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Thread: Free up iPhone system memory?
12-19-2008, 08:33 PM #1Free up iPhone system memory?
any easy way to do this?
12-19-2008, 08:55 PM #2
When starting up Snapature a pop up stated I had low system memory.
With backgrounder I held down the home button to close all the programs that may have been running
12-20-2008, 04:43 AM #3
Freeing up system memory
The system folder is located on the root partition, which is only 500MB. Since the firmware for your iPhone 3G (2.x) is stored in the /root partition, it doesn't leave a lot of room for other things. For example Cydia jailbroken apps are installed in the root partition.
BigBoss has a utility called "BossTools" found in the Cydia installer that moves all your applications, system fonts and a few other things to the larger partition (/private/var).
I have a iPhone 3G running firmware 2.1 and have installed BossTools and have moved all my apps, fonts from /root to /private/var and everything works fine. After running "BossTools", I now have 165MB free on my /root partition.
For those interested in how it works, it moves the apps, fonts to the new location on /private/var and then creates symlinks (like shortcuts) in the original folder that point to the new location. If you know anything about Unix or Linux, you will understand.
Note: Another method for those who jailbreak, is to use PwnageTool and increase the size of the root partition so it is bigger than 500MB. I think BigBoss' BossTool is safe and works fine, but the choice is yours.
12-20-2008, 02:28 PM #4
So just install boss tools and move to the private/var and that's it?
UPDATE: installed boss tools, it already said that the apps were moved as well as ringtones, but not fonts, so I moved those... but it says I've still only got 131 of 500mb free memory... soo... what's next?
Last edited by phreakwenci; 12-20-2008 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
12-20-2008, 03:25 PM #5
Build a custom ipsw with a bigger root partition...
12-20-2008, 07:34 PM #6
So if it moves all the apps, ringtones and fonts whats left in that folder?
12-22-2008, 02:32 AM #7
So if it moves all the apps, ringtones and fonts whats left in that folder?
To search for all files that are greater than 1MB in file size, from the root directory down to all sub directories. Execute the find command as
find / -size +1000k -print
12-22-2008, 05:41 AM #8
Just to clarify something posted above. Cydia apps are not saved in the root directory, they're saved in /var.
The / links are just shortcuts.
This happens automatically the first time you run cydia.
Last edited by 461am; 12-22-2008 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
12-22-2008, 10:36 AM #9
are you sure that bosstools is 100% safe for the iPhone because i have read posts saying that people had their iPhones stuck in the apple logo after installing bosstools and couldn't solve except by dfu mode and restoring.
12-23-2008, 11:40 AM #10
I've got the same problem. Only 51MB left out of 500MB. BossTools says everything is already relocated. Beside creating a new ipsw, what other options are there?
12-23-2008, 02:47 PM #11
WHY do you need this space?
12-23-2008, 03:22 PM #12
hi, if i installed bosstools and it freed up my system memory and then i installed new apps and games do i have to run bosstools again so it moves the new apps and games to /private/var? and has anyone reported a problem with bosstools plz reply!!!!!!!!!!!!
12-28-2008, 03:43 PM #13
12-28-2008, 04:32 PM #14
Only the RAM can handle running processes.
System RAM and system storage are not the same. Those memory messages are related to the RAM running low.
IIRC, the iPhone doesn't have a swap file (that emulates RAM in storage space), so it wouldn't matter how much root partition space exists. This appears to be true because no rc file exists in /etc/ (the rc file determines the location of a swap file in MacOSX and many *nix/*bsd systems). So the iPhone only operates on RAM for memory.
Besides, a swap file on a flash memory chip isn't good, since flash & some SSD memory have a limited number of write/overwrite cycles before corruption begins to occur (swap files are rewritten constantly during use). I'm sure that's why Apple didn't implement swap files in the iPhoneOS.
Do you restart your phone often? Restarting the phone occasionally will help with memory issues.
Last edited by GenesisDH; 12-30-2008 at 05:43 PM. Reason: clarificationMember of the hackint0sh forums.
HowardForums Member: Haas_Dave
01-01-2009, 01:06 AM #15
01-04-2009, 10:38 AM #16
Has anyone figured out away to dedicate more memory to non-system apps? I was told that each function, (SMS, Phone, Email) Has it's own dedicated memory to gurantee their operation at all times. Is there anyway to unlock more memory for other apps? With my phone being jailbreaked I have noticed that intense games like Guitar Rock Tour, Will not play. They crash alot and are very unstable. Anyone shine in?
01-04-2009, 10:04 PM #17
I also continue to have this problem, even though everything has been relocated with the use of cydia and bosstool. What's interesting is that SBSetting upon opening says I have 55MB free but with 3 seconds it drops down to 8MB. the only Apps displayed in the Process window is phone and mail. Anyone have any clue whas killing my system memory?
01-05-2009, 01:50 AM #18
Based on your symptoms and number of apps installed, I would recommend that you restore your current firmware in iTunes and re-jailbreak. You may have an application that is causing problems or something that is corrupted.
1. Sync/Backup your iPhone in iTunes
2. Restore your current fimrware in iTunes
(Win) Shift + Restore
(MAC) Option + Restore
3. Re-jailbreak using Quickpwn or PwnageTools. If you use PwnageTools you can increase the default size of the root partition (500MB) to a larger size, like 600-700MB.
4. After jailbreaking is complete, it might be a good idea not to restore from backup in iTunes and start new.
5. Set up your iPhone as a new phone.
6. Sync your Music, Apps, video, e-mail, ringtones, etc.
01-05-2009, 01:23 PM #19
I do get the same warnings by Snapture - and indeed the problem is RAM based. iPhone RAM is 128 MB (Speculating on the iPhone memory footprint and CPU speed). This isn't bad for a (great) smartphone, but others can do better (e.g. HTC Touch HD: 288 MB RAM, HTC Touch HD - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). There are more problems associated with this memory limit (iPhone’s limited RAM struggles under the stress « Hasta la vista!). Up to now you have to live with it (but the iPhones other great features don't make it that hard to tolerate the 128
01-05-2009, 01:51 PM #20
Basically Cydia now moves /Applications to /private/var and replaces the original with a link to the new location. This means everything done afterwards is done in the large user partition, and not the system partition.
Unfortunately, Cydia doesn't clean up after itself when you upgrade the firmware - so every time you upgrade and jailbreak, you end up with new copies of Applications, Fonts, etc. taking up space in /private/var.
The iPhone file system is like your desktop's disk drive - and having more disk space doesn't help if you run out of RAM. The iPhone's RAM is quite limited, and unfortunately Apple used up a bit more of it with firmware 2.x (bad decision) and that is why Safari is unstable on picture heavy pages. And other large applications crash.
One thing you can do is install MobileTerminal and then use the ps command to see what processes are running and evaluate what is using up memory - try
ps -e -o%mem,pid,command | sort
to see which apps are using the most memory (SpringBoard is top at 16% on mine) and what is running that you don't need at the moment (mail and iPod were running on mine) and you can kill them by typing in
Last edited by NetMage; 01-05-2009 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Automerged DoublepostStarlight Computer Wizardry
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