In these days there is much talk about Unity, the new default desktop environment of Ubuntu one of the most popular Linux distributions, and so Unity will become the normal desktop environment for many users, there is also a lot of talk about Gnome 3 with its new features and capabilities that usually you love or hate. Others Linux distributions point on minimalism on their desktop such as Bodhi Linux or CrunchBang.
But how much memory your desktop really uses, just to getting started and give you the chance to do something?
How to take the numbers
I’d like to check the memory usage of every Desktop environment without personalizations (applet, screenlets, etc.); the best way to check this is login in your computer with a user that you usually don’t use (on my Gentoo I’ve used root, normally I never login into the graphical environment of root) or if you don’t have any user usable for this create a new user, than logout from your normal user and login with the new one.
After this just open a terminal and give the command
#free -m total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 1506 454 1051 0 75 214 -/+ buffers/cache: 164 1341 Swap: 494 0 494
in this example the memory used is 164 MB, other information that could be useful are: Distribution name and Version, 32 or 64 Bit, Desktop Environment name and version.
I’m starting with the ones that i can test personally:
|Arch *||32||Openbox 3.4.11||54|
|Arch *||64||Gnome 3.0.1||247|
|Arch *||32||KDE 4.6.2||907|
|Debian 6||32||XFCE 4.6.2||74|
|Bodhi 1.0||32||Enlightenment 0.16.999||66|
|Fedora 15||32||Gnome 3||181|
|Gentoo *||64||Fluxbox 1.1.1||107|
|Gentoo *||64||Gnome 2.32.1||179|
|Xubuntu 11.04||32||XFCE 4.8.0||164|
I’d like to have some information from KDE (Kubuntu or maybe Chakra), Unity, Gnome 3 and also from other distributions, please leave a comment with your information so I can add more data in the table.
* Arch/Gentoo have rolling release so don’t have a version number.