#241 Re-revisit Fedora Workstation minimums
Closed: Can't fix 7 months ago by ngompa. Opened 9 months ago by mattdm.

This same issue was looked at three years ago (issue #76), and I think it's time to check again. At the time, the minimum RAM was raised from 1GB to 2GB, and disk space from 10GB to 20GB.

I'm at my parents' house, and my dad has an older computer in the guest room running Fedora Workstation 33. It has 4GB of RAM. zram is enabled and doing its thing, but the system is still really really slow, especially when attempting to browse the web. I honestly can't imagine trying it with 2GB.

I suggest we raise the minimum to 4GB (and continue to recommend double that). I think we should also make stronger the suggestion to have at least 8GB for a pleasant web browsing experience.

Metadata Update from @ngompa:
- Issue tagged with: meeting

9 months ago

Metadata Update from @ngompa:
- Issue set to the milestone: Fedora 35

9 months ago

macOS minimums: 2G RAM, ~13G disk
Windows 10 system requirements: 2G RAM, 20G disk

Would there be an optics problem with the minimum recommendation being higher than both macOS and Windows? Minimum is rather literal in the above cases. It works, but is suboptimal by bogging down the whole time.

Minimum is rather literal in the above cases. It works, but is suboptimal by bogging down the whole time.

That's definitely the case with Fedora Workstation, too. And, as the experience that prompted me to start this conversation suggests, I mean that for 4GB, let alone 2GB.

I'm more concerned with honestly telling people what they need to have a good experience rather than how it looks in comparison to other on-paper specs.

Are you sure the issue is RAM? I regularly run Fedora desktops with 2GB of RAM in virtual machines and it doesn't really perform that badly. I've got Fedora Workstation and Fedora KDE both sized with 2 CPUs, 2GB of RAM, and 20GB of disk. Both perform adequately for basic tasks, including browsing the web with Firefox.

Does that computer in question have a hard drive instead of an SSD? I know that a lot of people often misattribute RAM for issues actually caused by disk I/O performance issues. We lost our readahead implementation back in Fedora 22 (it was removed from systemd in v217), which means we lost our mask for a lot of these issues.

Of the ~800MB of RAM for the "idle state", ~200MB goes to PackageKit, ~200MB goes to the Wayland compositor, and ~150MB went to GNOME Terminal. But you wouldn't really notice it in the VM that GNOME is on the chunky side for RAM, because things tended to be quite zippy.

Adding Firefox to the mix raises the used RAM to 1GB, but it's still not an issue, at least on this VM.

I don't mind too much what we say, as long as we clearly distinguish minimum and recommended requirements.

I agree with Neal: all my Fedora VMs these days have only 2GB ram and 20GB storage, and I am not hitting any obvious problems. Obviously for heavy full-time usage I would recommend at least 4GB of ram (storage is pretty much "how long is a piece of string": I think users primarily want to know how much space the OS itself takes up).

We agreed to add an SSD to our recommended system requirements.

Regarding minimum requirements, the WG believes 2 GB of RAM should be enough. We need more information from Matthew to understand what's going wrong in his case.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue untagged with: meeting

9 months ago

Filed fedora-web/websites#194

If the proposed language needs a tweak, suggest it in that ticket.

Also, I noticed no other edition or spin page has a hardware minimums/recommendation.

I am okay with this -- thanks for looking into it. I think it might be good to do some user research about subjective happiness with Fedora Workstation's speed while doing common daily-use things (browsing with Firefox or Chrome for a day) charted against RAM (and perhaps grouped by ssd-or-not, and maybe CPU age).

@mattdm If you're up for it, @dcavalca and I could help you take some measurements so we can see how Workstation performance is on that computer using below.

No updates here for a while, and I see that it's tagged with the F35 milestone (target date less than 1 week away).

What's the plan?

Since @mattdm never got back to me about this, I'm just going to close this since I can't do anything without working with him.

Metadata Update from @ngompa:
- Issue close_status updated to: Can't fix
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

7 months ago

Well, I'm no longer in indiana so I can't check on that particular machine.

But I feel like I can't possibly be the only person who can do some research into practical performance on low-RAM hardware.

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