memory requirement

Danial Thom danial_thom at
Thu Jan 5 11:40:37 PST 2006

--- Mark Kane <mark at> wrote:

> azri abdul majid wrote:
> > Hi there
> > 
> > I am a linux user and I am very interested on
> trying FreeBSD. I just
> > curious about one matter. Currently I have an
> old linux machine with
> > 15GB Hdd, 64MB RAM, 266MHz Intel Celeron
> Processor. I just want to use
> > FreeBSD for my academic research. Can FreeBSD
> running smoothly using
> > my machine. What is your recommendation?.
> > --
> > Azri
> Hi.
> FreeBSD will run on that hardware just fine. I
> still have FreeBSD
> installed on machines as slow as 166MHz/96MB
> RAM and they perform just
> fine for lower load server applications. Keep
> in mind a few things though:
> 1) Compiling software will be quite slow. In
> your case, you may want to
> consider using the binary packages system for
> installing most software
> instead of compiling via ports.
> 2) I have not personally used X on anything
> less than a 500MHz machine.
> You didn't say if you wanted a GUI or not, but
> I cannot say how that
> experience would be with your hardware.
> 3) I recently found one of my old Cyrix 233MHz
> machines with 32MB RAM.
> One thing that I know would help it's
> performance would be more RAM. It
> boots and functions fine, but it does get a bit
> sluggish. Just make sure
> to give it ample swap space and put in as much
> RAM as you can.
> I'm not sure what type of research you were
> planning so I think that's
> about all I can say for now.
> Hope that helps.
> -Mark

The "load" is not the issue with memory, its the
number of processes. If you'll have many users or
many processes (such as httpd spawning processes
per session) then you'll need more memory. You
can certainly build a kernel for a single user
system with 64K as long as you don't have a large
database or try to compile large source modules.
For example I have a "low end" system that takes
about a week to compile one of the .cpp modules
in the mySQL distribution. It goes into swapping


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