RAM: my a10-lime board has only 338MB RAM

Started by quidame, May 08, 2014, 02:30:28 pm

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I have recently bought a a1O-olinuxino-lime. Everywhere on the website, it is written that this board is shipped with 512MB RAM. I have installed Debian on a micro SDHC card, well. Now I see:

root@a10Lime:~# grep ^Mem /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:         346232 kB
MemFree:           74932 kB

Some explanations will be welcome, thanks.




but the link[1] finally points to a solution[2] for the A20 board, and it does not work 'as is' for the A10 Lime model.

[3] says:
"sunxi_ve_mem_reserve=0 -- This eliminates the reserved memory for the video acceleration engine, saving 80MB."
"sunxi_no_mali_mem_reserve -- This eliminates the reserved memory for the Mali400 3D GPU. If you do not have the Mali binary blob driver installed, it is safe to use this and save another 64MB."

So it's easy to save 80MB RAM by just adding the first parameter above to the kernel boot aguments. But just adding the second one (sunxi_no_mali_mem_reserve) does not save 64MB RAM, it makes the system unusable (through ssh) after reboot.

What is needed is to NOT load Mali400 GPU related modules (mali, ump, lcd, hdmi...) at boot time, by removing them from the /etc/modules list. I have also removed the slim package. Now the total amount of RAM available for the system is
# grep '^MemTotal:' /proc/cmdline
MemTotal:         493176 kB

[1] https://www.olimex.com/forum/index.php?topic=2677.0
[2] https://www.olimex.com/forum/index.php?topic=2509.msg11176#msg11176
[3] http://linux-sunxi.org/KernelArguments


Once some modules have been removed (or commented out) from /etc/modules,
it is also necessary to remove (or comment out) the related line in /etc/rc.local
(chmod 777 /dev/...), because these devices do not exist anymore (since the
corresponding modules are not loaded).

Since devices do not exist, this chmod command fails, and the script exits
with error before setting cpufreq (or anything else taking place after the
chmod command).