[Rustington] Update = Raspberry Pi speed up tip for Raspberry Pi users

Martin Webb vobbelyvebb at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 08:18:56 UTC 2012

This seems to work on Slackware and Arch but does not have much effect on
Debian based Bodhi Distro.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: frank james <fhj1723 at gmail.com>
Date: 14 September 2012 08:13
Subject: Re: [Rustington] Raspberry Pi speed up tip for Raspberry Pi users
To: Martin Webb <vobbelyvebb at gmail.com>

That sounds a great improvement. We shall have to see it again next time
that we meet. Thanks Martin.
Frank in Norwich

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM, Martin Webb <vobbelyvebb at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Raspberry PI has 256MB of memory which is split between the operating
> system and the GPU. As it is a small amount of memory by modern standards
> the way it is split is done really matters. The distributions for the Pi by
> default splits the memory 50/50 which works well for a lots of things but
> means that web browsing is pretty hopeless. In most machines you would
> change this split by changing a setting in the BIOS, but the Pi does not
> have a BIOS so the method is different.
> On the boot partition there are several files that end in ".elf". The
> Broadcom system-on-a-chip on the device looks for a file named "start.elf"
> before loading the operating system. This file also decides how the split
> is done. Several other ".elf" files exist these start with "arm128",
> "arm192" and "arm224". The number in these files is how much memory will be
> given to the OS (the remaining memory goes to the video chip). The more
> memory you give to the video chip the more it can do, but less is available
> to the OS so it consequently can do less and so on. How you split depends
> on what you are doing, a set top box type use might go for a 50/50 split, a
> desktop might want more memory for the OS. I backed up the old "start.elf"
> file to "old_start.elf" and copied "arm192_start.elf" to "start.elf" and
> rebooted. The difference was dramatic, Midori was now able to browse web
> pages in a pretty respectable fashion. I even tried it with some Javascript
> heavy sites and it coped. It is not as fast as browsing the web on a
> laptop, but is usable.
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