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memory efficient Linux distro? – Faith_Warrior

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Whatís the most memory efficient version of Linux out of the box for a server, currently? Would that be SuSe? This is for a datacenter rental server so I cant build it myself, but I have a large choice among distroĎs. I hear SuSe can be run using ~160MBís of RAM (winders over 200MB :P ). Iíd like to use Fedora, but RH derivatives are not know for efficient use of memory from what I know. Anyone know of any comparison charts, maybe?
ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
Suse's box asks for minimum of 128 mb. recommended 256. don't know if that's what your looking for, but it's the best of my knowledge.

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Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Mandrake 10.0 worked very well for me on a 160MB memory laptop.

Lazarus

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Well itís a situation where the server will be primarily a dedicated game server. Each player uses 2MB of memory on the server. Basically it will be the game server application and MySQL running while everything else will be turned off except for vital system processes. So Iím wondering which distro uses the smallest memory footprint for minimum vital processes.
I've rummaged through google some, but have not really found any up to date charts.

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited October 15, 2006).]

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
Suse, like most big linux distro's is quite bloated. It's nice, but not particularly memory efficient. Most distros allow you to configure which system services to load. The window manager is the biggest memory hog, along with Xorg itself. Take any distro you want, and either use a very lightweight window manager (not KDE or Gnome) or no X at all.

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D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by Faith_Warrior:
Whatís the most memory efficient version of Linux out of the box for a server, currently? Would that be SuSe? This is for a datacenter rental server so I cant build it myself, but I have a large choice among distroĎs. I hear SuSe can be run using ~160MBís of RAM (winders over 200MB :P ). Iíd like to use Fedora, but RH derivatives are not know for efficient use of memory from what I know. Anyone know of any comparison charts, maybe?


Slackware, i still have version 6 running on a 386 as an email server.

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
Take any distro you want, and either use a very lightweight window manager (not KDE or Gnome) or no X at all.

If I'm not wrong xbuntu is designed to be lightweight. I have it installed an older PC and I think it atleast starts up fast.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by jari:
If I'm not wrong xbuntu is designed to be lightweight. I have it installed an older PC and I think it atleast starts up fast.


I personally think you would have a lot more control over what apps you want and what you dont want if you install Slackware.

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Ah, I should have checked the list, there are less choices than I thought originally, but more than most.
Fedora
Red Hat
Debian
SuSe
Gentoo
CentOS
Ubuntu

Sorry boutí that.

As for Mandrake or Mandriva, that is what I use at home. Before I switched to that I ran RH for years. Topic still stands though, I can always find another company that offers the right distro. I may go with one of these here though since this company has the best dedicated server prices and this will be a test and development server. Iím co-locating later on so in that case anything goes as far as Linux distro, and Iím sure Iíll be compiling it all myself in that case. That will be more dependant on security no doubt, but memory efficiency will be on the list as well. Thanks!

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by Faith_Warrior:
Ah, I should have checked the list, there are less choices than I thought originally, but more than most.
Fedora
Red Hat
Debian
SuSe
Gentoo
CentOS
Ubuntu

Sorry boutí that.

As for Mandrake or Mandriva, that is what I use at home. Before I switched to that I ran RH for years. Topic still stands though, I can always find another company that offers the right distro. I may go with one of these here though since this company has the best dedicated server prices and this will be a test and development server. Iím co-locating later on so in that case anything goes as far as Linux distro, and Iím sure Iíll be compiling it all myself in that case. That will be more dependant on security no doubt, but memory efficiency will be on the list as well. Thanks!


With all my servers I compile it myself. I'm still using the 2.4 kernel as well, i've seen no real benefits to moving to 2.6 so far. Security is obviously the main priority with servers so it's best to stick with stable well tested packages rather then the latest. Install all the security related patches as well.

The only thing i really can't stand is iptables, its so long and boring.

