Why $5 month plan has got a very low RAM?

January 15, 2015 3.3k views

Hi, I am very new to this platform and I am planning to learn on how to develop as well as use existing applications in the Ubuntu server (specifically 14.04).
However, I was a bit surprised to know that $5/mon plan had a very low ram of 512MB. Despite the server's recommended settings, what can you do with this amount of RAM? Can you only run one intensive resource service or two tiny services at the same time?
Thanks, and please keep in mind I am a noob in this area of servers.

1 comment
  • Allow me first to welcome you to the family of DO.
    Now about your concern of low RAM, I used to run 2 websites on a $5 droplet, both Wordpress sites using Debian with Lighttpd MySQL and PHP. And still no crash. Also I have another $5 droplet running a mailserver. Droplet still up and running with Lighttpd MySQL PHP Postfix Dovecot Amavis SpamAssassin and ClamAV on Debian.

3 Answers

512mb ram is fine for most things. You can still run a bunch of stuff with that, Apache, Mysql , etc etc will all run fine.

Add some swap space to the server too and you shouldnt have a problem.

I suppose you just need to remember, its only $5 PER MONTH... You are getting quite a lot for your money :)

If you find that the server struggles with only 512, then look into upgrading but im confident 512 is just find for testing, learning etc.

  • Thank you for the reply!!! How do I add more space to swap parition? By using gparted? I thought the control panel creates droplets using their own image of the OS.

  • This here are my notes when adding a new server:

    free -m , this shows how much space is free for memory / swap.
    ( Will look like )
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 420 407 12 0 54 158
    -/+ buffers/cache: 194 225

    After adding swap, it will look like:
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 420 407 12 0 54 158
    -/+ buffers/cache: 194 225
    Swap: 2557 42 2515

    You may want to make the swapfile smaller ( 1g? maybe ) rather than the 2g i have below.

    Hope this helps..
    If you use centos, the this may help:
    https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-add-swap-on-centos-7

    Im sure its similar for ubuntu too.

    free -m
    sudo fallocate -l 2G /swapfile
    ls -lh /swapfile
    sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
    ls -lh /swapfile
    sudo mkswap /swapfile
    sudo swapon /swapfile
    swapon -s
    sudo vim /etc/fstab
    ! Add this to fstab:
    /swapfile swap swap sw 0 0
    cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
    sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10
    sudo vim/etc/sysctl.conf
    ! Add below to sysctl.conf:
    vm.swappiness = 10
    REBOOT and Verify ( shutdown -r now , free -m )

    One of the easiest ways to make your server more responsive, and guard against out-of-memory errors in your application, is to add some swap space. This gives you the ability to increase the amount of information that your server can keep in its working memory. In this guide, we will cover how to create and enable a swap file on a CentOS 7 server.
  • Ok, thank you very much again and I will certainly try to do that once I start experimenting!!!

I've deployed the Discourse to the $5 Droplet and whenever I've been resizing RAM by the using SWAP it's getting to be disappeared after rebooting the Droplet. Does someone was experienced with this issue?

root@discourse:/var/discourse# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        483          6         36          0         39
-/+ buffers/cache:        443         46
Swap:            0          0          0
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo swapon -s
Filename                Type        Size    Used    Priority
root@discourse:/var/discourse# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        484          5         36          3         53
-/+ buffers/cache:        426         63
Swap:            0          0          0
root@discourse:/var/discourse# df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            235M  4.0K  235M   1% /dev
tmpfs            49M  408K   49M   1% /run
/dev/vda1        20G  6.4G   13G  34% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            245M  632K  245M   1% /run/shm
none            100M     0  100M   0% /run/user
none             20G  6.4G   13G  34% /var/lib/docker/aufs/mnt/2bafc4dd7a99c9b40bd5f0bb0e68408c975a6142c3414305ffb4768e491e314a
shm              64M  4.0K   64M   1% /var/lib/docker/containers/939ac5af77d2692d006f9c8f51a1dd590a0e1254d9159a38c4ed0986ea717f39/shm
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G count=1
dd: memory exhausted by input buffer of size 1073741824 bytes (1.0 GiB)
root@discourse:/var/discourse# ls -lh /swapfile
-rw------- 1 root root 0 Jun 22 22:28 /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo rm /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# ls -lh /swapfile
ls: cannot access /swapfile: No such file or directory
root@discourse:/var/discourse# ls -lh /swapfile
ls: cannot access /swapfile: No such file or directory
root@discourse:/var/discourse#
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo rm /swapfile
rm: cannot remove ‘/swapfile’: No such file or directory
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo fallocate -l 1G /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# ls -lh /swapfile
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.0G Jun 22 22:30 /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# ls -lh /swapfile
-rw------- 1 root root 1.0G Jun 22 22:30 /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo mkswap /swapfile
Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 1048572 KiB
no label, UUID=13d8d52f-1f90-4f6a-8de1-89b93ae553cb
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo swapon /swapfile
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo swapon -s
Filename                Type        Size    Used    Priority
/swapfile                               file        1048572 0   -1
root@discourse:/var/discourse# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        483          6         36          8         74
-/+ buffers/cache:        399         90
Swap:         1023          0       1023
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo nano /etc/fstab
Use "fg" to return to nano.

[1]+  Stopped                 sudo nano /etc/fstab
root@discourse:/var/discourse# cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
60
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10
vm.swappiness = 10
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
root@discourse:/var/discourse# cat /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure
100
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo sysctl vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 50
root@discourse:/var/discourse# sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
root@discourse:/var/discourse# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        482          7         35          2         56
-/+ buffers/cache:        423         66
Swap:         1023          0       1023
root@discourse:/var/discourse# cd
root@discourse:~# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        483          6         35          2         56
-/+ buffers/cache:        425         64
Swap:         1023          0       1023
root@discourse:~# reboot
root@discourse:~#
Broadcast message from itamerlanium@discourse
    (/dev/pts/0) at 22:35 ...

The system is going down for reboot NOW!
Connection to 159.203.205.195 closed by remote host.
Connection to 159.203.205.195 closed.
MacBook-Air-3:~ macbookair$ ssh itamerlanium@159.203.205.195
ssh: connect to host 159.203.205.195 port 22: Connection refused
MacBook-Air-3:~ macbookair$ ssh itamerlanium@159.203.205.195
ssh_exchange_identification: read: Operation timed out
MacBook-Air-3:~ macbookair$ ssh itamerlanium@159.203.205.195
itamerlanium@159.203.205.195's password:
Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-85-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com/

  System information as of Wed Jun 22 22:36:01 EDT 2016

  System load: 0.0                Memory usage: 10%   Processes:       54
  Usage of /:  37.3% of 19.56GB   Swap usage:   0%    Users logged in: 0

  Graph this data and manage this system at:
    https://landscape.canonical.com/

Last login: Wed Jun 22 22:02:25 2016 from 103.250.119.238
itamerlanium@discourse:~$ sudo su
[sudo] password for itamerlanium:
root@discourse:/home/itamerlanium# cd
root@discourse:~# cd /var/discourse/
root@discourse:/var/discourse# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           489        484          5         34          2         50
-/+ buffers/cache:        431         58
Swap:            0          0          0
root@discourse:/var/discourse#
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