Fourth Floor Studio

July 18, 2007

Graceful rebooting

Filed under: administration, geekery, linux — chris @ 1:11 am

When things go wrong, there are more options than the hard reboot.


March 14, 2007

Recent R version on Ubuntu 64bit

Filed under: geekery, linux — chris @ 5:46 pm

Something that’s been bugging me lately is that CRAN doesn’t seem to have recent (ie v2.4+) versions of R ubuntu packages for 64 bit architectures. So I finally bit the bullet and added the debian/ stable/ source path to my sources.list, and voila! Instant goodness. You’re not really supposed to cross-contaminate like this, but I haven’t even broken anything – yet.

Trivial, but annoying.

March 6, 2007

The case of the leaking memory

Filed under: administration, linux — chris @ 5:32 pm

I’ve been having memory issues on my server/cruncher box [1]: available RAM seems to disappear. At first I thought it might be the well-known Firefox memory leaks, so I did a little (unconscious) experiment. I rebooted yesterday and never fired up FF. Today, I notice:

bobo% free -m
                        total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:                     3943       3673        270          0        161       3253
-/+ buffers/cache:                   257       3686
Swap:                    6000        110       5889

Something appears to be caching to buggery. It turns out to be the kernel. The trick here is to interpret the second line, which tells you what programs “see” when asking for memory. In this case, it’s 3686M free, so all is well. A little scary there for a second…

I shall have to be a little more sanguine next time.

[1] dual amd64, 4G RAM, Ubuntu Dapper clean install.

Blog at