Re: how to reduce memory to 100 mb on openbox

How did you manage to tweak Openbox down to 100M! I also run Openbox and that'd be a super useful information to have!

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It depends on the services used and the network connection type.

In my tests I am using a wired connection and dhpcd for the network connection.

There seems to be some inconsistency between the memory consumption displayed by conky and the actual consumption.

I cannot figure out why conky reports a usage of 100M while ps_mem will report 300M.

Don't run a browser... don't run extra control panels/ docks... don't use a compositor... have no open programs/ apps... don't run color changers... don't run Dropbox or similar... :upside_down_face:


And still there are use cases making similar setups desirable.

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So without conky and tint2 using root and bash

# ps_mem
 Private  +   Shared  =  RAM used	Program

348.0 KiB + 650.0 KiB = 998.0 KiB	lvmetad
660.0 KiB + 894.0 KiB =   1.5 MiB	dhcpcd
508.0 KiB +   1.4 MiB =   1.9 MiB	lxdm-binary
720.0 KiB +   2.0 MiB =   2.7 MiB	login
564.0 KiB +   2.2 MiB =   2.8 MiB	Xsession
760.0 KiB +   2.4 MiB =   3.1 MiB	lxdm-session
  1.1 MiB +   2.5 MiB =   3.7 MiB	systemd-logind
  1.1 MiB +   2.7 MiB =   3.8 MiB	bash
  1.5 MiB +   2.9 MiB =   4.3 MiB	systemd-timesyncd
  1.0 MiB +   3.4 MiB =   4.4 MiB	dbus-daemon (2)
  2.2 MiB +   2.9 MiB =   5.1 MiB	gnome-keyring-daemon
  2.4 MiB +   3.6 MiB =   6.0 MiB	systemd-udevd
  8.8 MiB +  10.2 MiB =  19.0 MiB	systemd-journald
  6.0 MiB +  16.4 MiB =  22.4 MiB	systemd (5)
  9.3 MiB +  13.9 MiB =  23.2 MiB	openbox
 52.8 MiB +  57.0 MiB = 109.8 MiB	Xorg
                        214.7 MiB

And this interesting thread from 2018 though a lot have changed since then.

If this site allowed signature blocks... you'd notice that I am a HUGE fan of Openbox & bspwm. I just don't worry about getting down to 100MB. In my experience, if people are truly strapped for memory there are some excellent tiny footprint distros. I happen to like antiX a lot. But like "all things Linux", people should tweak to their needs, style preferences, and available resources.

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Does it make any difference to use Architect and install Manjaro + Openbox only? I'm wondering because I installed the Openbox ISO which includes some XFCE elements?

I don't use conky but I run Polybar, Tint2 and Plank. My memory is currently at 950 MBs! (no browser running).

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It was my perception those tweakings are tests, to see what happens in terms of resource consumption if you follow a super minimalist, not neccessarily practical, approach.

I did the same for plasma a while ago, but realized that doesn'make much sense. At least for me.
I'm about to maybe expand Plasma even more if i find the time for testing, like this:

In bspwm minimal I got under 100Mb like this:

  • no polkit
  • no gvfs
  • no system tray
  • no network manager applet (big one)
  • no file manager daemon running
  • no display manager
  • no gtk/qt apps (this optional), only terminal apps

You can go really low by dropping networkmanager in favor of systemd-networkd, but you lose so much usability that I could not do this by default in bspwm edition.

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The exercise is mostly to see what applications and services are required for a usable desktop.

The purpose of Openbox edition is not really to run on low memory systems.

It is about creating a nice environment. My early years on Gnome and the unpredictable behavior made me pick up and customize Openbox for Manjaro.

In this process I have played with and tweaked it - just to see how it would go.

The current version of Openbox comes with all the customization but with almost no apps - simply because we don't use the same apps.

My latest playground build can be downloaded at - the pacbang version uses dhcpcd - no wireless - the openbox is the default test build.



Very nice work (pacbang). It is certainly fast even when running from an older USB stick (liveUSB). :+1:

That's so much easier than going through actually setting up lxde/xfce/whatever and then adding i3 to it. Does this still work? I'll probably add this to my KDE computer. That's so nice and simple, I love it.

Can't tell, i have not tested it yet. However, the latest release is from end of march this year so chances are it will work. It looks so tempting, doesn't it?
Git page:

OK, i installed it. I like it so far; the "snappiness" is not quiet as snappy as what you are used from a pure i3wm setup. If that makes sense. But it feels good. :slight_smile:
Now i think about buying a 4k Monitor.

This doesn't play nice with conky; it's tiling it like regular windows. That's a bummer.

I've had KDE plamsa with 350 MB ram usage, and that's using kwin. With KDE+ openbox it's about 300 mb. Vanilla openbox in Debian was around 250 mb but that was some time ago. AntiX runs at about 150 mb with IceWM.

That's all you're running at 950mb on openbox? That seems incredibly high to me? I'm Manjaro i3 and added LXDE with i3bar and tint2 and I baseline at just over 500mb. . .

The lowest I got with bspwm was 70Mb when I dropped networkmanager. But that's viable mainly if you use maximum of 1 wifi network with the system.

i would say dont run a gui at all
or better
dont power on
no ram usage at all

My 2 cents on this subject. Yes some people need to lightweight Desktop Environments and Window Managers due to limited memory, processor performance, and storage. As well as those using extremely demanding high end applications needing to squeeze every bit of performance out of their systems.

However there are also usability and practicality concerns as well. Unless you are using a Community Edition or Distro
already set up for this, it is a lot of hard work and time consuming to consuming to configured your system in this manner. You will have think ahead to determine which programs and services you actually do need to use and don't need.

This is why I started bspwm edition. Installing arch and setting up xfce or gnome is a piece of cake, but setting up bspwm from scratch is very time consuming and completely out of reach for most users. So having pre-configured bspwm as a starting point for customization is really good value.


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