4GB Ram is enough?

XanUtd

New Member
Credits
33
Hi all,

Sort of new. Had Linux about 15 years ago, but was not happy with it then. Now Windows is making things harder and in search of more privacy want to start using Linux again.
I want to use the Ubuntu distro but it says that I need 4GB RAM to run it?? Thought it was not so heavy on the processing?
Which distro is the better one to use for 4GB RAM, 64-bit, AMD Radeon R4 processor 2.60ghz, Lenovo.

Thanks for the help.

PS will be straight install directly removing all of Windows so the choice is quite important for me. The interface is not that important but would be nice to customize. Most important is the installing of applications and smooth running.
 


Linuxembourg

Active Member
Credits
838
I am running Lubuntu which uses about 600MB of RAM with nothing running. It really depends what you run I suppose, but a browser and normal stuff should be fine.
 

XanUtd

New Member
Credits
33
I am running Lubuntu which uses about 600MB of RAM with nothing running. It really depends what you run I suppose, but a browser and normal stuff should be fine.
Thank you for the reply. I don´t run a lot but sometimes I go nuts and search for stuff and have Word, Excel, etc open at the same time. I will try Linux Mint first.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Credits
10,070
With Linux Mint, you have a choice of three different desktops

Cinnamon
Mate
XFCE

Have a search and read about them.

Cinnamon is a 'full featured' desktop....while xfce is the 'lightest'

Rather than me blah on for a page here, have a read online
 

XanUtd

New Member
Credits
33
With Linux Mint, you have a choice of three different desktops

Cinnamon
Mate
XFCE

Have a search and read about them.

Cinnamon is a 'full featured' desktop....while xfce is the 'lightest'

Rather than me blah on for a page here, have a read online
Thank you. Have read the specs for all three and will start with cinnamon but will probably go for MATE in the long run. Or until I have upgraded the laptop RAM.
 

Linuxembourg

Active Member
Credits
838
Thank you for the reply. I don´t run a lot but sometimes I go nuts and search for stuff and have Word, Excel, etc open at the same time. I will try Linux Mint first.
I'm not an expert at all but I think any of the decent "light" distros will be fine. I can run stuff like a VM or GIMP alongside a browser. I generally have 2gb of ram to spare.

I think with a light enough excel/word program you could open an unreasonable amount of files, I.e. you'd want to close some files for your sanity rather than RAM. The applications you use make a difference.

I suppose it depends on what you do within the apps too, which is a lame response, but generally people will be fine with 4gb.
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
16,439
4 GB should run most any distro 'good enough', unless you plan on having a ton of things open at the same time - such as browser tabs. Modern sites chew through a ton of RAM. You'll be okay with 4 GB if you pay some attention to resources.

These days, I consider 32 GB to be the minimum and most of my devices have more than that. However, I use a computer very different than you'll likely use it. For most people, with a modern CPU, 8 would be a pretty sweet spot to be at.

But, again, you can run just fine with 4 GB. You just need to pay attention to what you have open. I'd also ensure there's a swap partition or file. Linux has decent memory management, and OOM will kick in when needed.

Here are some lightweight distros you can also consider:
 

Tolkem

Well-Known Member
Credits
5,503
Which distro is the better one to use for 4GB RAM, 64-bit, AMD Radeon R4 processor 2.60ghz, Lenovo.
Most distros should run just fine with those specs, however, depending on what you use the OS for, you may or may not need more RAM, but generally speaking, for daily and most common usage; web browsing, docs editing, file system browsing, basic image editing operations, multimedia playback .... it should be more than enough. I can recommend this one https://www.q4os.org it's a Debian based distro and ships either with KDE Plasma desktop or Trinity Desktop.
The minimal hardware requirements:
Plasma desktop - 1GHz CPU / 1GB RAM / 5GB disk
Trinity desktop - 300MHz CPU / 128MB RAM / 3GB disk
You can choose between a minimal, basic or full install. I've been using it for the last couple of years, the one with Plasma in an HP 2000 notebook with 2 GB of RAM, and it works great; very responsive. Linux Lite is a very nice distro too https://www.linuxlteos.com/download.php last but not least are MX-Linux and antiX https://forum.mxlinux.org
 

craigevil

Active Member
Credits
748
Only 4Gb on ram here. No problems I usually have quite a few things going on.
Guake with 3 tabs: 1) irssi connected to freenode, oftc, 10-12 rooms
2) gomuks connected to Matrix; 3) Terminal
Usually have audacious playing something. Plank, parcellite, fbreader, and most of the time Chromium
with several tabs open.
Processes: 205 Uptime: 1h 21m Memory: 3.78 GiB used: 1.88 GiB (49.9%)
 

Tolkem

Well-Known Member
Credits
5,503
Only 4Gb on ram here. No problems I usually have quite a few things going on.
Guake with 3 tabs: 1) irssi connected to freenode, oftc, 10-12 rooms
2) gomuks connected to Matrix; 3) Terminal
Usually have audacious playing something. Plank, parcellite, fbreader, and most of the time Chromium
with several tabs open.
Processes: 205 Uptime: 1h 21m Memory: 3.78 GiB used: 1.88 GiB (49.9%)
Nice stats. Can you tell us the Desktop Environment and distro?
 

