[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [Pkg-xfce-devel] Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

+++ Kees de Jong [2014-08-12 02:03 +0200]:
>    Are we really comparing RAM here as if it were the 90's? How many people
>    here use Android? Today it needs 512 MB to function properly. In two years
>    that could be 1 or 2 GB and that's a mobile OS. How much RAM does your
>    browser use? 

Too much! I agree browsers use more ram than desktops these days, or
at least the big ones (firefox, chrome) do. 

>    My Chrome/Firefox easily uses 1 GB. My GNOME 3.10 desktop
>    (running Fedora now because I needed a modern GNOME version for Exchange
>    support for work) is using about 800 MB to 1200 MB. Do I really care? No,
>    because RAM is cheap and I have 8 GB. Do I need to buy more? No, because 8
>    GB is still more than enough.

That's fine so long as your hardware is new enough to take more
memory. Anyone with an ARM machine will be in the 512MB/1G/2G camp. My
laptop (x200s) officially maxes out at 4G, although it turns out that
8G does actually work in practice.

Memory usage does still matter as your hardware doesn't have to be
particularly old to have RAM of a size that is likely to all get used,
and on arm (increasingly being used for netbook/laptop/desktop usage)
it's practically guaranteed.

So yes, it's not the 1990s but I think we should aim to make Debian to
work tolerably well on 2 or 4G systems. Alistair posted numbers
suggesting 600MB for gnome3 or KDE, 360 for XFCE, 300 for LXDE, which
is a difference, but not a huge one. Very significant on a 512MB
machine, but not that significant on 2G. You say 800-1200 above which
is twice as much. Is this the differnce between initial boot up and
usage after some time, or 'various add-ons'? Knowing what 'typical'
numbers are would be useful. I have various well-used XFCE desktops I
could check but I'm not sure how to get a cmparable RAM-usage number
of them.

>    If you can't run GNOME because you don't have the system specs to run a
>    modern desktop then you can select XFCE/LXDE in the installation menu. But
>    let's be fair, those people are a minority. And a default should fit the
>    needs of the majority. And since people easily have 4 GB of RAM or more
>    these days with the basic 3D acceleration

I only had 2G RAM till last year (when I had to buy some more because
browsers take so much damn RAM). I think we should at least consider
those people in the 'typical machines' bucket. 

>  (even a Raspberry Pi can run GNOME 3)

A Pi is only 512MB, so 'barely'. Like most arm hardware memory levels are still
low by modern x86 standards. They are like late 90s/early 2000s x86 machines in this regard.

I don't want to over-emphasise the arm thing - it is still a minority
sport - but it's a growing area of usage where memory is still

I just wanted to counter a little the 'everyone has buckets of RAM
these days' view, whilst acnowledging that it is no longer the 90's
and a 512Mb machine will struggle with any modern desktop+browser
(which is sad IMHO - dawkins knows what software, especially browsers,
do with all that memory! - hundreds of Mb for simple tables of built
packages, for example, but I digress :-)

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

Reply to: