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#1 2020-02-09 20:23:33

pcdoc2000
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 8

4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

I'm using XFCE for quite some years now on all sorts of HW, including high spec HW. I'm using a quite modified desktop though, which is optimized for dual screen and touch for a very efficient workflow. There is hardly any other desktop which allows me to get to that, but XFCE does!

Now having said that I really like XFCE, but I just tested the 4.14. version with Xubuntu 19.10. and 20.04. (developer version) and it seems the RAM usage is much higher than it was with 4.12.! I know 4.14. gives us some really cool new features and improvements, but why is the memory usage all of a sudden at lesat 50% higher? Especially if for example KDE is able to lower their memory usage and is currently "lighter" than XFCE?

I thought this might be a Xubuntu thing, but seems to be the same with other Distros as well! MX, Manjaro XFCE...

Is this a temporary "bug", or intended and will stay that high? If intended XFCE is no longer a light desktop environment, and even though I still very much like the feature of XFCE, I doubt a lot of "standard" user will use XFCE anymore in the future if they can install a more polished out of the box KDE desktop which is lighter!

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#2 2020-02-09 20:57:11

lastonestanding
Member
Registered: 2018-11-12
Posts: 10

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

You do not provide any concrete numbers though. Those distributions simply configure Xfce to run additional services, plugins, and so on.

Here is a better comparison between KDE, Xfce and GNOME:
https://cloudyday.tech.blog/2019/12/23/ … -vs-gnome/

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#3 2020-02-09 21:40:42

pcdoc2000
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 8

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

I read this article even before I posted my question, but it doesn´t really align with my experience.

As you asked for concrete numbers, what I can give you immediately is:

Xubuntu 18.04. > about 350MB
Xubuntu 19.10/20.04. > about 600MB
MX > more than 600MB

(all tested a couple of minutes in idle after a fresh start to avoid update checks or similar running in the background only right after start up)


Edit: I just ran the test under 20.04. again and for any reason it is now exactly 450MB, and under 18.04. 338MB. This is by far not as shocking as it was yesterday with 600MB, but still more than 100MB more. Not sure why I see such a difference between yesterday and today, but maybe there was still something running after the restart after the install...  MX stays at more than 600MB

Are there any official figures on how much RAM usage XFCE vanilla 4.12 and 4.14 have?

Last edited by pcdoc2000 (2020-02-09 22:00:05)

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#4 2020-02-09 22:35:58

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,963

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

@lastonestanding's link it specifies the base amount of RAM required. Each distro will add a bunch of different features and services that will drive up that amount. For Arch linux, a base install with just the xfce4 and xfce4-goodies packages (this would be the bulk of what it considered "core Xfce"), takes up 240MB. IRIC, 4.12 was about 215MB. This is because GTK3 is heavier.

When you start looking at distros, like Xubuntu and MXLinux, you're also looking at all the other services that they've installed and have running as part of the "presentation" of that distro.

Try doing a minimal install of ubuntu and layering on the xfce4 and xfce4-goodies packages, and you will see a totally different result. Not as much functionality, but much less memory.

Edit: Of course, the discussion of memory usage is moot once you open a web browser.

Last edited by ToZ (2020-02-09 22:42:46)

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#5 2020-02-10 11:53:53

u666sa
Member
Registered: 2019-11-13
Posts: 40

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

It’s not xfce. I had same problem with fedora 30 and 31, but then updates come out and’s good now.

I’ve tried freebsd and on freebsd you install everything yourself, thing is even lower on resources.

It’s what else you running.

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#6 2020-02-10 19:44:07

pcdoc2000
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 8

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

This is what I thought initially as well. According to the release note of Xubuntu 19.10. there was not really anything done except some added keyboard shortcuts and 4.14. That´s why I had the strong suspicion that it can only be 4.14., especially as that was supported by messages from other Distros, experiencing the same/similar increased RAM usage.

I will play around a bit with vanilla XFCE, but it seems there is no image for the minimal install yet for 20.04. and for any reason the server image in it's current daily build version isn't recognizing any network adopter (in the VM).

Maybe if I find some time on the weekend I will give it a try with Ubunut minimal 18.04. and a manual install of 4.14. or with Arch, which might make it easier. Will get back with some real datapoints.

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#7 2020-02-10 22:33:23

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 406

Re: 4.14. with high RAM usage compared to 4.12?

pcdoc2000 wrote:

This is what I thought initially as well. According to the release note of Xubuntu 19.10. there was not really anything done except some added keyboard shortcuts and 4.14. That´s why I had the strong suspicion that it can only be 4.14., especially as that was supported by messages from other Distros, experiencing the same/similar increased RAM usage.

I will play around a bit with vanilla XFCE, but it seems there is no image for the minimal install yet for 20.04. and for any reason the server image in it's current daily build version isn't recognizing any network adopter (in the VM).

Maybe if I find some time on the weekend I will give it a try with Ubunut minimal 18.04. and a manual install of 4.14. or with Arch, which might make it easier. Will get back with some real datapoints.

I would check for a memory leak from a specific application.
While it is true that gtk3 can use more RAM in some cases than gtk2 (XFCE 412. is gtk2 and 4.14 is gtk3), the differences vary by build and in some cases, gtk3 uses less memory than gtk2. It certainly would not be a 50% increase.
I upgraded Xubuntu 18.04 to using 4.14 instead of 4.12 quite recently in order to test and build some projects I was working on and I got no increase or only a nominal increase in memory usage.
While your supposition that 4.14 is the culprit could be a clue to follow, I do not think it is the fix by itself. XFCE 4.14 is probably not the cause, but MAY be the carrier.
So, testing for a memory leak from something more specific would be a good start. It could be the Software Channel, in fact, which is not a part of XFCE but of Ubuntu.

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