craigevil

Active Member
Credits
748
It is in my signature.
Raspberry Pi OS upgraded to Debian unstable. LXDE.
Code:
inxi -Fz
System:    Kernel: 5.10.31-v8+ aarch64 bits: 64 Desktop: LXDE 0.10.1 Distro: Raspberry Pi OS 11 (bullseye) 
Machine:   Type: ARM Device System: Raspberry Pi 400 Rev 1.0 details: BCM2835 rev: c03130 serial: <filter> 
CPU:       Info: Quad Core model: N/A variant: cortex-a72 bits: 64 type: MCP 
           Speed: 2000 MHz max: 2000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 2000 2: 2000 3: 2000 4: 2000 
Graphics:  Device-1: bcm2711-vc5 driver: vc4_drm v: N/A 
           Device-2: bcm2711-hdmi0 driver: N/A 
           Device-3: bcm2711-hdmi1 driver: N/A 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.11 driver: loaded: modesetting unloaded: fbdev resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: V3D 4.2 v: 2.1 Mesa 20.3.5 
Audio:     Device-1: bcm2835-audio driver: bcm2835_audio 
           Device-2: bcm2711-hdmi0 driver: N/A 
           Device-3: bcm2711-hdmi1 driver: N/A 
           Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.10.31-v8+ running: yes 
           Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 14.2 running: yes 
           Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.25 running: yes 
Network:   Device-1: bcm2835-mmc driver: mmc_bcm2835 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: bcm2711-genet-v5 driver: bcmgenet 
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           IF-ID-1: proton0 state: unknown speed: 10 Mbps duplex: full mac: N/A 
Bluetooth: Device-1: pl011 driver: uart_pl011 
           Report: hciconfig ID: hci0 rfk-id: 1 state: down bt-service: enabled,running rfk-block: hardware: no software: yes 
           address: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 936.93 GiB used: 119.68 GiB (12.8%) 
           ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: SD256 size: 238.3 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sda type: USB vendor: Samsung model: PSSD T7 size: 465.76 GiB 
           ID-3: /dev/sdb type: USB vendor: SanDisk model: USB 3.2Gen1 size: 232.88 GiB 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 457.13 GiB used: 48.14 GiB (10.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2 
           ID-2: /boot size: 252 MiB used: 47.9 MiB (19.0%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 
Swap:      ID-1: swap-1 type: file size: 100 MiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) file: /var/swap 
           ID-2: swap-2 type: zram size: 256 MiB used: 9.8 MiB (3.8%) dev: /dev/zram0 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 47.2 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 208 Uptime: 1h 27m Memory: 3.78 GiB used: 1.84 GiB (48.6%) gpu: 76 MiB Shell: Bash inxi: 3.3.04
 

Attachments

rado84

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,124
Hi all,

Sort of new. Had Linux about 15 years ago, but was not happy with it then. Now Windows is making things harder and in search of more privacy want to start using Linux again.
I want to use the Ubuntu distro but it says that I need 4GB RAM to run it?? Thought it was not so heavy on the processing?
Which distro is the better one to use for 4GB RAM, 64-bit, AMD Radeon R4 processor 2.60ghz, Lenovo.

Thanks for the help.

PS will be straight install directly removing all of Windows so the choice is quite important for me. The interface is not that important but would be nice to customize. Most important is the installing of applications and smooth running.
Tiny Core's recommended requirement for RAM is 128 MB. The absolute minimum below which it won't run is 46 MB. As far I can see on their website, it does have some kind of a desktop but I can't say what its name is. The less RAM it uses, the more RAM you'll have for applications.

www.tinycorelinux.net
 

h2-1

Member
Credits
998
TinyCore linux has a quite limited package pool, and is somewhat difficult to wrap your head around. I like it, but don't recommend it as a daily driver type distro, but it's very interesting to see how it works.

If you just ignore Gnome, KDE, and anything derived from those, you will probably do ok. I can always tell how much ram those two eat because I do a lot of vm testing, and if I forgot to assign either one 2GB ram in the vm, they run really badly. All other window managers and desktops run fine with 1 GB I find. That's with no programs open.

Any LibreOffice program eats a lot of ram, firefox eats a lot of ram, chromium tabs, as mentioned above, eat a ton of ram, thunderbird eats a lot of ram. You can drop browser ram use a bit by using Ublock Origin ad blocker, but they still use a lot of ram.

I also agree that it's a good idea to max the device ram out, for a lot of laptops if you can, that will be 8GB, 4GB is potentially not going to be enough except for the very lightest setups in a few years I think, I already find it inadequate for any heavier use, with many tabs, programs open, etc, though it all depends on the programs you use, but it's easy to see which are eating up the ram.

Window managers are the lightest option, some of them use almost no ram at all.
 

sam444

Member
Credits
582
Back in the day, 4GB of Ram would be heaps as Windoze XP could run on 512MB of Ram...but those days are long gone. ;)

I have a 9yr old Laptop...64bit...i5CPU and 4GB of Ram. I've had...Mint Cinnamon...MX Linux...Ubuntu and is running Linux Lite at the moment, for surfing the Net, watching videos etc, it's fine but to Multi-task you need much more Ram.

These days 8GB of Ram would be the minimum and 16GB much better. My Tower has 16GB of Ram and you can see with two Web Browsers open I'm using 2.5GB of Ram.


If I had only 4GB, that means I have only 1.5GB left and not much you could do with that. When I see System Requirements for Linux Mint Cinnamon...1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage)...I think that might have been good 20yrs ago but not now, I have a VM that's got 6GB of Ram. :D
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Credits
10,070
Agree with @sam444

I currently run on 16gb ram (linux mint 20.1 (cinnamon)....and it performs....it is quick and to the point. No lag etc etc

Apps appear to be getting 'heavier'....therefore more ram = better
 

craigevil

Active Member
Credits
748
This is with two tabs open in Chromium, one of them being Discord.
Info: Processes: 220 Uptime: 11h 55m Memory: 3.78 GiB used: 2.19 GiB (57.9%) gpu: 76 MiB
Code:
               total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:         3885272     1738124      311368      458696     1835780     1725684
Swap:        3248120      250368     2997752
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Members online


Top