Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (626 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Login weirdness
On 10/11/2018 12:10, Carlos E. R. wrote:
I have the impression that the same workload that I have used for years
is growing in RAM demands, perhaps double, since two or three years.

Browsers have growing RAM demands, yes.

Chrome pioneered a new model. Each tab is a separate _process_ (not a
thread). The browser "frame" (window title & scroll bars, etc.) is
another process, which spawns lots of children.

This means that the OS's own memory management can manage the RAM and
processor usage of tabs. Long-unused tabs will be paged out to disk, for

It uses the power of modern PCs. Tabs can run on different CPUs, the
browser as a whole can use lots of RAM *in separate chunks* rather than
one monolithic block, etc.

But it does mean it's very RAM-hungry. Processes use more resources than

Firefox has not copied this. Its "Electrolysis" project span off 1
background process for tab contents rendering, as an experiment. Then it
went truly multiprocess, with up to 3 background & 1 foreground process.

But that's all. The idea is that it will help people with up to
quad-core PCs, and few people have more than 4 cores anyway. If you do,
you're probably a high-powered user, doing CAD or modelling or
something, not just browsing the web, so your browser should not eat all
your resources.

So, yes, Firefox post version 50 or so takes more RAM, and Firefox
Quantum _much_ more, but it should take less than Chrome.

FWIW, I experimented with ZRAM and swapspace a few years back, and wrote
some blog posts about it:

What I found was that, on Ubuntu, ZRAM will grow until it has filled
(50% of your RAM) with compressed data, then it will spill over into
disk-based swap.

In other words, yes, you can use both together, profitably.

If I was trying to do real work on a 4GB machine, I would eliminate any
non-essential tasks (e.g. scanning for Windows malware on a Linux box)
or offload them onto other machines.

Then I'd use the combination of ZRAM & real swap, and probably use
Chrome more, paradoxical as it might sound, so that background tabs
could get paged out.

Liam Proven - Technical Writer, SUSE Linux s.r.o.
Corso II, Křižíkova 148/34, 186-00 Praha 8 - Karlín, Czechia
Email: lproven@xxxxxxxx - Office telephone: +420 284 241 084

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