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Just curious as I'm thinking of switching to CentOS.

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closed as not a real question by Shane Madden, Javier, Iain Feb 14 '12 at 22:05

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I am downvoting this question since you clearly have not done any research regarding how linux works and what the difference between these distros is. – Niko S P Feb 14 '12 at 16:15
What I meant was the bare bones of the operating systems. As in, how much RAM does each used on a minimal installation. I do know differences; Debian uses dpkg while CentOS inherited RHEL's system of package installation/updating (yum). CentOS is also aimed more at enterprises. – Fike Feb 14 '12 at 16:20
well, then you need to edit your question, apparently you want to compare the memory usage of a minimal installation of each distro. – Niko S P Feb 14 '12 at 16:25

They are both Linux systems which means same kernel and consequently same memory management subsystem unless there is a special patch applied :)

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I suppose... Debian seems to be using more than my dedicated RAM (VPS) which is worrying me... – Fike Feb 14 '12 at 15:49
how are you checking for the amount of memory used? – stew Feb 14 '12 at 15:56
I checked in SolusVM and by doing top via SSH. top says Mem: 524288k total, 226512k used, 297776k free, 0k buffers – Fike Feb 14 '12 at 16:00
without also looking at the amount of cached memory, you have an incomplete picture – stew Feb 14 '12 at 16:07
but the fact that it has so much memory free is odd. its a sign that either processes using a lot of memory were just shut down, or that the box hasn't been up long enough to fill the cache. typically you SHOULD see almost no free memory, since free memory should get used as disk cache – stew Feb 14 '12 at 16:09

The amount of used memory is going to depend on the installed and running daemons or other resident programs. Since almost all of these can be shut off on both CentOS and Debian, the base systems should be almost identical in terms of memory usage.

If you're asking about the "default installation", I have built extremely compact Debian systems with almost nothing running; as a consequence these consume very little memory when they first boot up. On CentOS (in my limited experience) there is a lot more installed by default, thus more memory will be consumed when they are first booted. However as mentioned above, since almost everything can be shut down and removed, this is easily customizable.

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