The desktop Linux has faced a strange paradox for a long time (perhaps forever). On the one hand, it is a system that is used a lot to revive old hardware thanks to its lower consumption of resources compared to Windows (especially from Vista), but the reality is that it does not stand out for its performance on computers with little RAM . In other words, using Linux on an older, low-RAM computer might not be as brilliant an idea as it might first appear.
Luckily Linux developers are aware of the low RAM problem and there are various initiatives to at least mitigate it. For example, systemd-oomd (OOMD refers to out-of-memory daemon) is a service created to take corrective action when available RAM is running low. Another effort is the ‘ patch le9 ‘ , which would be applied to the Linux kernel and is willing to help in a scenario in which deficiencies have been detected.
‘le9’ has been in development for two years and has been created to protect the cache of the file and prevent it from being ejected from RAM. Being more specific, ‘le9’ protects the clean pages of the file that are under memory pressure to avoid “hammering” and the high latency and blocking situations that users often encounter when the amount of available RAM starts to run low. be scarce .
One of the contributors to ‘le9’ has commented to Phoronix that he has been able to run Firefox with 37 tabs, Skype, Discord, two PDF files, and LibreOffice on an old ten-year-old computer with 2GB of RAM. It is important to mention that Firefox has long been a heavy web browser and that the current versions of Skype and Discord are Electron applications, which in theory increases the amount of resources they need to offer good performance.
‘le9’ is still in development, so it is not a Linux feature . So far it seems to have aroused the interest of those in charge of XanMod and the developers of ‘le9’ hope to present it when it is finished so that it can be reviewed and incorporated into the official Linux branch in the future . To achieve that goal, ‘le9’ will have to meet the demands of the kernel heavyweights, including Linus Torvalds, who has taken seven years to give the go-ahead Lockdown and has shown his skepticism about Rust’s virtues .
In addition to the “classic” old x86 computers that generally do not have much RAM, the use of ‘ le9 ‘ could be interesting in areas such as the IoT and ARM architecture mini-PCs that do not have excess resources.