition, or a Swap file or other memory management mechanism in RAM/ROM is used. And if that were not enough, also the fact of whether or not a GPU/NPU or other special processing Chip/Card is installed and used. Since, the latter usually assume certain processes in their own internal memories.

Even the type and size of cache memory (L1, L2 and L3) can indirectly and slightly influence the initial consumption of RAM, in any operating system.

Individual consumptions of the Linux Kernel and some popular Desktop Environments

However, it is worth pointing out that a modern Linux Kernel (6.X), according to some online literature, can easily consume between 128 MB and 256 MB of RAM when booting in CLI mode. While, in the case of the previous version (5.X), in many cases RAM consumption could be reached in the range of 64 MB and 128 MB of RAM.

And if it is in graphical mode, with one of the most used Desktop Environments in its default form (basic, not minimal), the following RAM memory consumption would have to be added to that:

  • GNOME: From 512 MB onwards.
  • KDE Plasma: From 400 MB onwards.
  • XFCE: From 256 MB onwards.
  • Cinnamon: 256 MB and up.
  • Mate: From 128 MB onwards.
  • LXQT: From 128 MB onwards.
  • LXDE: From 64 MB onwards.

Finally, and combining both minimum RAM consumption, both of the Kernel and the Desktop Environment used, plus a little more, depending on the specific HW/SW used, we could expect find a fairly approximate value of what it should be consuming RAM our computer with a specific GNU/Linux Distro.

Personal reflection

After all this mentioned and argued, that is, taking into account these 2 crucial points into consideration, and the average RAM consumption of the Linux Kernel and the most used desktop environment; Personally, I believed that this controversial question about «How much is the ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux? They can vary greatly in each case. That is, on each type and configuration of HW/SW,

And that, therefore, It is very difficult for anyone to make fair or appropriate comparisons.As for Classify a Distro as light and fast or heavy and slow, depending on what you personally consider to be a fair or necessary consumption of RAM. Therefore, my healthy and impartial advice is, not to focus so much on how much you consume at the beginning, but rather how you manage your consumption as you begin to manage it.

Top light GNU/Linux Distros for old and low-resource computers
Related article:
Top light GNU/Linux Distros for old and low-resource computers

Other controversial questions in the Linuxverse

Other controversial questions in the Linuxverse

  1. Is PulseAudio better than PipeWire?
  2. Is Wayland a good rival or replacement for Xorg/X11?
  3. Are Distros based on Debian or Ubuntu better?
  4. Which are better, the classic Distros or the immutable Distros?
  5. Are Distros based on Debian/Ubuntu or Fedora/RedHat or Arch better?
  6. Which are better, 100% free Distros or Distros with proprietary support?
  7. Which is a better and more complete desktop environment: GNOME or KDE Plasma?
  8. Which packaging system is better: deb, rpm, tar.gz, Snap, AppImages and Flatpak?
  9. Is it better to use GNU/Linux Distros with Systemd or with SysVinit or other alternative managers?
  10. Between a Desktop Environment and a Window Manager, which one is better to use and under what circumstances?
  11. Which philosophy of use is better and more practical for everyone: Free Software or Open Source?
  12. Which users are more expert and productive, those who use the Terminal, keyboard shortcuts and minimalist graphic environments with extremely low resource consumption (CPU/RAM/Disk/Internet) or those who prefer maximum use of the Interface? graphical user interface (GUI) without worries of high resource consumption?
Consume less, create more. It's more fun. Better if it's Free Software!
Related article:
Consume less, create more. It's more fun. Better if it's Free Software!

Summary image for post 2024

Summary

In short, we hope that this new IT reflection along with other similar ones related in the related articles mentioned, offers many a logical and rational basis, which allows them evaluate appropriately when a GNU/Linux Distro specific and designed for certain types of use, computers and users, is it really light or not.

Since, continuing to insist that «The ideal initial consumption of RAM in Linux should be less than 256/512 MB» for all GNU/Linux Distros when launching them, because if not, they must be considered heavy operating systems, full of bloatware software and unnecessary services, it is really something very unfortunate and unfair. Furthermore, it is something very far from the practical reality of modern operating systems, especially if we compare those of the Linuxverse with the current proprietary and commercial ones.

Lastly, remember visit our «homepage» en español. Or, in any other language (just by adding 2 letters to the end of our current URL, for example: ar, de, en, fr, ja, pt and ru, among many others) to find out more current content. Additionally, we invite you to join our Official Telegram channel to read and share more news, guides and tutorials from our website. And also, the next Alternative Telegram channel to learn more about the Linuxverse in general.


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