Very high RAM consumption, is this normal?


I installed Zorin OS Core 16.1 a few days ago and it seems to be using a lot of RAM. Would anyone please be so kind as to let me know if this is normal or if there's something wrong?

I'm on a laptop with 8GB of RAM

With the laptop just turned on, with no apps open, around 1GB of RAM is used.
My 8 GB of RAM (and 2GB of Swap) were completely used up with only around 60 tabs of Firefox.

Then after closing every single app, the RAM used were still around 2GB (it didn't go back to the baseline of 1GB). I had to reboot to go back to 1GB of RAM used.

Is this normal? I have an older laptop with only 3GB of RAM and Windows 7 and it can easily handle 100+ browser tabs.

As mentioned I do have the Core version, not the Lite, but I was still hoping that Zorin OS Core could outperform Windows 7.

How much RAM does your Zorin OS use with not apps open?

Any comments or suggestions?
Thanks in advance.

Gnome in idle uses ~900-1000 MB. Modern systems takes more resources than old one like Windows 7. Modern browser uses a lot of RAM too especially when running so many tabs - It's one of the most resource hungry apps out there on the market.
That said, RAM are there for been used and some of it will be used to make apps start quickly after you close it.

I recommend Stacer app to keep an eye on stuff.


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The os uses about 1gb of ram, gnome uses about 1gb of ram. Firefox has multiple processes running, depending on the number of extensions and settings configured. Depending on the amount of tabs open and what the extensions are developed to handle may cause more processes to be created. This adds to the amount of ram used. Limit the amount of tabs you open (you're never looking at more than one. Leave open only what you will use. If you are unsure, leave the search tab open which gives you access to multiple pages that may possibly be useful).

I've used ff, slack, vscode and zoom, which tops out the ram at 15gb. It really depends on what programs you are using and how many instances of each (a tab is another instance of ff).


Thank you for your answer.

I've noticed that the RAM usage in my System Monitor is different from the one that I get in the terminal with the "free -h" command.
For example right now System Monitor says that I'm using 3.2 GB, the terminal says 2.8.
Stacer says 3.1

Does it happen to you too? What is the most trustworthy reading, the terminal's?

Thank you for your answer.

Are you saying that every Linux distro with gnome as desktop environment will use approx 1GB of RAM just to sit idle? Or does it vary by Linux distro, even with gnome?

I'm thinking of trying Zorin Lite, would you happen to know how much RAM it uses to sit idle?

Most Linux distros with gnome will require about 1gb of ram. While xfce is lighter, you can expect it to consume about 500MB to 700MB as well. The newer libraries and visual effects are the cause of the ram usage. Any newer software will consume more processor, ram and hard drive space. There is no getting around it.

You can reduce the amount of ram used by disabling some of the features os's include to make it more modern (images of applications running, window effects, transparency and others). While this will dull the user experience and make it similar to win 8 or xp, it will reduce your ram usage by the DE.

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Another solution is to purchase and install additional ram (most computers sold today only include the minimum required to run the os and a few applications. You can expand it, relieving your concern and improving the computer performance. If you choose to do this, ensure you purchase ram with the same clock speed. If you buy two new, larger, ram modules, match their clock speeds (most pc's today can run at variable clock speeds so you don't have to match the cpu's, though it's recommended to follow the manufacturers recommendation because it will perform better [in regards to power consumption, access times and such] ).

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Are you installed on an SSD? The swap file will be very fast so you basically never run out of memory. You can increase it.

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