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Context:

I am currently running a RPi 4 8GB with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on an M.2 240GB SSD. This system has no gui. I use it for GitLab and CICD purposes. On a x86_64, I know we can get a way with 0M for gpu memory in a Virtual Machine setup but not sure if there is something special to watch out for on the RPi 4. This is my first RPi.

Question:

Could the system still operate at 16M or lower for GPU Memory to give more memory to the CPU tasks?

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  • AFAIK the Pi4 ignores this anyway (at least on Raspberry Pi OS) and manages its memory split. – Milliways May 30 at 22:43
  • Correction to my earlier Comment. "On the Raspberry Pi 4 the 3D component of the GPU has its own memory management unit (MMU), and does not use memory from the gpu_mem allocation. Instead memory is allocated dynamically within Linux. This allows a smaller value to be specified for gpu_mem on the Pi 4, compared to previous models." See raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt/… – Milliways May 31 at 0:24
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It is possible to set gpu_mem to larger values, however this should be avoided since it can cause problems, such as preventing Linux from booting.
The minimum value is 16, however this disables certain GPU features.

Memory options in config.txt

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I have set GPU memory to 1 MB in raspi-config and official Raspberry PI OS. 0 MB didn't work when I've tried to set. I've no monitor connected and only connecting via SSH. This works flawlessly.

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  • Pretty sure if you set it below 16, you get 16 anyway -- but the general point is true, the system is fine like that. – goldilocks May 30 at 20:45

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