Discussion:
Tips for a stable GNOME Shell?
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Giovanni Santini via arch-general
2018-02-06 22:08:53 UTC
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Good evening,
I am writing here since I do believe people here might have found
solutions already to my problems.

Sadly, I am the problem, as I love GNOME Shell (ops).
Jokes aside, I love its interface and behaviour; although, it is really
hard to use it on a real-context basis for me.
What it happens is that if I execute RAM-consuming applications, GNOME
Shell behaves really badly, swapping a lot with memory.

The usual scenario is me trying to send some e-mails, while I have
Visual Studio Code and Firefox for some coding; usually, this leads to
huge slowdown, up to making the system unusable.

This doesn't happen when using a GNOME-friendly i3 session, executing by
far many more RAM-consuming applications (such as running Franz with
multiple services, Telegram Desktop and others).

I got some good boosts from the following actions:
- Disabling almost all the Shell extensions, except for my 'essential' ones.
- Using a X11 session instead of Wayland
- Tweaking swap and VFS parameters (there is a web article referenced in
the ArchWiki which is really good)

So I have two questions:
1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
apps and files for sure.

Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Florijan Hamzic via arch-general
2018-02-06 23:10:49 UTC
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Hi Giovanni,

I also use gnome shell and love it, I don't have any lags or memory
problems. Tbh in the last 2-4 years it's the most productive thing i have.

Most of time I am running chromium (100tabs + YouTube), pycharm, gedit, lot
of shells, MySQL Workbench and have several services running (sphinx,
mariadb).

Running these things very fluently on a i7 4700 with 16gb ram and standard
OCZ SSD. Especially IDE takes a lot of RAM and Visual Studio is well known
on windows not to spare with it.

I have the same software setup on a Intel NUC with i3 and 8gb RAM. But with
kodi, retroarch and a lot of instances node, cherrypy, mariadb instances. I
don't use a IDE on it but whenever I do things on it it runs smoothly.

I would check the RAM and SSD, what setup do you have?
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Good evening,
I am writing here since I do believe people here might have found
solutions already to my problems.
Sadly, I am the problem, as I love GNOME Shell (ops).
Jokes aside, I love its interface and behaviour; although, it is really
hard to use it on a real-context basis for me.
What it happens is that if I execute RAM-consuming applications, GNOME
Shell behaves really badly, swapping a lot with memory.
The usual scenario is me trying to send some e-mails, while I have
Visual Studio Code and Firefox for some coding; usually, this leads to
huge slowdown, up to making the system unusable.
This doesn't happen when using a GNOME-friendly i3 session, executing by
far many more RAM-consuming applications (such as running Franz with
multiple services, Telegram Desktop and others).
- Disabling almost all the Shell extensions, except for my 'essential' ones.
- Using a X11 session instead of Wayland
- Tweaking swap and VFS parameters (there is a web article referenced in
the ArchWiki which is really good)
1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
apps and files for sure.
Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Stephen Martin via arch-general
2018-02-07 05:09:14 UTC
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Yeah, I had similar problems. I like gnome-shell, but I inevitably give
up on it every time I try it.

Maybe w/ 16gb, it's fine, but with 4gb it was unbearable.

Gnome-shell itself would consume >20% of my ram, over time. I had to
alt+f2 -> r[estart] gnome-shell frequently just to regain ram. If I had
just gnome-shell with minimal extensions + firefox open, my system could
enter swap hell.

Plasma was lighter than gnome-shell, although recently I've been hitting
more swapping problems, yet again. Never as bad as when on gnome-shell
though. I think its javascript engine just consumes a TON of memory,
which is largely what makes firefox and chrome so heavy as well (stupid.
javascript. Come on.).

This week, I moved back to a heavily customized xfce4, and all is well.

In the end, I'm sure it would be usable if my laptop didn't suck (it's
many, many years old, 4gb of ram, core i3). But it's frustrating that
the interface itself consumes so much ram that only one other app can
reasonably be opened at a time. If I opened slack on gnome shell, I have
to prepare for a REISUB (or, in the least, a RF) to escape swap hell.

