Author Topic: [HOW TO] Edit Minfree Values  (Read 4516 times)

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[HOW TO] Edit Minfree Values

« on: August 16, 2013, 03:21:21 PM »
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  • treyonator56

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    I, nor AA51 are responsible for anything that happens to your phone if you try this.


    I've done a search on AA51, and saw nothing about editing minfree values, so here it goes. Most of us here know that task killers are a bad idea on Android, but most of us probably don't know why. The reason why is that Android already has its own internal task manager. Yea, it's true! Hard to believe, I know. Androids task manager monitors which apps your using and stores them in six different categories. These categories are: hidden, foreground, visible, secondary server, content provider, and empty apps.

    Hidden apps are processes, that sits idle (but still alive) in case it's needed by an app that's alive and running. Orbot and dropbox are good examples of this.

    Foreground apps refer to the app that is currently on the screen and running.

    Visible apps are open but they run in the background. Music players and messaging apps are usually in this category.

    Secondary server apps are processes (a service that an application needs) that is alive and ready in case it's needed to do something.

    Content provider apps provide content to your phone....(badumtssssssk!) Facebook sync and twitter could be considered this type of app every one in a while.

    Empty apps are apps that you have opened, but are done with them. Android uses a unique style of handling memory management. When an activity is ended, instead of killing it off Android keeps the application in memory so that opening them again is a faster process. Theses "ghost" apps use no battery or CPU time, they just fill RAM that would be otherwise empty. When this memory is needed by a different application or process, the RAM is flushed and made available for the new app. To satisfy the geekier people (like myself) Android does this by keeping a list of recently used apps, with the oldest apps in the list given the lowest priority -- they are killed first if RAM is needed elsewhere. This is a perfect way to handle 'ghost' processes, so there's no need to touch this part ;)

    Now that you know the different types of apps, you should know that there is a different number for each type of app, telling Android when Android should kill the type of app. The file is located in /sys/module/lowmemorykiller/parameters/. When you find that directory, you should click on, you guessed it, minfree. Once your inside the file, you should see six, somewhat random numbers. Those numbers are what makes the magic happen, but wait. Before you go tweaking the numbers to your phone number or birth date, you need to know what each number means. Each number stands for how much free ram you need to have. As soon as your free ram goes below the biggest number, Android will start killing apps. So, it makes sense you would want foreground apps to have the smallest number. Then visible apps, secondary server, then hidden, content, and empty apps. That will ensure your service runs as smoothly as possible. If you decide to play with these numbers, be very careful with the first four numbers. Monkeying with these can make things very unstable, and very ugly. The Content Provider (read it again above) is less touchy, but setting it too high will makethings like Facebook sync even more screwy that it already is. The Empty App section is the free for all. Having this set to anything less than 96 MB (IMO) defeats the purpose of using an app like this. Tweak things, give it a couple hours to settle in and decide if it needs more tweaking. 

    Now, you non tech junkies out there might be wondering, what about me? I can't even remember my own birthday, let alone file directories or app categories, week then your in luck! There's an app for that ;) AutoKiller will do the trick, just remember everything I have said before  and you'll be fine. 

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    Feel free to ask me any questions!

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    Ask me any android related questions. I'll try my best to answer them as well as possible. I'm here to help. :)