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Thread: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

  1. #1
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    Question Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    If I uninstall Firefox because I do not need a browser, what system resources are freed if any in a live, read-only boot?

  2. #2
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    I would expect none...

    A live system is COW or COPY ON WRITE, thus changes are made via additional details being created that OVERWRITE/REPLACE the prior details (also in RAM)...

    ie as changes are COPIES, nothing is actually deleted (firefox was included on the ISO; thus exists as read-only) thus its a change that needs to be recorded in RAM so that records the deletion.

    I just booted a Lubuntu noble (24.04) daily; opened a terminal and run

    Code:
    free
    then removed `firefox`, which is a snap package on noble, thus

    Code:
    snap remove firefox
    then waited a bit, then re-ran the free command

    The amount of USED RAM has increased (slightly).. the original image is READ ONLY, and I actually made no CHANGES except the system had to record the removal of the `firefox` snap package, so that was recorded. Sure a `snap list` command will show fewer results, but I didn't actually gain RAM - it's a live system intended for quick fixes, or TESTING out the product prior to install.

    If you keep using a live system, eventually RAM will run out due to your changes (whatever they are), and re-starting the system is the fix; but it's not a normal installed system, as COW (copy on write) isn't the choice for efficiency (in relation to RAM)

    Please note: I'm no expert; I've not explored RAM usage close enough (nor looked at the code); I'd have to compare a booted system without any changes in say 10 minutes, and contrast that with one that had `snap remove firefox` run as a real test, which I didn't do. I did run `free` a couple of times, and noted the RAM was slowly reducing anyway; so results of `snap remove firefox` could have been NO CHANGE to RAM.

    FYI: I also removed a deb package, the increase in RAM was more sizeable for that package removal contrasted to the snap package; though snap package I removed is actually larger on disk (on an installed system anyway)

  3. #3
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    I would expect none...

    A live system is COW or COPY ON WRITE, thus changes are made via additional details being created that OVERWRITE/REPLACE the prior details (also in RAM)...
    Thoughtful response.

    I get we can summarize that package removal is more likely to increase RAM usage because other than ending a process it is our activity that consumes RAM, not any read-only boot app for its mere presence.

    I would try to make a custom ISO without the browser (which obsoletes fairly quickly), but if that would not free RAM it wouldn't be worth the effort.

    Next question as a user who stays back OS updating is how much more processing & RAM is demanded by updates.

    I boot mostly Xenial (16) & Fossa (20) & do not know the system resource discrepancy, assuming older OS are lighter as is the case for anyone weened on Redmond.

    I prefer not to boot new OS just for browsers.

  4. #4
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by johsal View Post
    I boot mostly Xenial (16) & Fossa (20) & do not know the system resource discrepancy, assuming older OS are lighter as is the case for anyone weened on Redmond.

    I prefer not to boot new OS just for browsers.
    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is way past it's EOL ; refer https://fridge.ubuntu.com/2021/03/13...april-30-2021/ but I guess you're offline & thus aren't worried about security.

    I don't think older software is more lean, though that is often the way... Newer features (such as ability to deal with HiDef/4K etc does mandate larger addressing, let alone allowing the system to cope with different resolution screens (scaling) takes computation & RAM to execute).

    If I wanted updated software on a live system, I'd just use a daily image.. I mentioned grabbing and using a Lubuntu noble daily, ie. software that was up-to-date maybe 8 hours before I actually ran the test (actually up-to-date at the time the daily was built anyway). I could have booted the current jammy daily as easily, as with 22.04.4 only recently released, dailies are still produced as 22.04.5 hasn't yet been released (though I've not updated any ISO for jammy since the RC which is now the officially released 22.04.4 ISO anyway).

    For older systems like focal, the last ISO that I'm aware of was produced 2023-March (https://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/...nes/408/builds) though its still possible more will be produced if another issue causes a 20.04.7 to be required (it was for 16.04 anyway)

    As you mention 16 & 20 (not 16.04 & 20.04), you may mean the Ubuntu Core images; sorry I'm less familiar with those ... HOWEVER some Ubuntu Core 20 ISOs are still generated, eg. https://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/...nes/435/builds as the Ubuntu Core (16, 18, 20, 22) have a longer supported life than the standard deb based equivalent products (16.04, 18.04, 20.04 & 22.04)

  5. #5
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is way past it's EOL ; refer https://fridge.ubuntu.com/2021/03/13...april-30-2021/ but I guess you're offline & thus aren't worried about security.

