Linux Memory Usage Summary Script

I was having trouble with a webserver this week, which I’d just set up for a client. When it went live, it seemed OK initially, but when we left it overnight it curled up its toes and died. It was so dead that I couldn’t even ssh in to reboot it, so we had to do a remote reboot. Crunch.

Anyway, on getting it back up, I poked around in the logs and found that it was running out of memory, which it really shouldn’t do given that it was a fairly low load on the webserver, and only apache, mysql and php were running on it. I looked around the Interwebs and found an excellent resource called Troubleshooting Memory Usage, which gave me some pointers about how to rein in apache and stop it from eating up memory so quickly. Thanks!

Anyway on the page was a script for summarising memory usage, which I thought was a good idea, so i grabbed that one and adapted it to my own purposes. I thought I’d make the results available here, so feel free to grab it and adapt it to your own needs.

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PrimeTime Linux

I’ve been thinking of setting up a company to set people up with Open Source workplaces, and every year that goes past makes me think that the time is almost here.

There are a number of factors which are conspiring to make Linux a viable alternative:

  • The fact that Linux, via distributions such as Ubuntu, Mandriva, Suse et al, are now easy enough to install and intuitive enough for the Everyday User. I set my girlfriend up with an account on a spare laptop and just let her play. Soon enough she was asking for it on her laptop as well.
  • OpenOffice. Enough said. Hardly anyone uses the full feature set of Word, so why do we slavishly upgrade every time a new version comes out? Well actually we don’t …

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Trust Scanner Success

My girlfriend turned up this morning with her scanner, a Trust Flat Scan USB 19200. Its an old model from around 5-6 years ago, and she’d lost the driver disk. This was clearly a challenge for Linux …

I plugged the thing in (its a USB scanner, which pulls all its power from the USB bus) and the light went on. However the scanner application which comes with both PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu wouldn’t start up. Time for some investigation. I got a root terminal shell and tried poking around

lsusb showed that the scanner was recognised.

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Ubuntu 7.10 to PCLinuxOS 2008

I started a new project at a client’s office a month or so ago. On the first day I turned up, and managed to work for about an hour, before my laptop died. Somewhat embarassing. I tried for about an hour to resuscitate it, but couldn’t get it to boot at all: it just died and froze before the KDE login screen. It seemed to be some sort of graphical mishap, and no amount of fiddling with xorg.conf from rescue mode would fix it.

I excused myself, went back home and after some more fiddling, decided to backup and re-install. Having made this decision I was looking through my pile of install CDs, and I came across PCLinuxOS 2008, which I’d downloaded a few weeks previously, and I’d been meaning to try out. “So why not try it out on this laptop?” said the evil part of my brain — the same part which forces me to spend time on Facebook instead of working.

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More Power

We’re getting into summer in the Philippines, and I was just worrying how hot my Thinkpad R51e was running. Its 32 degrees in the room, and my CPU is running at a consistent 73 degrees, according to cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM0/temperature which seems a bit unhealthy. My motherboard fried itself twice last year, and I figure that … Read more