How Do You Keep Resource Usage Low?

Hi,

I notice with every system that over time it does end up taking more resources. Naturally, I don’t like that, so I try the following things:

  • Prevent bloat: I really hate bloat and I figure my strategy of avoiding it also helps keep resource usage lower. I keep things under 1000 packages on Arch based distros such as EndeavourOS. RN I have 936 packages, all from pacman, and a few AUR packages.

  • Ensure that I’m not running extraneous services: I don’t start anything on my own unless I know I will use it, such as Tor and NordVPNd. I also try to turn off applets until I need them, most notably Redshift.

  • Restart Frequently: This MATE desktop for instance starts at 590 MB but can go up to 1.2 GB on idle with nothing open over time. In order to avoid that, I restart whenever I know I’m not gonna be using it for a semi long period of time.

  • Use as little and lightweight as possible: If I haven’t used something for ~10 minutes and IK I won’t need it, I close it.

However, as stated above in restart frequently I still have a lot of RAM used. That’s why I’m asking you, the EOS community: What do you do to keep resource usage low?

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My first DE was Gnome
Currently I use i3wm. Big improvement.
It starts at <200mb ram usage

Edit: For browser, I have FF, but I use Midori whenever it’s casual browsing. FF is super with its sync features.

Pretty sane overall things you got there @MagusZ

I’d add to that list some personal stuff:

  • Always turn off any kind of search indexing for whatever DE you use
  • Set browser to use 0 disk cache (move everything to RAM, to reduce disk thrashing)

Firefox example

prefs.js

user_pref("browser.cache.disk.enable", false);
user_pref("browser.sessionstore.interval", 1800000);

Other than that, RAM usage itself is not a big issue, if it can be effectively unloaded / garbage collected and rest is used for caching shared resources.

So, obviously: https://www.linuxatemyram.com/ :upside_down_face:

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I use KDE Plasma, so having under 1000 packages installed is not really a viable option for me :sweat_smile:

The number of packages installed is a fairly irrelevant stat. What matters is the number of services and other programs running, and how frugal they are with your system resources.

But with EndeavourOS, I really had no issues of excessive resource usage. KDE Plasma is typically very good about not having memory leaks, typically it uses about 500-600 MiB of RAM at any time. On all of my machines, it is Firefox that uses most of the resources, which is understandable.

However, about a year ago, when I was still using Kubuntu, the story was much different, there I had issues with excessive resource usage. But ever since I distro hopped to Manjaro, I had no problems. And now I’m using EndeavourOS and it’s even leaner, faster, and less bloated than Manjaro. The only way I could get an even leaner system is to stop using Plasma and switch to, say, dwm. But I really see no need for it.

Oh yes, @keybreak reminded me: always, always turn off file indexing. Not only does it use too much resources, it is also a potential security issue. Turning off baloo is the first thing I do when installing Plasma.

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On a different note, ram usage should increase as your pc is kept on because the apps are cached in there. It’s useful - when I start Thunar for the first time after boot, it takes a few seconds. But after that, it opens instantly, because it’s cached.
Not always desirable though

I think you need to be careful how view resource usage. Unless you are actually running out of resources, Linux tries to use the resources available to it. This is a good thing. Trying to lower memory usage when you have available memory doesn’t really help things.

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KDE (which i also use) needs a lot more for my taste to turn off / remove from the start, but that’s heaviest one :slight_smile:

Give me your list of stuff you turn off on Plasma, please! :smiley:

@MagusZ

How many gigabytes of ram do you have in your machine?

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The Same . Because baloo slows down system and can’t be just killed by system monitors . So it’s safe to disable it from the begging

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list… :upside_down_face:

It’s hard to say when you have unfinished, but working 1897 lines bash script made for Manjaro… :rofl:
Which should tell you level of my love/hate relationship with default KDE :sweat_smile:

Obviously just small portion of this script is dealing with usual stuff like debloat / optimisation, rest is mainly customization of programs, themes, Latte dock etc.

I’m not yet ready to public share it, but if you want i can PM you so you can see / try :wink:
I’ve tested it on Manjaro, pure Arch & EOS, also @linesma have tested it too - so far it does it’s job nice but i wouldn’t advise it for production system just yet)


But anyway, from the top of my head those i kill if they are present:

programs_remove=(

    # Privacy / Bloat
    "kdeconnect"
    "akonadi"
    "libakonadi"
    "kget"
)
  • disable history of launchers / recent files in programs etc
  • kill klipper
  • baloo

Those are main things i do, when we’re talking about just system stuff.
Rest are a lot of settings like kill kwallet, workspace privacy, making sure their user feedback is disabled…

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Can’t kill kwallet . It’s the only keyring that do not ask my password on login

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Well you can, if you don’t use WiFi, if that’s what you mean :slight_smile:

What’s wrong with that? Unused RAM is wasted RAM.

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Unless it’s memory leak or something along those lines :wink:

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A memory leak just after rebooting would be a concern…

Also, how does someone know it’s a memory leak and not just caches?

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That i’m afraid only knowing your system / software by heart, but usually it’s fairly obvious when it’s heavy one, coz RAM usage start to grow exponentially…

Believe me, i’ve used Deepin for 1,5 years after all :rofl:

When your WM process uses ~8Gb of RAM after 2-3 days of use (caused by spawning VirtualBox VM and crashing / restarting) - you know it’s memory leak :joy:

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Have to use wifi
And I am too lazy to type my password again to connect to wifi or activate hotspot or open brave

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I am not using KDE (Cinnamon here) I would appreciate if you could explain more in what way indexing is a security issue. Is there something similar on Cinnamon? There is an updatedb.service running every day. Is that the same as baloo on KDE?

It’s a very minor security issue, but it does create a database of all your filenames. It does not take too much creativity to think of ways how such a database could be used against you if it somehow leaked.

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