My 16gb desktop doesn't care what's running though, obviously. More ram,
better life. Nonetheless, 4gb SHOULD be more than enough for an
environment + ONE web browser; but that's the world we live in. Devs
care much less about using ram efficiently, more about using all the ram
it can; the user 'can always buy more'.
Post by Florijan Hamzic via arch-general
Hi Giovanni,
I also use gnome shell and love it, I don't have any lags or memory
problems. Tbh in the last 2-4 years it's the most productive thing i have.
Most of time I am running chromium (100tabs + YouTube), pycharm, gedit, lot
of shells, MySQL Workbench and have several services running (sphinx,
mariadb).
Running these things very fluently on a i7 4700 with 16gb ram and standard
OCZ SSD. Especially IDE takes a lot of RAM and Visual Studio is well known
on windows not to spare with it.
I have the same software setup on a Intel NUC with i3 and 8gb RAM. But with
kodi, retroarch and a lot of instances node, cherrypy, mariadb instances. I
don't use a IDE on it but whenever I do things on it it runs smoothly.
I would check the RAM and SSD, what setup do you have?
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Good evening,
I am writing here since I do believe people here might have found
solutions already to my problems.
Sadly, I am the problem, as I love GNOME Shell (ops).
Jokes aside, I love its interface and behaviour; although, it is really
hard to use it on a real-context basis for me.
What it happens is that if I execute RAM-consuming applications, GNOME
Shell behaves really badly, swapping a lot with memory.
The usual scenario is me trying to send some e-mails, while I have
Visual Studio Code and Firefox for some coding; usually, this leads to
huge slowdown, up to making the system unusable.
This doesn't happen when using a GNOME-friendly i3 session, executing by
far many more RAM-consuming applications (such as running Franz with
multiple services, Telegram Desktop and others).
- Disabling almost all the Shell extensions, except for my 'essential' ones.
- Using a X11 session instead of Wayland
- Tweaking swap and VFS parameters (there is a web article referenced in
the ArchWiki which is really good)
1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
apps and files for sure.
Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Michael Singh via arch-general
2018-02-07 06:10:02 UTC
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Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
apps and files for sure.
Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.
To be fair I run GNOME 3.26 on a really low resource netbook, with zram
enabled.
I'm actually surprised that it works as well as it does.

Handle 0x0001, DMI type 1, 27 bytes
System Information
Manufacturer: Acer
Product Name: Aspire one 1-431
Version: V1.09

Handle 0x0004, DMI type 4, 42 bytes
Processor Information
Socket Designation: CHV
Type: Central Processor
Family: Celeron
Manufacturer: Intel(R) Corporation
ID: C3 06 04 00 FF FB EB BF
Signature: Type 0, Family 6, Model 76, Stepping 3
Version: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N3050 @ 1.60GHz
Voltage: 4.0 V
External Clock: 83 MHz
Max Speed: 1660 MHz
Current Speed: 1600 MHz
Status: Populated, Enabled
Upgrade: Slot 1
L1 Cache Handle: 0x0005
L2 Cache Handle: 0x0006
L3 Cache Handle: Not Provided
Serial Number: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Asset Tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Part Number: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Core Count: 2
Core Enabled: 2
Thread Count: 2
Characteristics:
64-bit capable
Multi-Core
Execute Protection
Enhanced Virtualization
Power/Performance Control

Handle 0x0005, DMI type 7, 19 bytes
Cache Information
Socket Designation: L1 Cache
Configuration: Enabled, Not Socketed, Level 1
Operational Mode: Write Back
Location: Internal
Installed Size: 32 kB
Maximum Size: 32 kB
Supported SRAM Types:
Synchronous
Installed SRAM Type: Synchronous
Speed: Unknown
Error Correction Type: Parity
System Type: Instruction
Associativity: 8-way Set-associative

