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I'm not referring to the memory leak issues in Ubuntu 18. I'm referring to the default memory that the OS consumes.

With Ubuntu 16.04, it required barely 500MB, but Ubuntu 18 needs almost 1GB. Similarly, Windows XP needed just around 200MB, but the more recent versions of Windows are huge memory hogs.

Is this planned obsolescence? Forcing people to upgrade their hardware? Or is there a legitimate need for certain processes to consume more memory? If there is a legit need, may we know what it is?

closed as off-topic by user68186, Anwar, K7AAY, Soren A, Eric Carvalho Feb 2 at 0:07

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  • "This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow." – user68186, Anwar, K7AAY, Soren A, Eric Carvalho
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  • 5
    GNOME 3 is mostly coded in javascript so an awful lot is done at runtime, and these semi-interpreted languages are memory & resource hogs (though not without some benefits too). Development in languages like that used in GNOME, or modern windows are faster & easier to develop in (with theoretically fewer security concerns) than older more traditional languages. However if you want a lighter DEsktop, just use another one. Whilst some more recent GTK+ ones too have become heavy (GTK+3 is heaver than older GTK+2), they do vary & use less than GNOME, but so does KDE, but LXQt & LXDE are lightest. – guiverc Jan 23 at 7:13
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GNOME 3 is mostly coded in javascript so an awful lot is done at runtime, and these semi-interpreted languages are memory & resource hogs (though not without some benefits too).

Development in languages like that used in GNOME, or modern windows are faster & easier (with theoretically fewer security concerns as the language provides bounds etc validation at cost of speed) than older more traditional languages (the coder usually wrote field checking but this varies with language).

However if you want a lighter DEsktop, just use another one. Whilst some more recent GTK+ ones too have become heavy (GTK+3 is heaver than older GTK+2), they do vary & use less than GNOME. MATE, Budgie & XFCE are lighter (older XFCE was very light, but with move from GTK+2 to GTK+3 it's somewhat heavier now too). The lightest in the GTK camp is LXDE (being GTK+2 and used in Lubuntu up to 18.04 LTS)

Across the 'pond' (ie. in the Qt camp) there is KDE which is much lighter now (Qt5 uses considerable less resources than did Qt4) , but if you want very light here use LXQt (Lubuntu 18.10 & later).

I was testing Lubuntu [& Xubuntu] 19.04 on a dell d610 & ibm thinkpad t43 & like systems (ie. pentium m, 1gb ram) until last month when x86 daily-ISOs were stopped. Just because GNOME is heavy, we still have other choices (including alternative methods to install Lubuntu/Xubuntu given x86 ISO's are no longer produced!)

  • Nope. This is not the solution. I just installed Ubuntu 18.04.1, installed Unity, restarted and logged in after choosing Unity at the password prompt. System monitor still shows 930MB is used by default. I don't think Gnome is the problem (didn't uninstall Gnome yet though). – Nav Feb 10 at 13:01
  • I don't see your point. Unity 7 uses the same GTK+ version as GNOME does. It's just an alternative desktop that uses different UI code but calls indentical code lower down in the software-stack (which includes the GTK+ toolkit). So what is your point. Unity 8 was re-written in a different language, it uses Qt instead of GTK+ but I'm betting you were talking about Unity 7 not 8. Ubuntu 16.04 used the GNOME/GTK+ stack ver 3.18, 18.04 uses GNOME/GTK+ stack ver 3.28 whether you use GNOME or Unity 7 as your DE. – guiverc Feb 10 at 13:12
  • I see. So the solution for anyone RAM conscious is to use LUbuntu. Ubuntu is forever going to take up a lot of RAM. – Nav Feb 11 at 2:58
  • I was testing Xubuntu and Lubuntu 19.04 on x86 laptops (ibm thinkpad t43, dell latitude d610 etc) with just 1gb of ram until they stopped producing x86 (32bit ISO's) dec-2019. As XFCE moved to GTK+3 it felt to me slower (very subjective) but even if you ignore Xubuntu/Lubuntu (which needs some of that 1gb of ram), or firefox - the web sites (eg. youtube.com streaming a video) too wanted ram. Few users today though are forced to use machines with 1gb of ram, and Ubuntu and flavors are naturally moving towards where most of their userbase is. eg. lubuntu.me/taking-a-new-direction – guiverc Feb 11 at 3:17
  • I'll include this too - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS info on installs (from those who allowed the data to be sent back anyway) - ubuntu.com/desktop/statistics – guiverc Feb 11 at 3:18

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