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I have a Dell Precision 5510 with 32GB RAM which I set up to dual-boot (Win10, Elementary OS). The PC has 32GB of RAM but when running Elementary OS everything is SLOW! When I ran htop I saw that Mem was about 1 / 1.29GB. Why only 1.29GB when the PC has 32GB of RAM?

enter image description here enter image description here

I set the swap size to 0.5 the amount of RAM when I set up Elementary (I thought I saw an instruction that told to do that). Not sure if that was the problem. I tried to see how to change the swap partition size in GParted and it didn't seem that I could change it. Not sure if I have to change the partition size in Windows although I don't understand why that would hurt RAM usage.

'free - h' confirms that 1.3GB are available:

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           1.3G        944M        108M         58M        267M        121M
Swap:           14G        1.5G         13G

But running 'dmidecode --type memory' confirms that 32GB of Physical Memory are available:

# dmidecode 3.1
Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
SMBIOS 2.8 present.

Handle 0x0038, DMI type 16, 23 bytes
Physical Memory Array
    Location: System Board Or Motherboard
    Use: System Memory
    Error Correction Type: None
    Maximum Capacity: 32 GB
    Error Information Handle: Not Provided
    Number Of Devices: 2

Handle 0x0039, DMI type 17, 40 bytes
Memory Device
    Array Handle: 0x0038
    Error Information Handle: Not Provided
    Total Width: 64 bits
    Data Width: 64 bits
    Size: 16384 MB
    Form Factor: SODIMM
    Set: None
    Locator: DIMM A
    Bank Locator: DIMM A
    Type: DDR4
    Type Detail: Synchronous
    Speed: 2133 MT/s
    Manufacturer: Micron
    Serial Number: 12161215
    Asset Tag: 2C0C0000
    Part Number: 16ATF2G64HZ-2G1A1   
    Rank: 2
    Configured Clock Speed: 2133 MT/s
    Minimum Voltage: Unknown
    Maximum Voltage: Unknown
    Configured Voltage: 1.2 V

Running 'cat /etc/*release' gives

DISTRIB_ID=elementary
DISTRIB_RELEASE=5.1
DISTRIB_CODENAME=hera
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="elementary OS 5.1 Hera"
NAME="elementary OS"
VERSION="5.1 Hera"
ID=elementary
ID_LIKE=ubuntu
PRETTY_NAME="elementary OS 5.1 Hera"
LOGO=distributor-logo
VERSION_ID="5.1"
HOME_URL="https://elementary.io/"
SUPPORT_URL="https://elementary.io/support"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://github.com/elementary/os/issues/new"
PRIVACY_POLICY_URL="https://elementary.io/privacy-policy"
VERSION_CODENAME=hera
UBUNTU_CODENAME=bionic
cat: /etc/upstream-release: Is a directory

Running 'uname -a' gives

Linux lps-elementary 5.0.0-37-generic #40~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Nov 14 12:06:39 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Running 'dmesg | grep -e error -e ERROR -e fail' gives

[    0.240486] acpi PNP0A08:00: _OSC failed (AE_ERROR); disabling ASPM
[    1.192665] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \PNOT, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.192669] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_SB.AC._PSR, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.204329] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.204334] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN00._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.216504] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.216510] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN00._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.228490] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.228496] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN01._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.240471] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.240477] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN01._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.252491] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.252497] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN02._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.264486] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.264492] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN02._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.276481] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.276487] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN03._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.288527] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.288533] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN03._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.300554] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.300560] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN04._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.312553] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FNCL, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.312559] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.FN04._ON, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.315025] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.TZ00._TMP, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.315159] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.TZ00._TMP, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.315218] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.TZ01._TMP, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    1.315271] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed \_TZ.TZ01._TMP, AE_NOT_FOUND (20181213/psparse-531)
[    4.419092] EXT4-fs (nvme0n1p6): re-mounted. Opts: errors=remount-ro
[    4.649599] nvidia: module verification failed: signature and/or required key missing - tainting kernel
[    4.931337] thermal thermal_zone10: failed to read out thermal zone (-61)

Also I recently installed some new NVIDIA drivers as recommended by the Elementary App Center.

Also not sure if this applies, but UEFI boots Windows and Legacy BIOS boots Elementary OS.