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Faith_Warrior:
Whatís the most memory efficient version of Linux out of the box for a server, currently? Would that be SuSe? This is for a datacenter rental server so I cant build it myself, but I have a large choice among distroĎs. I hear SuSe can be run using ~160MBís of RAM (winders over 200MB :P ). Iíd like to use Fedora, but RH derivatives are not know for efficient use of memory from what I know. Anyone know of any comparison charts, maybe?

The smallest is a LFS which is 8MB of HD space and about 4MB B of RAM. But since you probably don't want that I'd suggest a bigger LFS or Gentoo.

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D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by CPUFreak91:
The smallest is a LFS which is 8MB of HD space and about 4MB B of RAM. But since you probably don't want that I'd suggest a bigger LFS or Gentoo.


Bigger LFS == Slackware

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Yeah, that is one of the options Iím considering for the co-location server, Iíll be working through the CompTIA Linux+ next year and then testing my own builds most likely.
Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
I need linux for 233mhz PC with 64mb ram, do you think there is anything that runs on it? It runs windows 98 alright.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Any version of SuSE, Red Hat, Caldera, Mandrake etc. versions 6.0 to 7.2 should run fine on it.

Laz

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by D-SIPL:
With all my servers I compile it myself.

Is it difficult to compile everything your self? I know only how to compile individual apps using config and makefile scripts.

What would it take to install some distro using netinstall (bootdisk only) and compile all?
And can you give me the name of simplest linux to compile and setup?

I have tried this once with gentoo but didnt really get far, well maybe I compiled everything but apparently setting it up failed on my part.

If any one can answers to those questions it would save me a lot of time.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

[This message has been edited by jari (edited October 22, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by jari (edited October 22, 2006).]

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by Lazarus:
Any version of SuSE, Red Hat, Caldera, Mandrake etc. versions 6.0 to 7.2 should run fine on it.

Laz



I think their pretty bloated tbh. I hate to keep repeating myself, but you really need to be compiling from source with this sort of rig. Grab a copy of either Slackware or Arch Linux and do a minimal install and then compile everything you need on top.

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
What do you think of vector linux?

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Well if I recall correctly, Mandrake which is now Mandriva, had an option to install a configuration of the Mandrake OS that was designed to run on slow Pentium computers, chances are Mandriva does as well but IĎm not sure on the memory requirements.

I think that in any case, what it comes down to is what you will want to run on that computer. If you are just going to run on command line than most any distribution should do fine in most cases, but once you start up a GUI than things will most likely slow down considerably. But yeah I agree, with any of the mainstream Linux distros you are going to have something more designed to be a high-end workstation all nice and bloated. In my case, what Iím doing this for, even shaving off 2MB from RAM is what Iím trying to get at, but sadly my distro choices are limited currently.

I think LFS looks pretty good, Iíve read over the documentation and have downloaded the Live CD to build it. I havenít built one yet though but plan to do so pretty soon. Iím gong to revive a 500mhz homebuilt AMD system with 512MB RAM for this, should be interesting. Need to dig for a power supply first though, it was burnt. lol I have 5 cases sitting 10 feet from me all with burnt up PSís. Thatís what I get for powering down every night I guess.

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Faith_Warrior:

I think that in any case, what it comes down to is what you will want to run on that computer. If you are just going to run on command line than most any distribution should do fine in most cases, but once you start up a GUI than things will most likely slow down considerably. But yeah I agree, with any of the mainstream Linux distros you are going to have something more designed to be a high-end workstation all nice and bloated. In my case, what Iím doing this for, even shaving off 2MB from RAM is what Iím trying to get at, but sadly my distro choices are limited currently.

