Life Without Mono: Removing Mono from Ubuntu

I removed Ubuntu from my system yesterday; I’ve already got problems with memory and decided I didn’t want it cluttering up my already sparse memory (1Gb!). One gigabyte isn’t enough? Don’t get me started…

Anyway, I removed it, and it was interesting to see what went with it:

  • sysinfo
  • tangerine
  • tomboy
  • f-spot
  • beagle
  • banshee
  • gnome-do

These are good apps, but I don’t need another runtime environment cluttering up my sparse (sparse??) memory. There are a lot of other applications: the Mono folks have compiled a list, and the folks campaigning against Novell (and Mono) have a list also.

Most of these I never use (except F-Spot and Gnome Do) but I won’t miss them. Ubuntu has officially replaced F-Spot with Shotwell, and Gnome Do is not quite as good as the original Quicksilver (I’ve a Mac Mini with Quicksilver installed).

I’m already using some massive memory-abusing apps. For example, consider Google Chrome with a gazillion tabs, or NetBeans, or Gnome itself. I can’t replace NetBeans (unless I want to use the massive Eclipse instead…) but sometimes I use Midori instead of Google Chrome, or WindowMaker instead of Gnome (all very nice and highly recommended!). It also appears that the Google Chrome extension Too Many Tabs will free up memory when you “suspend” a tab; fantastic!

Try some of these lightweight items and see if you won’t have a snappier system!

Expanding OpenVMS Memory

When you expand OpenVMS memory, there are a number of other parameters you may wish to revisit. If you increase your memory dramatically, you will certainly have to change these SYSGEN parameters. You can also look each parameter up using HELP:


(The parameter SYS is short for SYS_PARAMETERS.)

Some parameters to consider changing are the following:

  • GBLPAGES. If you don’t increase this, you’ll be getting warning messages when you try to take advantage of all that memory. In short, this parameter sets the amount of memory that the kernel can keep track of; if you use too much this parameter is a limiting factor.
  • GBLPAGFIL. The page file needs to be able to take all of the pages that it might be called upon to reserve; increase this parameter.
  • VCC_CACHE_MAX. If you’ve not tuned your cache (XFC) then you’ll find half of your memory to be taken by the cache. This is almost certainly not what you want; modify this parameter to reduce the amount of memory your cache is allowed to take. Even so, do remember that your cache will decrease and increase dynamically in any case – but if you scale it back, then you’re not wasting memory so much.
  • MAXPROCESSCNT. This sets the maximum number of process slots – in essence, the maximum process count (which is what the parameter is called, after all). If you have a lot more memory, you’ll want to use it to run more, right? That’s not any good if you use too many processes and can’t run any more.
  • BALSETCNT. If you set MAXPROCESSCNT, you should set BALSETCNT to the same amount minus two – and never higher.

These changes can be made in the SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT file and then use the AUTOGEN command to configure the sysetm. The MODPARAMS.DAT file uses a simple format; for our purposes, you can use something like this:


In place of ADD_* you can also use MAX_* or MIN_*. You can see more examples in HELP AUTOGEN MODPARAMS.DAT. AUTOGEN is described in the HELP; be careful using it! You don’t want to muck up the system so bad you have to reboot or to reinstall.

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How much memory is in the box? (all UNIX, OpenVMS)

How much memory is in this machine?

It would seem that answering this question ought to be easy; it is – but every system has the answer in a different place. Most put an answer of some sort into kernel messages reported by dmesg (AIX apparently does not).

Most systems have a program for system inventory which reports a variety of things, including memory.

Rather than go into great detail about each one, we’ll just put these out there for all of you to reference. Each environment has multiple commands that give available memory; each command is listed below.

Without further ado, here are a few answers to this burning question:


  1. dmesg | grep mem
  2. prtdiag | grep Memory
  3. prtconf -v | grep Memory


  1. bootinfo -r
  2. lsattr -E1 sys0 -a realmem
  3. getconf REAL_MEMORY


  1. dmesg | grep Physical
  2. /opt/ignite/bin/print_manifest | grep Memory
  3. machinfo | grep Memory


  1. dmesg | grep Memory
  2. grep -i memtotal /proc/meminfo
  3. free


  1. show mem /page



  1. dmesg | grep memory
  2. grep memory /var/run/dmesg.boot
  3. sysctl -a | grep mem