Handle 0x0006, DMI type 7, 19 bytes
Cache Information
Socket Designation: L2 Cache
Configuration: Enabled, Not Socketed, Level 2
Operational Mode: Write Back
Location: Internal
Installed Size: 1024 kB
Maximum Size: 1024 kB
Supported SRAM Types:
Synchronous
Installed SRAM Type: Synchronous
Speed: Unknown
Error Correction Type: Single-bit ECC
System Type: Unified
Associativity: 16-way Set-associative

Handle 0x000A, DMI type 16, 23 bytes
Physical Memory Array
Location: System Board Or Motherboard
Use: System Memory
Error Correction Type: None
Maximum Capacity: 2 GB
Error Information Handle: No Error
Number Of Devices: 2
--
Regards,
F: 5E0E FD46 4592 1682 A4B6 5F62 761E 4940 A177 3B38


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Michael Singh via arch-general
2018-02-07 06:13:46 UTC
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* Load average (uptime):
22:11:00 up 2:12, 1 user, load average: 2.05, 1.06, 0.79

* Memory usage (free -m):
total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem: 1904 1318 73 169 512 223
Swap: 4888 354 4534

* Top 5 CPU hogs (ps axuScnh | awk '$2!=3693' | sort -rnk3 | head -5):
1000 2309 12.6 11.7 2684972 228676 ? Sl 20:02 16:10 firefox
1000 2558 3.5 6.0 2161352 117076 ? Sl 20:07 4:21 Web Content
1000 1531 2.8 6.9 3496280 135244 tty2 Sl+ 19:59 3:41 gnome-shell
1000 1406 2.2 2.4 363948 48176 tty2 Rl+ 19:59 2:56 Xorg
1000 3625 1.0 0.2 132176 4832 pts/1 Ss 22:10 0:00 bash

* Top 5 Memory hogs (ps axuScnh | sort -rnk4 | head -5):
1000 2309 12.6 11.7 2684972 228676 ? Sl 20:02 16:10 firefox
1000 1531 2.8 6.9 3496280 135244 tty2 Sl+ 19:59 3:41 gnome-shell
1000 2677 0.6 6.1 2222848 119072 ? Sl 20:09 0:49 Web Content
1000 2558 3.5 6.0 2161352 117076 ? Sl 20:07 4:21 Web Content
1000 2107 0.2 5.0 3040848 97652 tty2 SLl+ 20:00 0:18 evolution


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Bennett Piater
2018-02-07 08:06:21 UTC
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Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Good evening,
I am writing here since I do believe people here might have found
solutions already to my problems.
Sadly, I am the problem, as I love GNOME Shell (ops).
Jokes aside, I love its interface and behaviour; although, it is really
hard to use it on a real-context basis for me.
What it happens is that if I execute RAM-consuming applications, GNOME
Shell behaves really badly, swapping a lot with memory.
The usual scenario is me trying to send some e-mails, while I have
Visual Studio Code and Firefox for some coding; usually, this leads to
huge slowdown, up to making the system unusable.
This doesn't happen when using a GNOME-friendly i3 session, executing by
far many more RAM-consuming applications (such as running Franz with
multiple services, Telegram Desktop and others).
- Disabling almost all the Shell extensions, except for my 'essential' ones.
- Using a X11 session instead of Wayland
- Tweaking swap and VFS parameters (there is a web article referenced in
the ArchWiki which is really good)
1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
apps and files for sure.
Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.
I think the only way to get a stable GNOME shell is to not use it.
Plasma is much lighter than it used to be, so maybe roll with that?
This is even more important on wayland because GNOME is also the Wayland
compositor there - if it crashes, it can't restart like on X, everything
dies.
And the stability of GNOME won't improve unless they address core
architecture issues, which will take years at best. So the only real
short/mid term solution for Wayland is Plasma (or Sway, if you are into
that).

