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Auto Killer Preferences

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Rockaholic, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Rockaholic

    Rockaholic Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Exactly what do the settings on Auto Killer do?

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  2. eulerphi8

    eulerphi8 Well-Known Member

    Yes I was also wondering what settings people used for optimum memory management.
  3. VIO

    VIO Android Enthusiast

    Autokiller adjusts the various thresholds of memory usage that the Android OS uses the determine when to kill apps at various levels of activity

    FOREGROUND APP: This is the app you are running right now, the one you see on screen. at "home" the foreground app is the Launcher App like Launcher Pro

    VISIBLE APP: App that is still doing something running in the background

    SECONDARY SERVER: These are services used or may be used by a running app. It's a support process for apps, more then one app may be using the same secondary service.

    HIDDEN APP: It's alive but paused, sitting the background waiting to be recalled if needed, by user or a running app

    CONTENT PROVIDER: These are the services that regularly pull info from places. So like Google sync or Facebook checking for updates, etc.

    EMPTY APP: These are the "running" apps that people see in a task manager and think are screwing over their performance. An Empty App is one that is doing nothing, it is just loaded into the extra memory. They don't take up any battery life, OR CPU cycles. (they literally have zero impact on everything else running) They are more a kin to a reference link so the system knows where to "find" it quickly in case you want it. Android sort of guesses what apps you may you and loads them into memory so they open quickly when/if you do decide to use them.

    The numbers (pages or mb) in AutoKiller/Minfree Manager tells Android at what threshold free memory do to kill these TYPE of apps. So say the Default is set to 32mb for empty apps and content providers. Once the system gets to only 32mb of memory free Android starts killing empty Apps and Content Providers. This frees up memory to devote to the a new app or the struggling running processes.

    Using Auto Killer you gain the most benefit (if any) by increasing the threshold of the EMPTY APP Category. Remember: FREE memory is useless memory, you don't want a lot of free memory it doesn't DO anything, its just wasted real estate. Try out the presets I personally Don't adjust anything other then Content Providers and Empty Apps and even then I don't move the numbers up much.

    Don't be afraid of the empty apps they are part of what makes Android such an effective OS
  4. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    For optimum and correct memory management REMOVE auto killer all together. :eek:

    Google "Why task killers are bad" have fun!
  5. VIO

    VIO Android Enthusiast

    Auto killer isn't a normal taskiller. it doesn't artifically shut down apps. It tweaks the numbers Android itself uses to naturally shut down apps.

    So in the case of ATK I agree with you, but this is nothing like ATK. Auto killer is like over clocking the Android memory management system (not a perfect analogy)
  6. D13

    D13 Android Expert

    It is adjusting when it starts killing apps. So you can make android kill apps sooner.
  7. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    It kills task based on memory and also has the ability to kill important task. If you are killing safe apps you are doing nothing to help your system those apps are just setting there are will be killed by the system if it needs memory.

    Free memory is wasted memory.
    Which do you think takes more power, loading your app once or every time auto killer kills it? Which could be many many times a day.

    Just reading the docs for it basically tells you the apps you're going to kill does nothing for you.
  8. VIO

    VIO Android Enthusiast

    Well first the actual process that Android uses to physically "kill" an app is different than something like ATK uses. Autokiller tells Android when to do its own native app killing process.


    Android kills apps based on memory. By default say on the DROID 1 Android without any tweaks will kill empty apps and content providers at <= 32mb Hidden apps at 28mb secondary Servers at 24 visible app at 12 and yes even the foreground app at 8.

    this is how the system works, while in general yes "free memory is wasted memory" but even native Android feels the need to keep at the very least 8mb free at all times. It feels that this is so important that it will actually kill every app running to maintain that.

    Think of the free memory as swap memory, i guess (not technically what it is). there is a balance Android plays between guessing what you might open and having enough unassigned memory to quickly open (or continue to run) something it didn't guess.

    It's quicker to load something into empty memory then it is to unload something and load another thing, even true with the "empty apps". I'm not saying adjust the numbers to be constantly killing everything, but tweaking it can give you an actually performance boost.

    Android is tweaked to be the best on the average phone, but your phone my not be that completely average phone (or maybe you don't want it to be) and my take non standard minfree settings.
  9. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    You're making assumptions that are just wrong.

    For one you don't have to actually unload an app you simply clear a pointer to free the memory. Probably about 4 ops codes that take about .00000000001 of a second or less. Two I'm sure Android knows more about how to handle the memory than you.
    Auto killer is a task killer plain and simple they just go about identifying what to kill differently.