I saw some posted questions similar to mine but none with an answer. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

  • I don't think using 1.5G of RAM is a problem, because one of the computers I use with elementary OS when it boots it uses only 1G or RAM - not because of a problem, but because the OS is so light. All the things you have described do not affect RAM usage so I do not recommend changing partitions - it would not help but it is dangerous if you do a mistake. Can you share (edit your question) the output of free -h command? Also the output of dmesg | grep -e error -e ERROR -e fail – Bo rislav Dec 17 '19 at 9:54
  • Unfortunately it IS a problem. It very quickly gets to 1GB approx and then starts using swap space (swp). I can see it happening as I open Chrome tabs and it gets SLOW. – Akash Sharma Dec 17 '19 at 14:00
  • Yes, it looks like the available ram is 1.3GB. Can you check also System Settings > About, on the right side the line before the last line - is it 1.3GB or it is 32G? – Bo rislav Dec 17 '19 at 14:11
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As I see your stats from dmidecode --type memory it shows that the Maximum Capacity is 32G, but only one Memory Device is detected with capacity of 16384 MB. It is still much more than 1.3G, but the execution of the same command on my machine with 24GB of RAM returns also Maximum Capacity of 32GB, but two Memrory Devices - with Size: 16384 MB and 8192 MB. Also I have a clear status for Error Information Handle: No Error. It looks like there is some problem the way Linux detects your RAM. I recommend you to boot into Windows, check the RAM statistics there, and if they are different - you better boot the computer from the elementary Live USB and do a Memory Test. I am not familliar with Dell computers, but if the computer has hardware diagnostics - you better check the RAM from there first.

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  • Thanks. I'll let you know once I check Memory Stats. I'm afraid it might be a Dell-specific issue. Thanks for trying to help. I really LOVE how Elementary looks and feels (except for the slowing down) and HOPE I don't have to give it up :( – Akash Sharma Dec 17 '19 at 16:05
  • So booting from the Live USB showed the same thing: 1.4GB of RAM. The BIOS setup shows it should have 32GB of RAM but there if a note that states something like "not all of memory may be available to all operating systems". As I mentioned Windows 10 has acccess to ALL of the RAM. A friend of mine who works for Dell said it might be incorrect HW drivers that are installed with Elementary (?). Is that possible? As far as he knows the 5510 can dual boot Win10 / Linux without any trouble. – Akash Sharma Dec 17 '19 at 18:46
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I was able to fix my problem two nights back. I was so swamped trying to catch up with work that I wasn't able to post the answer till now.

The biggest problem turned out to be my live-bootable USB was not made to be UEFI-compatible. I recreated it using Rufus using this setup: enter image description here

This next part I remember a bit vaguely so I hope it helps rather than confuses. I rebooted the latop and held F12 (when the Dell logo showed up) to see boot options and I think the USB was not there. I then went into the BIOS Setup, went to General >> Boot Sequence and clicked "Add Boot Option". Then I clicked the browse button ('...') next to File Name and found my way to a file named "grubx64.efi". I remembered reading somewhere that "GRUB" was the bootloader to use for Linux instead of "Windows Boot Manager", so I selected that file. I named the boot option "GRUB". Now upon restart (with F12 at the Dell logo) I saw "GRUB" as a boot option. I selected that and Elementary ran off the USB as expected.

The reason I even thought to add a Boot option was because of this Dell link, although the link mentions using "SHIMx64.EFI" rather than "grubx64.efi":

https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln297060/xps-13-9343-how-to-install-ubuntu-developer-edition-14-04-on-a-dell-pc-configured-for-the-unified-extensible-firmware-interface-uefi-bios?lang=en

Once Elementary was running off the USB the first thing I did was launch a terminal and ran "htop". VOILA!!!! Over 31GB of RAM available!!!!

I went ahead and reinstalled Elementary on my preconfigured partitions as per the normal instructions. Now when I reboot with F12 I see a new boot option called "ubuntu" at the top of my Boot Sequence. My "GRUB" boot option is still there below. When I drill into the "ubuntu" boot option (in BIOS setup) I see that it is indeed pointing to "SHIMx64.EFI".

Elementary OS now runs SCREAMING awesome!!!

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