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Author Topic: all(most) RAM being used up  (Read 2677 times)
Diabolic Preacher
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« on: September 26, 2007, 04:03:37 pm »

my laptop's specs
its a dell inspiron 1501 with amd turion dual core 64 bit, 1 gb ram and 120 gb. it has VL-5.8 final in single boot with kde primarily being used. the ati radeon integrated graphics subsystem shares the RAM so the system is left with 880 mb. its a little help i need with the rapid loss of free memory per session to the point that the system becomes all skippy... i mean in this day, a 512 mb ram machine is still good and seeing *vector* bring my 1gb ram machine down to a crawl is quite saddening. i am not ignoring the possibility of the ati binary drivers (8.40) that i am using. but am not sure what exactly is using up all the memory.

scenario 1:
1. VLC (wxvlc): - i was watching a 90-95 minute movie and like near 60 minutes i see the ram is left like only 16mb out of 880mb. the programs which run on the background and are idle are klipper, kmix (the volume thing), battery monitor, juk (my default music player), but i'll tell you something. i checked in htop...i sorted by mem% usage and i saw like almost a dozen of wxvlc processes and each one was taking a whole 8.1% in all they were using around 250-280mb ram! i mean why does it need to keep so much in RAM?

scenario 2:
2. juk/openoffice : - i have my study slides on impress and am listening to a 80 minute podcast and roughly around 65 minutes or so the free and available RAM drops to an all-time low and i check in htop and juk is on top. in that situation the slides took ages (and i had to remove all transition effects just to get on) and the podcaster was skipping lines. so i thought let me stop and restart juk. now the darn thing wouldn't let me seek to any point beyond 25 minute point. again i gotta listen to all that ~40 minutes! arrghh!

i mean these are one off cases and if any of you have further examples to draw a pattern or know of any way i can make the system use my RAM resources more judiciously, i would be real glad. are there no tools or software to flush unclaimed and unreleased memory. i mean i am just telling from what i see on the windows side. although they should not be over-used but being left with 16mb out of the whole 1gb RAM is like real sad thing. Sad

p.s. hope its not too long... just some details.
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Diabolic Preacher
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lagagnon
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 06:03:37 pm »

...i sorted by mem% usage and i saw like almost a dozen of wxvlc processes and each one was taking a whole 8.1% in all they were using around 250-280mb ram!
That does sound like a bug in VLC and would have nothing to do with VectorLinux. I suggest you post this same info to the VLC Forum (http://forum.videolan.org/viewforum.php?f=13&sid=d86e8f92f7e21299bab3e3fbbce562fe)
Quote
2. juk/openoffice : - i have my study slides on impress and am listening to a 80 minute podcast and roughly around 65 minutes or so the free and available RAM drops to an all-time low
I know nothing of the juk with openoffice thing, but again, you might find out more from the Juk forums, because this really is not a VL issue so much as a potnetial memory usage bug in that particular software so the best place to find out answers to that would probably be here:
http://developer.kde.org/~wheeler/bugs.html

BTW when you kill these processes (you can see them with "ps aux") does the unused RAM get returned to you?
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 11:41:10 am »

i am not sure, if i can point out specific applications but i was looking here for some general starting points. some help from people with "common experience". Smiley

when i kill either of juk or vlc the RAM regain is minimal. from 16 mb free to 100 mb free or even less.

i am only amazed that even after having 1gb ram system with a 1.8 ghz dual core processor, which i think is far more than what VL recommends. and juk and vlc comes default with VL SOHO.

so is it that Vector recommends system requirements without testing the very applications that come bundled with it. these applications came with VL and i think its most appropriate to post my RAM usage problem, right here.
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Diabolic Preacher
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lagagnon
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 02:18:04 pm »

when i kill either of juk or vlc the RAM regain is minimal. from 16 mb free to 100 mb free or even less.
Please post the output of the commands "ps aux" and "free" both before killing the apps when they have used up a whole buch of memory, and after killing the apps. Also, what are the exact format specs of the media you are viewing when you get the RAM problem? With that info we might be able to diagnose your problem more effectively.
Quote
so is it that Vector recommends system requirements without testing the very applications that come bundled with it
I assume that is a question? We are a very small core of developers and testers and are always looking for assistance in that regard  Wink - so I guess, if this is some sort of bug, it was not spotted by anyone during the testing stage, so it is either something particular to your setup (have you done any majopr upgrades to your system BTW?) or was overlooked.
Quote
.. these applications came with VL and i think its most appropriate to post my RAM usage problem, right here.
Being as the RAM usage only seems to affect those apps it would appear to be a codec problem or app problem and that is why I suggested to you the other websites because you will probably find a more application-codec knowledgeable crowd at those sites and quite probably someone else there who has experienced the same issues. Also, no other forum reader here has yet responded to your query which suggests others here have not had the same problem and that your query is very application specific.

