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Re: dpkg fails on low-memory-hardware

Martin Klaiber <martinkl@zedat.fu-berlin.de> writes:

> Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> wrote:
>> How do you know that they are not using swap ?
> When I tried to upgrade (btw the currently installed Debian is Sarge
> not Etch, sorry), I could see in top how memory consumption of apt-get
> or aptitude and dpkg increased but swap wasn't used.
>> I don't know of any reason why dpkg/apt-get would not use swap.
> ACK. Today I did another test. I reduced the amount of RAM to 8 MB and
> installed some programs with aptitude and apt-get. The laptop became
> terribly slow and was heavily swapping but everything was running fine.
> So, I will try to upgrade to Lenny in the next days and will tell you,
> if it worked or not. Perhaps it was only a temporary problem with swap.
> Thanks for your help,
> Martin

I've used apt/dpkg with 64MB ram just fine. But something as trivial
looking as installing locales already exceeds the 64MB with just
dpkg. You will need lots of swap for apt/aptitude.

I recommend creating a local partial mirror with reprepro or debmirror
with just the packages you need. As others have pointed out apt/aptitude
consume ram proportional to the amount of available packages so reducing
that saves ram. Also makes it run faster and if it prevents (some)
swapping it will be magnitudes faster.


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