[arch-general] Tips for a stable GNOME Shell?

Stephen Martin hwkiller at gmail.com
Wed Feb 7 05:09:14 UTC 2018

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'.

On 02/06/2018 05:10 PM, Florijan Hamzic via arch-general wrote:
> 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?
> Giovanni Santini via arch-general <arch-general at archlinux.org> schrieb am
> Di., 6. Feb. 2018, 23:09:
>> 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

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