New Yast2 (OpenSUSE 13.1): A bit of a memory hog?

I recently upgraded a couple of virtual machines from OpenSUSE 12.2 through 12.3 and then onwards to 13.1. After the last upgrade a couple of things I noticed were:

  • Yast2 takes a lot longer to start and load modules. I’d noticed the same on my laptop and on desktop machines, to a lesser extent on the latter due to them being quite powerful beasts to start with.

  • On installing software with numerous dependencies, it almost always fails with an out of memory error. I note that on my laptop it has on a couple occasions triggered pretty heavy swapping and all but locked me out of it for the best part of an hour.

  • On certain occasions, when started it complains that it is “not running as root”, when I am quite clearly root. This last point is extremely confusing, but with the aid of this post I managed to track down the cause to the same issue: no memory.

There is nothing I can do as regards the memory on these virtual machines (console UI only, 256 MB RAM) or my laptop (2 GB RAM, max it can take).

I wonder if anyone else has experienced this, and whether you would consider this as a regression. I understand the rationale behind rewriting Yast, but I am not entirely sure there is a justification for the vastly increased memory usage (I haven’t been able to benchmark yet, as I upgraded all available machines for now, and only now come to realise that really there does seem to be a problem).

Your comments would be welcome. I am trying to decide whether this merits a bug report.

256 MB is much too low.
The minimum required by openSUSE is 512MB since years already.
This page even states that 1GB is the minimum for 13.1:
You should get it to run with less though by adding more swap. How much do you have?

2GB in the other hand is what I have here as well. And I don’t have those problems you describe. Actually I don’t see much difference regarding YaST to 12.3 or earlier.

I don’t see why you would use yast to install software on a very limited box, why not just use zypper?

Assuming you are running a GUI 256 meg is way to little.
256 is ok if you run from the command line or if you run a very light weight GUI
If the host has 2 gig you could possibly move the VM up to 512meg. I used to run WIn98 in 512 on a 2 gig machine but it does depend on what else you run

Also doing an upgrade as you did can be a problem over so many versions. lots changes from 12.2 so configs need changing which a Internet upgrade may not do completely.

If you need a compact Linux go with Puppy or D.A.M.N Small Linux

Hello, OP here.

Many thanks for your replies.

May I please point out that the topic I am enquiring about is the relative performance of the new Ruby-based Yast compared to the old one. I would be interested to hear whether you have noticed any performance degradation yourselves.

As for those VMs, they are very incidental to the discussion which is why I haven’t gone into any significant detail about them. There is no problem with those, except that I failed to assess thoroughly the impact of the new Yast while planning the upgrade.

I have now learned that the rewrite has been done mostly using automated tools and the developers are apparently aware that the results are suboptimal from a performance point of view. As long as the code is gradually re-optimised over time (if nobody cuts the budget or dissolves the team!), I guess I can live with a temporarily bloated and slow admin tool.

Well, as I said, I don’t really perceive any difference here compared to 12.3 (before the YaST modules got translated to ruby).

And it’s not that they translated modules written in optimized machine code to ruby. YaST modules were written in a proprietary scripting language (YCP) before, and YaST included (and still does) its own interpreter for that language to run them.
So they just got translated from one interpreted scripting language to another (more widely used and better maintained) one.

Reports seem to indicate that YaST (especially the software management) did get noticably faster in 13.2 though.