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I'm not saying there's no such thing as software bloat (there is) but the reason that your computer magically always seems to use 80-90% of the ram no matter how much ram you install is that the computer understands empty ram doesn't do anything but ram being used to cache files makes your user experience much faster

this is a good thing! if your computer stopped doing this everything would suddenly feel very sluggish and stuttery!

in reply to abadidea

But this isn't the "using 80-90% of ram" we actually experience. The actual is that Chrome (or whatever Electron app) has allocated for its private use (not fs page cache) 80-90% of ram, thereby preventing fs cache from working and making the computer sluggish & stuttery.
in reply to Rich Felker

what i am reading is "we need electron in the kernel"
in reply to eater

@eater @dalias @chucker We have the worst of both worlds already. We *have* chrome (or safari) near the kernel in every major OS and then electron comes along and suggests the OS chrome isn’t enough and we need to stack more chromes like turtles in userspace because you all love chrome so much

“Yo dawg, I heard you like chrome so I boooted more chrome from your chrome so you can chrome while you chrome.”

in reply to Max

@max sorry for the late reply but I am very confused. You appear to be describing an architecture where the main chrome installation is on a special ultra low layer of existence near the metal, and then additional copies of chrome in electron are not, and it sounds like you think electron is chrome implemented on top of chrome?

I am not aware of any system that works that way. Main chrome and electron chrome are two copies of the same app running on the same level of user space, the only difference is that one is configured to run a single web app in isolation

@Max
in reply to abadidea

I took some liberties for amusement, it’s not exactly “technically correct” in all cases, but some of the OS level app launchers are web views (or related/derived tech) and it is funny using them to launch electron apps.

The boundaries between “kernel” and “userspace” are fuzzy in the graphical side of the modern OS, especially today when even core functionality is shipped as “apps” for software lifecycle reasons, and the main browser has some light privileges others don’t.

in reply to Rich Felker

@dalias I'm not denying it's a problem for you but I am always confused on this point because every time someone says something like "discord is using up 6GB!" I double check mine and it's using 200MB, maybe 300. I don't think I've ever once caught discord using some shocking amount, or microsoft teams which I also hear this about
in reply to abadidea

Teams would use about 2GB, New Teams sits just below 1 for me. I didn't reconfigure anything, OS is Win10.
This entry was edited (4 weeks ago)
in reply to abadidea

@dalias I’ve caught my browsers using startling amounts, but it’s almost always because I’ve got a ridiculous number of tabs open (which I do all the time) and a bunch of them aren’t suspended. A quick quit-and-restart or manual hibernation of unused tabs drops that back down pretty quickly. JIRA Cloud is also an especially awful consumer of tab RAM — if I’ve got a bunch of JIRA tabs open, I guarantee my RAM use will start spiking.
in reply to abadidea

y'all to be clear "the computer" means both the operating system managing generic caches, and major apps individually managing their own private caches
in reply to abadidea

on #linux, with

% echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

as root one can experience this hands on

in reply to abadidea

I have 64GB of RAM in my computer and sometimes I cache entire ISO files in RAM to the point where when I am flashing or burning them the drive they are on doesn't even spin up!
in reply to abadidea

@NanoRaptor
If you're not running at 100% cpu, ram, and I/O all the time then you wasted your money.
in reply to abadidea

I don’t know how but normally Linux never runs into this issue
in reply to Echo 🦊

@3kh0 into what issue? the only issue in this post is misaligned user perception
in reply to abadidea

no such thing as too much ram or too much screen
in reply to abadidea

Look, I didn’t compile Gentoo with a bunch of memory management flags just to have to learn about caching. With as poor performance as I’m getting, one of those bloated distros would be even worse! /s
in reply to abadidea

my issue is that it seems to fail frequently in ways that noticable affect system performance. I've always assumed it was trying to cache things...but something is off about the priority. When the computer reboots and loads all of my major programs in under a minute, how much more caching do I really need?

On windows systems with 48-64GB of ram I had to reboot once or twice a week because I've had it bog down and appear to use a page file on hard drive (which I wish it never did on SSD). RAM will 90%+ used, but if I tally up individual programs it will be closer to 25%. I assume this is primarily OS then, although individual programs could be aggravating the caching system.

Linux has been smoother and less frequent problems...but I still catch browser suddenly asking for 32+GB of ram and suddenly stuff like X and bash crash from out of memory issues while browser keeps allocating. (I realize this is what I would get if I force no page file...).

in reply to abadidea

True. But also, your computer can feel very sluggish and stuttery after completing a kernel build for a minute or so. Your load (the kernel build) likely caused the running kernel to drop many cached filesystem blocks from the vfs cache, so it can take a bit of time to page them back in. On modern kit, the user probably won't notice much though due to fast SSD and fast I/O. But, it was defintely noticeable on older kit.
in reply to abadidea

I mean mine doesn't seem to reach over 50%, but I have 32GB so I imagine there's diminishing returns on how much of it is used. Still, it's very useful to know this is a thing PCs do, as I wasn't aware of it before.
in reply to abadidea

this ram cache should be displayed as such, which most task managers/system monitors do, so if your ram is still being used up, there may be more to the story