Less than 4GB and you are doomed
Desktop Linux is particularly brutal when it comes to running on low RAM systems.
Those who run low RAM systems are getting fed up with them slowing down to a glacial pace when there is the remotest sniff of memory pressure and summer discussion on the forums is heating up.
Developer Artem Tashkinov told the kernel mailing list over the weekend that he was frustrated with the kernel’s inability to handle low memory pressure gracefully.
He said that booting a system with just 4GB of RAM available, disabling SWAP to accelerate the impact/behaviour, and launching a web browser and opening new web pages/tabs can in a matter of minutes bring the system down to its knees.
Artem said: “Once you hit a situation when opening a new tab requires more RAM than is currently available, the system will stall hard. You will barely be able to move the mouse pointer. Your disk LED will regularly be flashing (I’m not entirely sure why). You will not be able to run new applications or close currently running ones. This little crisis may continue for minutes or even longer. I think that’s not how the system should behave in this situation. I believe something must be done about that to avoid this stall.”
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