Asus Eee Choking on 512MB of RAM

If you think 512MB is enough to run Xandros Linux on, you’re probably right. That is for the average user, though. For someone like me, whose work involves new media (managing a ton of sites via Web and FTP) 512 megabytes is usually not enough. That’s even when running on Linux.

Last night, I experienced slowing down of my system when running these tasks:

  • Two Firefox windows with about 15 to 20 tabs each
  • Pidgin, with two chat tabs open
  • gFTP open (no active transfers)
  • Two Kwrite windows open, used for editing files by gFTP
  • Popup Notes open, with 4 short notes.
  • Konsole with two tabs open (just idle, though)

I have four virtual desktops, where I assigned different main tasks each – two “faces” for one browser window each, one face for FTP, and another for the chat. I say “faces” because I’m used to the desktop cube of Compiz-fusion under Ubuntu (where the cube sides are like faces).

So there, switching across desktops took longer than usual. I wasn’t able to check the memory manager for actual usage, but I’m pretty sure it’s choking on 512MB. Maybe I should enable a swapfile? I’m actually thinking of buying a 1GB RAM stick for the Eee. I’ll wait for word from Asus if this won’t void my warranty here locally.


  1. says

    Firefox usually eats up lots of memory. Noticed it on XP. As you said, you have 2 ff opened with more than 15 tabs each, it’s probably eaten a big chunk of your 512MB.

  2. Wilson Co says

    Wow. I don’t think many users open that many tabs on their firefox. I have problems juggling 10 or so tabs on a 17″ desktop, viewing the same on a 7″ screen would be tough.

    So far, I had a hard time adjusting from my Desktop to my eee, mainly because of the screen size. Haven’t experienced slowdown, but I didn’t push my unit yet. Most of my wanted programs (like Festival/FestVox text-to-speech) are not available in the Asus and Xandros repositories. Being new to Linux, still learning the ins-and-outs…

  3. says

    Upgraded to 1 Gig. And I didn’t break the warranty stickers! How’s that for a hack?

    Now just how did you manage that?

  4. says

    WD-40, a small flathead screwdriver (a spatula could have been better), and lots of patience.

    Then I transferred it to wax paper (the backing of clear acetate, actually for future re-use.


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