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Tor memory usage on embedded systems.

Hi everyone,

About a month back I said I would email the list with some measurements
of RAM usage for tor in embedded systems running in the wild.  These
preliminary numbers might be of interest.  Here's what I did.  I ran tor
in a ramdisk environment with only 3 binaries (busybox, tor and
openntpd, statically linked against uclibc) on 1) a i686 box, 4 x
2.80GHz Xeon with 4GB ram (image at
and 2) a MIPS board (Mikrotik RB433AH) with a 680 MHz Atheros AR7161 and
128MB ram (image at
After booting, I waited until the systems established themselves as
relay only and directory server nodes in the network.  I then monitored
ram usage as time went on.  Here's what I found:

1) node "simba" = i686 box with
BandwidthRate 150KB
BandwidthBurst 200KB

Day       Total(MB)     Disk(MB)
7            246               30
9            247               31
12          249               31
16          255               31
19          258               33
21          261               33

Here total = total ram usage including paging and ramdisk, while disk =
ramdisk only (mostly due to DataDirectory files)

I did not systematically measure CPU usage, but it was very small.

2) node "mufasa" = mips with
BandwidthRate 40KB
BandwidthBurst 80KB

Day      Total(MB)
1           45
2           56
3           56
4           56
5           56
6           61
7           56
8           56

Given the different way in which the ramdisk was set up on the MIPS,
there was no easy way to seperate paging from disk memory.

Again, I did not systematically measure CPU, but watching top
occasionally, I never saw loads over 0.1 or cpu usage over 10%.

I realize these numbers are rough and incomplete, but they give a ball
park of what's needed.  I'm going to repeat these measurements, but
would like some feedback from the community regarding what you'd like to


Anthony G. Basile, Ph.D.
Chair of Information Technology
D'Youville College
Buffalo, NY 14201

(716) 829-8197

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