    However I see your fully convinced so I'll leave you with your believes. But I'll bet if you removed it you wouldn't noticed any difference in preference, other than a possible improvement.

    I can show you many many many articles from people that know far more than you or me that tell us over and over these things are BAD. Find me one that says they are GOOD.

    take care.
  10. VIO

    VIO Android Enthusiast

    wow dude chill out and maybe take one second to actually listen to what I am saying instead of spouting your in-vogue mantra about task killers. Maybe it is possible that you don't entirely understand what this app does?

    Auto Killer DOES NOT KILL APPS. you continue to assume that this app is the same as any of the other task killers out there. It is not, plain and simple. Those Identifiers for killing apps I outlined above are not Auto Killers Identifiers, they are ANDROID'S. Again Auto killer does not contain a single piece of code that kills apps, in fact ALL it does is change numbers in a text file.

    Auto killer allow you to adjust the parameters used by Android to manage memory. And I am telling you Android KILLS APPS WHEN MEMORY GETS BELOW 32mb. If you don't believe me go a head and open up your file system and check out sys/module/lowmemorykiller/parameters/minfree

    that is the system directory and file for the android app kill thresholds. If there is zero benefit to having any free memory why does Android come built with a process that frees memory?

    This doesn't kill apps it allows you to tweak Androids memory setting and frankly thats one of the major benefits of root, an ability to decide for myself whether Google's presets actually work better then my own.

    What if I decided to lower the thresholds so in actuality there would never ever be free memory (i.e. more stringent then Android comes boxed with) would you have a problem with that as well?
  11. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    OK well I think its you that needs to chill.
    But maybe my in-vogue mantra about task killers did get mixed up with my thought on autoKiller so let me try to clarify.

    Auto Killer kills task and can in fact be used wrong with poor results just reading the docs posted here show that. No it doesn't seem to do the the blunt and dirty way but then again we don't really know how the developer really handles it. I'll assume though he does it correctly. But there is in fact two tabs on the apps called processes and one called services. A quick look shows this to be nothing more than your standard app killer. Press the app GONE puff! .

    I guess my second point is that if you use it on the safe parameters you are really gaining nothing. It is killing all those apps that are doing nothing. The only thing you gain is the satisfaction of looking at your resources and going WOW look at all that free memory. And it will in fact cost you time and battery power to reload them later if you decide to use one.

    see above a think I understand the app fine.

    Which process are you talking about exactly, the OS? Of course it can free memory if it didn't you'd run out. Have you ever ran out of memory, anyone? The logic that because Android frees memory some how mean freeing more is better isn't necessarily correct and I've not seen anything that even suggest it would or does. From everything I've read if it needed more it would take more it doesn't need your help

    Well I'm looking at the docs and it says you can kill hidden_apps "because you can't see them so it can be killed without disruption"

    HOW THE HECK DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT HIDDEN APPS WAS REALLY DOING? How can that be good? I wonder what happens if you set it to 1?
    Want to test it?

    This app kills task either manually or by a user using it incorrectly you will get the same result as a task killer. I will give the developer credit for not letting you adjust the important stuff though. He only lets you adjust the hidden apps (because you won't see the damage) or the stuff that's not doing anything. Big deal you gain nothing but free wasted memory.

    Wouldn't you have to up them?

    You'd obviously screw it up if you prevented Android from working properly Just like you would if you go adjusting stuff way down or killing task manually.

    Let the OS do it's job it doesn't need you.

    Show me one article that proves freeing more memory manually or with a third party app does anything to help Android work better.

    I'm out.
  12. VIO

    VIO Android Enthusiast

    when you said second tab I released that I didn't currently have "Auto Killer" installed but rather "Minfree manager" which also is minfree file tweaker but with out secondary tabs ( but i've used both)

    I'll admit you are right; Auto Killer can (if you choose to) kill apps manually. Auto Killer does have app killing functionality. BUT it is secondary to the minfree adjustments which are what I have been speaking to.

    Please make no mistake I am completely granting your point about it's app killing functionality, I was never (intentionally anyway) talking about those other tabs, but I understand if that was unclear.

    for arguments sake moving forward I am only referring to Auto Killer's min free adjustment capabilities (or we can just talk about minfree manager which does not have any app killing code). to look at a pure version of the functionality I'm talking about in Auto Killer, check out Minfree Manager.

