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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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3.1.12 DRAM memory guidelines

Following are rough guidelines for DRAM.

       4MB:  Bare minimum for Linux kernel to function.
      16MB:  Minimum for reasonable console system.
      32MB:  Minimum for simple X system.
      64MB:  Minimum for X system with GNOME/KDE.
     128MB:  Comfortable for X system with GNOME/KDE.
     256MB (or more): Why not if you can afford it?  DRAM is cheap.

Using the boot option mem=4m (or lilo append="mem=4m") will show how the system would perform with 4MB of memory installed. A lilo boot parameter is needed for a system containing more than 64MB of memory with an old BIOS.


Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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