Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another brief memory usage study using Debian Sid, Xfce, and Seamonkey

I am using the Nightly Build of the Seamonkey Internet Suite, and as part of that suite I have the Web browser and the Email client currently running. Two features that the recent Seamonkey builds offer that were not present in earlier releases are the standard availability of Sync, the tool which maintains browser, cache, cookie, and password information across browsers on different systems and the availability for the browser tabs and bookmark entries to display Website icons.

The Website icon feature, in particular, seems to result in quite a bit more browser memory being actively used in order to be able to display each Web site icon. In particular, the Seamonkey image now consumes over 700 MB of virtual memory and around 260 MB of resident memory, and even 41 MB of shared memory, all significantly larger amounts than required by the 2.0.13 or 2.0.14 released version of Seamonkey, which usually consume in the 300-400 MB of virtual memory, 90-150 MB of resident memory, and 20-30 MB of shared memory. Performance of the new browser, using more memory, however, easily exceeds that of the previous versions, as well as improved functionality, and since the headroom for more memory has a comfortable ceiling, still only about a quarter utilized, this seems to be a wise optimization in favor of performance at the expense of more memory I/O and fewer disk I/O requests for more virtual memory.

Comparing the total amount of memory on the system needed with this Xfce and Debian Sid combination with the Seamonkey Nightly browser to that we saw recently with PCLinuxOS, we find a total system memory utilization of 369 MB. Several of the scenarios with PCLinuxOS were using as much or more memory; for instance, PCLinuxOS with the "light" IceWM window manager, but the memory hungry Chromium Web browser, was using between 520-550 MB, and around 549 MB with KDE and Chromium. The Chromium browser was the big consumer there with PCLinuxOS, whether running KDE or IceWM. With Firefox replacing Chromium, memory usage dropped a bit, and I found Firefox used 297 MB of memory with IceWM and around 420 MB of memory with KDE.

So what I see here with Debian Sid and Seamonkey is about what I'd expect, though I was a bit surprised to see peak virtual memory requirements as high as they are with Seamonkey, yet I find the actual consumed resources to be more reasonable, and the overall system resources needed to be quite reasonable for the hardware that I am currently using.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Off topic to the article, but I like the new theme. You might consider moving the square ad to the right and putting a "top posts" with Image links the same size as the ad in the area to the left of that if you want to keep it at the top, or move it to say.. the sidebar. Anyway you can as much content above the fold as possible will help in bounce rates :)

Def. keep the orange theme thou, I like it :D