Cheers,
Bennett
--
GPG fingerprint: 871F 1047 7DB3 DDED 5FC4 47B2 26C7 E577 EF96 7808
Giovanni Santini via arch-general
2018-02-07 20:28:26 UTC
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Good evening,

Thank you so much for your input; it is really appreciated.
For you information, I am using a (kinda old) Acer E1-570G, which has
4GB of RAM and a i5 3337 CPU.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Plasma DE, I never heard of it
before; I will try to give it a shot, considering XFCE (which was
suggested) as possible fallback.

I am also interested in Michael's setup; except for ZRam, did you use
anything else?

Thanks again to everyone!
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
strupo
2018-02-07 23:36:54 UTC
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On Wed, 7 Feb 2018 21:28:26 +0100
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Plasma DE, I never heard of it
before.
You may know it better by the name KDE.
Giovanni Santini via arch-general
2018-02-08 19:40:24 UTC
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Post by strupo
On Wed, 7 Feb 2018 21:28:26 +0100
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Plasma DE, I never heard of it
before.
You may know it better by the name KDE.
Oh. Thanks to point it out.
Am I so ignorant in the matter? Doh.
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Giovanni Santini via arch-general
2018-02-11 22:39:48 UTC
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Hello again,
Thanks to your suggestions, I decided to
1. Replace GDM with LightDM
2. Install LXDE as lightweight DE
The installation was easy and I am really glad of the RAM performance
obtained (I suppose GDM was the real resource hog).

These is only one small desire that is still unexpressed for me: I both
have mutter and openbox locally installed and I would like to use only
mutter (looks much better) when using LXDE.
The problem is that I have literally no idea of how to set up its keys;
from its man, I should change them from the Control Center, that is not
present in LXDE (it's GNOME stuff) and I am not sure of which GNOME
settings services I should execute to make it work. If anyone has any
tips, please speak ahead!

Thanks again to all, anyways :)
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Marcelo "Marc" Ranolfi via arch-general
2018-02-12 02:47:33 UTC
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Hi,

Replacing GDM for LightDM was a smart move.
(You can make it look like GDM; here's a hand: https://goo.gl/WpMrYg)

If you like GNOME and would still like to use it, I recommend changing
vm.swappiness to a higher value (default is 60). In my case I found
that changing it to 80 solved most of my unresponsive DE issues -
although I use Cinnamon, and I have 8GB of RAM. YMMV.


Regards
Marc

On Sun, Feb 11, 2018 at 8:39 PM, Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Hello again,
Thanks to your suggestions, I decided to
1. Replace GDM with LightDM
2. Install LXDE as lightweight DE
The installation was easy and I am really glad of the RAM performance
obtained (I suppose GDM was the real resource hog).
These is only one small desire that is still unexpressed for me: I both
have mutter and openbox locally installed and I would like to use only
mutter (looks much better) when using LXDE.
The problem is that I have literally no idea of how to set up its keys;
from its man, I should change them from the Control Center, that is not
present in LXDE (it's GNOME stuff) and I am not sure of which GNOME
settings services I should execute to make it work. If anyone has any
tips, please speak ahead!
Thanks again to all, anyways :)
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
Ralf Mardorf
2018-02-12 03:09:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Marcelo "Marc" Ranolfi via arch-general
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Hello again,
Thanks to your suggestions, I decided to
1. Replace GDM with LightDM
2. Install LXDE as lightweight DE
The installation was easy and I am really glad of the RAM performance
obtained (I suppose GDM was the real resource hog).
These is only one small desire that is still unexpressed for me: I
both have mutter and openbox locally installed and I would like to
use only mutter (looks much better) when using LXDE.
The problem is that I have literally no idea of how to set up its
keys; from its man, I should change them from the Control Center,
that is not present in LXDE (it's GNOME stuff) and I am not sure of
which GNOME settings services I should execute to make it work. If
anyone has any tips, please speak ahead!
Replacing GDM for LightDM was a smart move.
(You can make it look like GDM; here's a hand: https://goo.gl/WpMrYg)
If you like GNOME and would still like to use it, I recommend changing
vm.swappiness to a higher value (default is 60). In my case I found
that changing it to 80 solved most of my unresponsive DE issues -
although I use Cinnamon, and I have 8GB of RAM. YMMV.
If a DE requires swapping on a modern machine with 8 GiB of available
RAM, than the DE is crap. Since I'm an openbox (no DE at all) user,
openbox does look, as the user makes it looking. Perhaps getting rid of
the DE, instead of switching the WM helps.
freq via arch-general
2018-02-12 07:04:47 UTC
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Be careful when clicking shortened links like "goo.gl", they can be phishing tactic linkage.

On Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:47:33 -0200
Post by Marcelo "Marc" Ranolfi via arch-general
Hi,
Replacing GDM for LightDM was a smart move.
(You can make it look like GDM; here's a hand: https://goo.gl/WpMrYg)
If you like GNOME and would still like to use it, I recommend changing
vm.swappiness to a higher value (default is 60). In my case I found
that changing it to 80 solved most of my unresponsive DE issues -
although I use Cinnamon, and I have 8GB of RAM. YMMV.
Regards
Marc
On Sun, Feb 11, 2018 at 8:39 PM, Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Hello again,
Thanks to your suggestions, I decided to
1. Replace GDM with LightDM
2. Install LXDE as lightweight DE
The installation was easy and I am really glad of the RAM performance
obtained (I suppose GDM was the real resource hog).
These is only one small desire that is still unexpressed for me: I both
have mutter and openbox locally installed and I would like to use only
mutter (looks much better) when using LXDE.
The problem is that I have literally no idea of how to set up its keys;
from its man, I should change them from the Control Center, that is not
present in LXDE (it's GNOME stuff) and I am not sure of which GNOME
settings services I should execute to make it work. If anyone has any
tips, please speak ahead!
Thanks again to all, anyways :)
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
--
freq <***@lavabit.com>
Marcelo "Marc" Ranolfi via arch-general
2018-02-15 17:43:07 UTC
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Raw Message
Sorry freq (unless you are an automated message); here's the full
link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KS5Iy0OJ6UHWeoAN2WSBelHn6ZWjoUKT/view


@Ralf Mardorf: Of course the DE doesn't.
When I boot up to my desktop, my RAM usage is just under 1GB for
Cinnamon + LightDM. Which is very fair for a modern x64 system. But
thing is, I'm usually running a couple of virtual machines and browser
windows and bulding something at the same time. (Yeah, I should get
more RAM). ;)


Regards

On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 5:04 AM, freq via arch-general
Post by freq via arch-general
Be careful when clicking shortened links like "goo.gl", they can be phishing tactic linkage.
On Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:47:33 -0200
Post by Marcelo "Marc" Ranolfi via arch-general
Hi,
Replacing GDM for LightDM was a smart move.
(You can make it look like GDM; here's a hand: https://goo.gl/WpMrYg)
If you like GNOME and would still like to use it, I recommend changing
vm.swappiness to a higher value (default is 60). In my case I found
that changing it to 80 solved most of my unresponsive DE issues -
although I use Cinnamon, and I have 8GB of RAM. YMMV.
Regards
Marc
On Sun, Feb 11, 2018 at 8:39 PM, Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Post by Giovanni Santini via arch-general
Hello again,
Thanks to your suggestions, I decided to
1. Replace GDM with LightDM
2. Install LXDE as lightweight DE
The installation was easy and I am really glad of the RAM performance
obtained (I suppose GDM was the real resource hog).
These is only one small desire that is still unexpressed for me: I both
have mutter and openbox locally installed and I would like to use only
mutter (looks much better) when using LXDE.
The problem is that I have literally no idea of how to set up its keys;
from its man, I should change them from the Control Center, that is not
present in LXDE (it's GNOME stuff) and I am not sure of which GNOME
settings services I should execute to make it work. If anyone has any
tips, please speak ahead!
Thanks again to all, anyways :)
--
Giovanni Santini
My blog: http://giovannisantini.tk
My code: https://git{hub,lab}.com/ItachiSan
My GPG: 2FADEBF5
--
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