Unfortunately, it needs GUI because I'm installing it for some people.
I am first testing debian because it is the only one that I got installing using only floppies and network and then if it lags badly I'll try vector linux and xubuntu. The claim in the vector linux's site that it's the fastest binary disto.
I will let you know then how it went.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
For some reason I am not able to install vector linux because the boot disks doesnt seem to work on that combuter while they work on this one.
Then I tried debian which installed but after installing iceWM as window manager and trying to startx it just fails to start it because of the mouse driver. The log says that "dev/input/mice" doesnt exist or something like that even it does and I have tried psaux too but no good.
So I'm out of options for now, have to look for another distros.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
quote:
Originally posted by jari:
For some reason I am not able to install vector linux because the boot disks doesnt seem to work on that combuter while they work on this one.
Then I tried debian which installed but after installing iceWM as window manager and trying to startx it just fails to start it because of the mouse driver. The log says that "dev/input/mice" doesnt exist or something like that even it does and I have tried psaux too but no good.
So I'm out of options for now, have to look for another distros.


*whispers*Slackware

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"One World. One Web. One Program." -Microsoft promotional advertisement
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!" -Adolf Hitler
"I believe in freedom... not freedom like America, freedom like a shopping cart"

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Hey I have the debian running on the 233mhz PC now and it seems to run smoothly using iceWM as window manager! It has only 32mb RAM and 2mb VRAM but it runs in 16 bit color mode.
I haven't tested to run any other apps yet than text editor though. Btw, would anyone happen to know a light weight web-browser? The only one I know is links.

D-SIPL: That's too complicated for me.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Well Konqueror has been known to run on icewm but it can be a challenge to set up since it's really designed for KDE. It's worth it it you can figure it out, just search around google.
steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
Dillo is advertised as a very lightweight graphical web browser for *nix OS's. The entire program is less than one MB--and uses very little ram. I think this is what you are looking for.

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Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Thanks guys! Only thing that concerns me about dillo is that it doesnt support every html tag according to this review page: http://freshmeat.net/articles/view/695/

But I better just test it.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
quote:
Originally posted by jari:
I need linux for 233mhz PC with 64mb ram, do you think there is anything that runs on it? It runs windows 98 alright.




BTW, you should hunt around ebay for more RAM or from someplace (scrap rack at a computer shop), win98 Doesn't run to well on [u]under[/u] 512MB of ram as I recall. You must have serious thrashing problems, my old pocketPC at the same cpu speed has more RAM hehe. 128-256MB is a more suitable for minimum.

Anyway, here is one I've tested:
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

There are three versions you can download:
ISO to boot from CD/DVD/Flash
A version for computers older than 5 years old (for older BIOS)
And an embedded version that will run inside an M$ Winders window (when no doors available)

It is said to run on a 486 with 16MB on the low end and 128MB on the high end. It has lots of applications including firefox (1.6 I think it was when I looked) and has Dillo among a bunch of other apps. It's also modular so you can add in more applications. I haven't tried the embedded version yet, I found the ISO on a torrent so tried that first. It's Debian based. The base version is 50MB and runs a full GUI system with apps. They have larger built versions as well it looks.

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited November 02, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited November 04, 2006).]

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Heh what do you know? embedded does work. Well... works a bit better for me than Cygwin at least. Looks like it restricts system ram though, it's only showing 128MB, I'll need to find a tweak for that since I have nearly 2GB of DDR4. It's only using 21MB at least, well for a workstation with not any serious services running. hmmm I wonders if I can load WINE with it... hehe
... eh because it's there? (before you ask)


[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited November 02, 2006).]

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Interesting, thanks for the info Faith_warrior!
Ok I'm browsing the net using dillo now and unfortunately it cant view every page properly and it gets complaints about being outdated. Biggest problem is that I cannot access bacnk account page which is a must.
Well I guess you just have to use firefox then.

Ok, using firefox now, it takes much more time to load the webpages but pretty much every page should load and display properly now. I think this is fast enough if you have patiance to wait about 3-5 secs for page loads and if it doesnt eventually make the system run out of memory and froze.

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1Jo 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

[This message has been edited by jari (edited November 04, 2006).]