Sunday, July 13th, 2008, 1:06 am
Using Mandriva Linux 2008.1 with 2 GB of RAM (Highmem)
I’ve just had quite an ordeal getting my GNU/Linux installation to utilise all my RAM. It’s the first time that I’ve had such a problem and I went for the hard solution rather than the simple one (GUI-based), which would have worked fine. For the record, here’s the process of troubleshooting (publicly logged in the Phoronix channel).
<schestowitz> I have a quick h/w question. Is there any reason why on a dual-core system with 2GB of RAM only 1GB should be reported as visible?
<starkmjolk> schestowitz: not that I’m aware of.
<starkmjolk> schestowitz: is 2GB visible in the BIOS?
<schestowitz> Oh, I’d have to reboot to check this.
<schestowitz> starkmjolk: I’m underutilising. My BIOS shows 2 GB but this system only picks up 1 GB (Mandriva 2008.1 32-bit on an AMD 64-capable).
<redeeman> does it show 1024 or 8xx ?
<starkmjolk> schestowitz: what’s the first number of “free -m” in a terminal?
<schestowitz> Mem: 884 874 9 0 20 338
<redeeman> you are missing highmem
<redeeman> in the kernel
<uncle_fungus> looks like you’re running a lowmem kernel
<uncle_fungus> darn, beat me to it
<schestowitz> Never compiled one before.
<redeeman> weird that mandriva would disable highmem
<redeeman> especially in these days
<redeeman> but i guess they figure people are gonna use 64bit
<schestowitz> Yes, indeed. 2 GB is quite standard.
<redeeman> what cpu is it?
<redeeman> anyway, you should get 64bit
<uncle_fungus> you’ve got the 586 kernel installed.
<schestowitz> Amd Athlon X2 5000
<uncle_fungus> install the equivalent without 586 in the name
<schestowitz> Having already set it all up, I’d be reluctant to mess with the kernel.
<uncle_fungus> kernel-desktop-188.8.131.52-1mnb will do you just fine
<redeeman> you are going to get updates to the kernel eventualy
<schestowitz> It might break something, no?
<redeeman> well it can break stuff naturally, but the chances are very slim
<redeeman> and you can always just go back
<redeeman> if it does not work
<schestowitz> Hmmm… assuming I have prior experience building it from source and replacing, no?
<schestowitz> Thanks for the help BTW.
<uncle_fungus> go into rpmdrake and select the kernel-desktop-latest package
<uncle_fungus> and disable the kernel-desktop586-latest package
<schestowitz> Oooo, lots of options there… under ‘kernel-desktop-latest’
<uncle_fungus> the regular one will do
<uncle_fungus> to start with
<uncle_fungus> it should have 184.108.40.206 as the version
<schestowitz> OK, I’m selecting and adding kernel-desktop-latest
<schestowitz> To satisfy dependencies, the following package(s) also need to be installed: kernel-desktop-220.127.116.11-2mnb-1-1mnb1.i586?
<schestowitz> The following 2 packages are going to be installed: – kernel-desktop-18.104.22.168-2mnb-1-1mnb1.i586
<schestowitz> – kernel-desktop-latest-22.214.171.124-2mnb1.i586
<uncle_fungus> yea, one’s the kernel, one’s a meta package that will auto-pull the latest available
<schestowitz> Ok, I trust you on this.
<schestowitz> OK. It’s done. Anything I should do next?
<uncle_fungus> reboot and select your new kernel
<uncle_fungus> if it doesn’t work, reboot and use the old one again
<schestowitz> How would I select the old one? Which one should I try to choose?\
<uncle_fungus> it’ll appear in your boot menu
<schestowitz> Okay, so I’ll try the one without 585 in the name, right?
<schestowitz> Thanks a lot! Hopefully I’ll be back.
<schestowitz> uncle_fungus: uncle. Dude. You almost killed me.
<uncle_fungus> i did wonder why you were offline so long
<schestowitz> Here I am 3 hours later with yet another new distro.
<schestowitz> Don’t worry.
<schestowitz> The good news is that I have all 2 gigs now and it’s back to normal. All kernels including the old one went bananas.
<schestowitz> Just for details (Michael has this documented, so…)
<uncle_fungus> oh? bananas how?
<schestowitz> After updating the kernel the graphics driver went boom ( ) and I could barely give text input except for in tty1
<uncle_fungus> ah, yes, thats a bit of stupidity in the mandriva update system
<schestowitz> It seems as though the Mandriva conrol centre (MCC it’s called?) had a better procedure for fecthing new kernels with drivers embedded in them.
<schestowitz> uncle_fungus: I agree. I wasn’t faulting you.
<schestowitz> Anyway, I have another new partition (Kubuntu is what I’ve had burned).
<uncle_fungus> depends what drivers you need. The fglrx installer in mandriva is hopeless in my experience. I just do everything manually
<schestowitz> Perhaps more interestingly, Manbo came up in the package management.
<schestowitz> And I’m sensitive to this because Turbolinux swaps code with Microsoft and gets to see their source code.
<schestowitz> That patent deal and Manbo have always been a bit of a mystery, particularly their legal effect. PJ gave up on Mandriva because of it and I debated with Peter Brown of the FSF at the time. No answers. Anyway, Manbo is already *ahem* alive.
<schestowitz> BTW, I’d use the free driver, but michaellarabel insisted that dual-head needs the blob.