At any rate post the details I suggested above and maybe we can figure this out - it is definetely not what should be happening...
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Joe1962
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 02:24:42 pm »

This is not normal, for sure. Also, I don't see anywhere which version of VL you are using. BTW, just to be sure, do you have these apps running a lot of the time, or are there extended periods when you are using other apps and the issue doesn't come up?
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 09:41:07 pm »

Some of that's cache and buffers. Occasionally, running sync will free up a bit of memory.

Flash can also be quite the memory hog, BTW.
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 03:39:14 am »

Quote
my laptop's specs
its a dell inspiron 1501 with amd turion dual core 64 bit, 1 gb ram and 120 gb. it has *VL-5.8 final* in single boot with kde primarily being used.

missed the SOHO. but i think in the long run, a better workaround is to show the VL version on the left pane under my screen name. i mean problems and queries arise more times than the no. of times one would change distros. and having to remember to cat the version file everytime one writes a post is...well i still managed to write 5.8 final Cheesy

no flash used.

i should try sync. can i cron it to do so occassionally.

the way i observe my system i am hoping to show you free and ps aux output without actually explicitly using any of juk or vlc. i have the ksim applet to show memory usage and the slider just slides like downhill and i'm like wait! Wait! WAIT! Cheesy at worse times i wish the free command would free up the RAM instead of showing the sorry state it gets into.

i also noticed that even though some apps like wxvlc take up quite a lot of memory in a short time they still take up far less than the amount that is shown as used up.

do you have any way to make the ati graphics subsystem use less memory resources. like turning off some features with the aticonfig tool. i can paste the xorg.conf file as well...i will. me on another comp. now.

Quote
We are a very small core of developers and testers and are always looking for assistance in that regard  Wink - so I guess, if this is some sort of bug, it was not spotted by anyone during the testing stage, so it is either something particular to your setup (have you done any majopr upgrades to your system BTW?) or was overlooked.
small core of developers...small set of applications...distro with looks of the big distros and requirements of live cd's. vector'll be my choice. my intention of posting to the forum is not to corner the developers and interrogate them. i was hoping that there would be another user of vector who would have somewhat similar configuration and atleast raise their hand if they faced similar problem. but maybe that's a wrong assumption. i also understand that the core developers may not have access to the wide range of hardware that the entire community of users would have. wondering if i could present my system's whacky behavior in a usable format.

Quote
Being as the RAM usage only seems to affect those apps
i had presented scenarios or examples. how am i to know if they were taking up entire memory? all i observed was that although these apps would take up quite a lot of memory (further tests show vlc as more of a memory hog). well let me post the ps aux and free output (not free -m?), maybe you can spot some anomalies perhaps.

could anyone of you try running a full length movie (mostly using divx/xvid) in vlc that comes default in vector 5.8 soho and check on how many processes of wxvlc are spawned over intervals of 15 minutes and what percentage of memory is used by each one. could you also do some random things like start full screen and switch back to normal. toggle the play speed but don't use any post-processing filters.
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Diabolic Preacher
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 05:15:17 am »

i should try sync. can i cron it to do so occassionally.

I don't see why not...
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 12:25:07 pm »

i am sorry for the late follow-up but i am really trying to avoid net surfing before the exams and i just took too long to remind myself to output the contents of ps aux and free -m. but before that some important revelations.

i think i have mentioned elsewhere in another thread (can't find the link on this slow network) regarding configuring of suspend2's resume feature which expects a swap partition/device and not a swap image file. So far, my system had no swap space, because as many times as i installed Vector Linux 5.8 SOHO, the installer just skipped the swap space creation and mentioned that as well (can't remember exact words).

so I learnt about mkswap and swapon commands and then free -m was showing the swap space (i set it to a 1027mb partition. my RAM is advertised as 1gb). as 1027mb instead of 0. so i thought of retesting and observing.

same results. maybe after you see the ps aux you can figure out something...but here's something more.

i ran memtest86+ from a systemrescuecd live cd, just to observe how memtest works and it mentioned that out of 1024 mb, 387 mb or so MB was reserved, could you explain what this means. If its for graphics, its insanely huge. The phoenix BIOS on dell machine doesn't allow adjusting the RAM shared for the graphics controller. How much would you say is enough for watching movies?
The system becomes so pathetic that some movies play normally only when the power profile is set to performance and crawls if its powersave (i figured out ondemand was most suitable), and that way the battery gets drained faster.

the pastebin links
http://pastebin.com/f6c8a97f4 -> ps aux when memory was low
http://pastebin.com/f438ec095 -> ps aux when system is just booted
http://pastebin.com/d11265600 -> free -m when memory is low
http://pastebin.com/f673ae92c -> free -m when system just booted
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