How much RAM/HDD is enough?

During recent discussions we got into common developer problem — there is no such thing as enough disk space… Later it also expanded to RAM size.

My current desktop machine has 4GiB of memory and two hard disks with 820GB (763GiB real) of total capacity. And I have only 90GiB of free space on them. So what took most of space? Usual suspects: Poky and OpenEmbedded builds (du -hs took one hour with “160GiB used” result).

Which get us back to the subject — how much disk space is enough today for development? It depends on area — some people will be fine with less then 100GB, some not. Laptop which I will soon send back to Intel has only 80GB hdd and this is really not enough for me for Poky development (if it has to be the only machine). I know that few persons started to look for 320GB (or larger) disks for their laptops ;D

OK, with “rm_work” class I was able to do Poky builds with few gigabytes of free space. But small hard drive forced me to forget about using VirtualBox for testing in other distributions then Debian ‘sid’ (which I use on all machines). Currently ~/.Virtualbox on my desktop uses about 70GiB as I have there Fedora 8, Fedora 9, Ubuntu 8.04 and few other distributions which I use for testing does Poky works under them.

Other thing is doing strange builds… In past I did lot of them — record one took 270GiB of space (and two weeks of building). And I do not like to be space limited when doing them (“rm_work” is not always good way). I still plan to make such big ones from time to time as they allow to check does everything works (and also show new bugs to fix).

But how much RAM is enough? My previous desktop had 2.1GiB RAM, laptop which I use for x86 builds has only 1GiB. Current desktop has 4GiB of DDR2 (low price made it affordable) and for OpenEmbedded or Poky builds it is more then enough (as no one use BitBake from times when 512MiB ram was not enough to just parse metadata). My machine usually maxx at 2.5-3GiB of used memory during heavy builds. When it will be not enough… I still have 2 slots for RAM free :)

How it is for other people?

4 thoughts on “How much RAM/HDD is enough?

  1. InSearchOf (Adrian C)

    Hey Hrw,

    I have a laptop (using right now) Lenovo x60 with 80gb HD and 2 gb of RAM which works perfectly fine with my smaller builds…

    I also have 2 Dual Xeon servers that I do my big (everything) builds on that has about 500gb each and I can run about 5 different full builds with out any problems with space. Ram I’m running at 8gb in one and 12gb in the other… WAY over kill but that is how much was in them when I got them…

    Ohh and I’m talking pdaXrom builder (ptxdist) not bitbake but still on the same topic about RAM/HDD.

    I hope ram and hdd space dont become an issue anytime soon… I dont have the money to keep upgrading lol

    Late insearchof.blogsite.org

  2. Paul Eggleton

    My laptop is getting old and only has 60GB internally. In order to build from OE (multiple trees and therefore multiple copies of tmp) I purchased an external 160GB USB2 hard drive. The speed seems just fine for OE use and I haven’t run out of space yet (and there are other large groups of files on that external disk as well).

  3. Rafael Campos (aka methril)

    My old MacBook Pro is getting slower and slower. The HDD capacity is slow, and the external HDD (USB) is too slow, it takes days to get something build from OE, poky, openmoko, …. that are the projects i’m intersetd in.

    Lately i’m testing some OE, poky at work in a 2 x Xeon Core 2 Duo with 4/2 GB of RAM (the admin gives 2 GB of RAM from that server), and it’s so pleasant to see the things going faster. But, at work i’m related to other stuff and i have no time to test & optimize my build process.

    With my laptop, i have to be patient, at work, is fast, but i don’t have enough time. Maybe it’s time to look for another machine :)

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