Increasing RAM

This is my first post, so, hi everyone.

I will be installing 11.1 64-bit on my desktop machine within the next few days. Currently the machine has only 1GB of PC2 5300 RAM, but I will be changing that to 4GB soon - but not before I install 11.1.

I did search for an answer on this, but was unable to find any.

My question is this: when I finally do get the new RAM, will it be recognised automatically, or will I have to make changes to the configuration?

Many thanks in advance for any answers!



elftone schrieb:
> when I finally do get the new RAM, will it be
> recognised automatically, or will I have to make changes to the
> configuration?

It will be recognized automatically.

Tilman Schmidt
Phoenix Software GmbH
Bonn, Germany

Many thanks Tilman.

Reason is the BIOS detects it and during the boot process, the amount of RAM is one of the pieces of information passed to the kernel. In fact not just the amount of RAM but the layout of the memory.

Thank you Ken - always good to know how a thing works.

That’s why all 4GB will work btw :wink:

Just as a word of advice as I don’t know if you have any experience with placing hardware, always make sure you get rid rid of static electricity (make contact with some grounded metal, like a grounded waterpipe) first, you may damage your hardware otherwise.

If i were You i would still run 32 bit version as it would also recognize all of Your memory (with the PAE kernel). I wouldn’t bother yet with 64 bit version.

I’m a newbie with linux and opensuse. I have opensuse 11.0 32 bit version installed. I also have 8 GB of memory installeed. My BIOS recognizes all 8 GB but when I go thru Gnome it says that all I have is 3.6 GB of memory. I understand the kernel should be pae enabled. When I went through YAST-Software Management, it shows that the kernel-pae and kernel withour pae are installed.
My questions are:

  1. How do I check if my default kernel is pae or not?
  2. How do I make sure the pae kernel can be made the default kernel?
  3. Where do I check if the system is seeing and using all the RAM I have?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks Axeia - you must know I’m a bit clumsy :). I’ll take your advice. Thank you!

Are there still issues with the 64-bit version?

Well first place to check is when You boot and make a choice:) to PAE kernel.
I would uninstall the default kernel if You already have the PAE enabled kernel, it will at least make it clearer when You boot. To check when running run as root:
uname -r

I wouldn’t say there are any issues but for the beginning i’d go 32 bit. I personally didn’t like running 64 bit because lots 32 bit packages had to be installed along it and i don’t like having unnecessary cruft installed :wink:
It’s just me, it could be fine with You anyway. With 32 bit You wouldn’t at least have to cry why flash is not working or java (they are still in alpha stages so…)


I will try it when I reach home.


Ah, good points - thanks for the insight :).

I disagree with using 32 bit PAE kernel, though that is what I started with last year on a 10.3 release.

After a while, I moved to using the default and taking the small hit on unused memory, which is smaller than you would think, because the pae kernel, support 32 CPUs and there were per CPU data structures which were sized to max number CPUs, not the number detected on boot up.

The kernel, also has a load of big server related config options, which are not relevant on your system, but use up some memory. Linus also described pae as a big mistake, basically it melts down at about 8 GiB, not the advertised 64 GiB.

Using the ‘default’ kernel, meant I had kernel load modules, for updated Virtual Box, and one other application that I’ve forgotten, available via rpm which weren’t for 10.3 “bigsmp” kernel, which has similar config to 11.1 pae kernel.

For 11.1, I’ve gone with 64 bit, and it seems to work well. Whilst programs are somewhat larger due to increased pointer size, the architecture benefits from many more registers than the old i386, which makes function calls more efficient.

The relatively large base of Linux 64 bit users, has lead to support by Adobe and Sun, for example.

A past forum thread, around the 11.1 release, suggested those installing x86_64 were happy with the software compatibility.

The 32 bit library versions are not “cruft” but there to provide compatability for 32 bit binaries.

Running a modern 64 bit CPU in a alte 1980’s compatability mode, which had to be included so it could run Windows is far more crufty, than some extra files sitting on disks (which I cannot fill up these days).

Well for starters i’m telling my point of view, second he’s got his own mind so well he’ll choose. You won’t see any difference no matter how great 64 bit kernel is. Show me some comparison between 32 bit and 64 bit kernel and i’ll agree then. Until then i say there is no performance hit at all. There are many packages that are only 32 bit (Skype, Adobe Reader, LightScribe, Flash, Java), i don’t count the alpha or early access 64 bit versions of java or flash. So for starters go with 32 bit (You could test both if You have both versions).
Any unnecessary package that is installed is a cruft. You don’t buy a cow if You just want to drink milk or do You??

Skype only requires 2 32bit libraries.

Acroread comes with a whole bunch of its own libraries anyway.

Flash has been working fine for a while with the plugin wrapper. The 64-bit alpha version is not distributed by OpenSUSE yet, it was released too late. Depending on who you read, alpha works fine or it should be avoided for the moment. In any case Flash works out of the box for 64-bit.

Java is only an issue for the browser plugin. Java-enhanced web pages are getting fewer, they are losing ground to Flash. (I only know of one that I visit regularly, and I lose nothing by not enabling Java, probably avoid ads.) There are probably some enterprise sites that still use Java as client-side technology. Anyway you have to evaluate this yourself.

I don’t know about Lightscribe, I don’t use it. A marker pen is good enough for me.

You actually missed the more serious downsides actually, people who have to use ndiswrapper with 32-bit Windows drivers. Or perhaps some people with vendor provided printer drivers only for 32-bit. But if they only use a few core GNU libraries, that’s usually not a problem.

In any case, 64-bit continues to improve and isn’t such a big issue any more.

Well i missed it because i never had to use it:) The weird thing is that if i ever had a problem with a driver for some of my hardware then it was openSUSE 10.3 not having the ethernet card driver. That’s it :slight_smile: But i understand there are billions of combinations Linux or Windows has to deal with (i guess modularity of Linux helps a lot squeezing the hell out of the PC?) And i just love the whole idea of “sharing” the wisdom through apps :slight_smile: People could learn a lot from source packages :slight_smile:

I should add that Skype would use more than 2 32-bit libraries. These are the 2 libraries over and above what’s normally already installed.

Most of the RAM is hogged by the web browser anyway. RAM is cheap these days and I reckon it’s a good use of money to save my time. What, something like $50/GB now? And that’s over the lifetime of the machine.

Haha that made me laugh :slight_smile: (No Offense though, I was positively suprised by the current prices as well)
You might want to run over to the store, last time I bought some for my server I paid €20,- for two matched sticks of 1GB each (so 2GB).

And I’ve seen it go as low as €14,62 for those same sticks since then, current price is €19,16
But this is all for DDR2, you might be using something else.