GNOME 3.0′s RAM usage

…is surprisingly low. Unlike what some people would make you believe, GNOME Shell & friends don’t eat 883 MB of RAM. As you can see below, baseline memory usage is under 120 MB… And you know what? That’s less than the amount of memory that GNOME 2.30 uses on startup on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (127 MB+ even if you cut down on some useless services).

My five-years-old “frankensteined” machine (512 MB of RAM, broken keyboard, broken CPU fan, broken touchpad) runs GNOME Shell perfectly fine for typical daily usage*, thank you:

*: of course I won’t run virtual machines and HD video editing and tons of concurrent apps on 512 MB of RAM, but that’s to be expected.

9 thoughts on “GNOME 3.0′s RAM usage

  1. I think people get those numbers because they are testing using Live CDs and confusing total memory usage on that environment (ram disk created for some parts of the filesystem) with real life memory usage

  2. @Robert: interesting! That’s what I subconsciously suspected, and your explanation puts this “hunch” into words. It seems to make a lot of sense to me.

  3. Indeed the numbers are way off for both GNOME and KDE from what i can tell as well.
    I would like to note though that the uptime in your machine is just 3 minutes. It might be useful to report what happens after an hour of usage or more.

  4. @chris: after a couple of hours/days of usage, it hovers between 150 and 250 or so. I haven’t paid much attention, suffice to say that “it fits in the 512 MB of the machine’s RAM in a similar way to gnome 2.x” according to my experience so far.

    I obviously haven’t been using this as my primary machine because of the limited ram to work with and the horrible, horrible CPU fan noise.


  5. Robert:

    I think people get those numbers because they are testing using Live CDs and confusing total memory usage on that environment (ram disk created for some parts of the filesystem) with real life memory usage

    I checked again with a Fedora 15 Beta livecd today, and I get the same numbers (~120 MB of RAM) in a livecd environment. So I really don’t know where they got their 883 MB figure from.

  6. I’m afraid that Gnome shell is growing a lot during time. It takes 330MB after few days…

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