    For older systems like focal, the last ISO that I'm aware of was produced 2023-March (https://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/...nes/408/builds) though its still possible more will be produced if another issue causes a 20.04.7 to be required (it was for 16.04 anyway)
    I use also Ubuntu-based distros & not just Ubuntu (Xubuntu but I like MATE as well), & what I am worried about besides system resources is DE support.

    See, every Ubuntu release supports Lubuntu, Xubuntu, MATE, etc., but that's not the same in other distro families.

    They'll have their standard DE then maybe another with enough community support, usually the work of an adept enthusiast, before everyone falls back in line with the standard.

    So not only do I have my laborious customizations, I need the non-standard DE (in the case of 14 & 16, XFCE) for a specific distro (not Xubuntu).

    I'm using it right now. It's excellent, but too much work.

    So where am I? 32-bit 14.04, 64-bit 16.04 & 20 in a non-standard DE (Ubuntu does not use it).

    If 20 were as small with XFCE support I'd use it everywhere.

    I know Linux isn't as system-resource heavy as Windows with updates, but Windows indoctrination is severe.

    [segue]

    They post an Ubuntu image of the most current .iso daily? That I did not know. Thur far I only care about browsers, & the ridiculous fact of no screen saver. Com'on, the basics.

    I may be on the Focal there, appreciate the link.

  6. #6
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    Quote Originally Posted by johsal View Post
    I use also Ubuntu-based distros & not just Ubuntu (Xubuntu but I like MATE as well), & what I am worried about besides system resources is DE support.

    See, every Ubuntu release supports Lubuntu, Xubuntu, MATE, etc., but that's not the same in other distro families.

    They'll have their standard DE then maybe another with enough community support, usually the work of an adept enthusiast, before everyone falls back in line with the standard.

    So not only do I have my laborious customizations, I need the non-standard DE (in the case of 14 & 16, XFCE) for a specific distro (not Xubuntu).
    Lubuntu, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu-MATE are Ubuntu products, they are just flavors of Ubuntu Desktop.

    You may have discovered if you opened the ISO QA tracker links I provided, you can find all flavors there too, as all flavors of Ubuntu are built by the same infrastructure that builds Ubuntu ISOs, they just use different seed files, eg. for 23.10

    - https://ubuntu-archive-team.ubuntu.c...mantic/desktop
    - https://ubuntu-archive-team.ubuntu.c...mantic/desktop
    - https://ubuntu-archive-team.ubuntu.c...mantic/desktop
    - https://ubuntu-archive-team.ubuntu.c...mantic/desktop

    where I've listed the Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu-MATE & Ubuntu Desktop seed files. These seed files just cause different packages to be placed on the ISO by the Ubuntu build infrastructure.

    As flavors of Ubuntu (Lubuntu, Xubuntu etc) only provide 3 years of support; we only build ISOs up to the .5 for LTS; thus the daily images get turned off after (lts).5 is released. If an extra ISO is required (eg. here is an example for 20.04.6) the Ubuntu Release team ask if flavors want to be involved (if within the 3 years of our support) & if we opt yes newer dailies will be created for us to QA & thus sign off on; if we opt no then that flavor ISO won't be created. The ISO QA tracker can be useful to find what is created (esp. if recent; its harder to find things once archived)

    Key though is the Ubuntu flavors are still Ubuntu, and thus far closed than a Ubuntu based system (the Ubuntu builders won't allow non-Ubuntu code as only Ubuntu repositories are searched).

  7. #7
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    Re: Does uninstalling LIVE boot apps free RAM?

    BTW, the fastest and leanest full featured Linux is still Slackware. It is just as screaming fast as OpenBSD.

    Also, Damn Small Linux is back - though it has put on lots of weight.

    Ubuntu has grown so big fat and lazy in its middle age, that I shifted to Devuan.

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