Memory requirements for Raspberry Pi

Hi All,

Something that has stumped me recently in this community and others is the desire for 8GB Pis, and I thought I might shed some light onto just how little I’ve needed in my projects, and get people to pipe up on how much theirs use, though I definitely don’t want to discount progress and I am keeping in mind the past:

I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time. Well, it didn’t – it took about only 6 years before people started to see that as a real problem.

Here’s a screenshot of the htop command on my home-server Pi that’s running Jellyfin for media management, samba for file sharing, unifi console for network management, and mdadm for software raid. I also copied a ton of small files onto a file share on the Pi, and started a stream of a natively ripped 4K blu-ray to give it a bit more to chew on:

You can see that it’s only using half a gig of ram!

I’ll admit that this is running without a desktop environment, and that something like chromium could chew up a lot more, so I’m keen to see what others are seeing!

It’s also worth noting that you’ll need a 64-bit OS to even address 8GB of memory, so you’ll have to move to Ubuntu from Raspberry Pi OS, as the 64-bit variant of Pi OS is still “in the oven”


P.S. check out that uptime! I haven’t had to do a restart in 155 days! Windows Server can come up with equal or larger numbers to linux, but I’d like to see that from a consumer windows PC


Hey James,

You’ll definitely start to chew up that RAM using it as a desktop replacement (especially running Chromium) or machine vision applications. There is in fact a 64-bit build of Pi OS, but it’s not officially stable and it’s lacking some hardware acceleration:


I don’t have a recent Pi, but have looked at memory requirements. A browser is a big memory hog. Image manipulation programs can be also (scan an A4 at 1200dpi in full colour, it is monstrous). And desktop word processor/database/spreadsheet programs can also grab memory. Server type activities are memory misers in comparison. I run a server on an Intel Atom processor bought maybe 12 years ago, it runs Samba, a post office, DLNA server, Apache, NTP, and a few other things, rarely goes over 700Mb. Crank up Firefox, it goes up to 1.2Gb. Libre Office will grab 400Mb more without doing too much.
So 8Gb is a lot, but maybe it is future proofing to some extent. If it doesn’t break the bank, might as well have it. Better to have memory unused than insufficient and everything grinds into a swapping frenzy.