    Actually this is the commented text in the ANDROID source code. Google says Hidden apps can be killed without disruption. The Actual Android Source Code

    no Android kills apps when memory gets below the mb written in there, so if I lowered the android settings (via the app, or by just opening up the txt file and doing it manually) to 0,0,0,0,0,0 the OS would never kill apps, If I set it all with very high numbers android would constantly kill apps. Say change the foreground app to 85mb, your phone would freak out, because android would be shutting down your current app near constantly.

    exactly, but maybe my phone runs better when android does its thing a little sooner (or later!)

    The problem is that there is very little articles on apps that adjust Android's own native memory management settings, since normal task killers don't do that (2 apps adjust minfree vs a billion of the other type). Sure there are a lot of articles on why traditional task killers are bad (which I agree with) but those are irrelevant to this discussion (again, irrelevant to the minfree adjustment NOT to Auto Killer's "click an app to kill it" function I granted your point there), Hell, Pete of Bugless Beast fame thought it a good idea, BB comes with an altered minfree file.

    Look I know I don't know everything, but I do see that Google decided to have android keep 32mb of free memory (I believe the "free" memory is used for VM Cache) so clearly it is some what important, but that is almost irrelevant because I'm talking about making adjustments to let Android better fit MY phone and MY use habits. Nothing wrong with that. Google told Android when to kill, now I'm making some slight adjustments to that to see if I can get it even faster. Maybe instead of 32mb my phone runs better at 45mb or maybe it runs better at 25mb, who knows but there is ZERO harm in finding out
    DRTMI likes this.
  13. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    Maybe it flies around the room when you're asleep also.:D Both can easily be tested.

    The whole problem with that line of thinking is you don't really know what it takes to make android better fit your phone or your habits you assume you do, but do you really? Your whole belief that the phone runs better with more free memory isn't backup anywhere or in anything I've read, so far. In fact its the opposite. Autokiller will tell the OS to kill apps in memory (to free it for you) sooner that it would have if you hadn't messed with it. This makes it reload apps when you call on them and that takes time and power. That is one of the reasons Task Killers are bad for performance so in that regard AutoKiller is exactly like a task killer.

    So since you installed Autokiller or Freemem(?) what has your phone done better? Can you back it up with number?
  14. aohus

    aohus Well-Known Member

    I don't mean to dig up an old thread but youre wrong piiman. Autokiller is merely setting memory parameters at kernel level. This is NOT the same as app based killers where user is essentially force closing the app. Also, app based task killers are redundant as the feature is readily available natively.

    autokiller is not a task killer.
  15. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

    So despite the differences in opinion here I started using Autokiller memory manager per some recommendations. It is a great ROOT app, and it does seems to make simple to use tweaks to the system.

    To some of the points above, used diligently it will help your performance. Like all tools and settings, it can be used wrongly and hurt performance. Likewise while I like what Android OS does, and it does well, but that doesn't mean it can't be tweaked to your usage better.


    I find using the Optimum with a stock rom, rooted, with some apps removed, works very well for me. Now that I have used the presets I am looking to tweak further.

    I was hoping others would post up what they use and how it works. I suspect on other ROM's there will be vast differences.
  16. eraursls1984

    eraursls1984 Android Expert

    That's the same setting I use and its working great for me. I don't understand why piiman has such a hard on for auto killer. My phone lags so bad after an hour of being on, when I use auto killer I never notice lag. Most people tell me the lag is from a "bad app" but it lags STOCK with nothing else installed.
  17. jacko1

    jacko1 Android Enthusiast

    i use a aggressive and extreme when screen is turned no problem at all
  18. LexusBrian400

    LexusBrian400 Android Enthusiast

    Just wanted to chime in here... Autokiller doesnt use the harsh "kill" intent that Advanced Task Killer uses. Its completely different. It does the same thing that android does by default, only in more strict way, depending on how aggressive you set it.

    Autokiller and MinMemFree should not be bundled into the traditional "Task Killers" that we like to stay away from. All they do is tweak what Google has already applied to the OS, where as ATK applies the "kill" intent. which is not the same thing AT ALL.

    Just my 2 cents, no matter what anyone says, always use what works for YOU
  19. ewingr

    ewingr Android Enthusiast

    I was using Autokiller on 2.1 on my Captivate. Even on the most aggressive settings, it seemed to work fine for me, and cause no problems. And subjectively seemed like if I had more memory available, it was faster.

    Now, I am on a 2.2 ROM, and it seems that no matter what I set it at, I have 50-65 MB of memory. So, at the moment, I don't have it on the phone.

    Does anyone have any idea if the theory is the same on 2.2?
    eraursls1984 likes this.
  20. Airmaxx23

    Airmaxx23 Android Expert

    Mine does not drop below my setting of 90MB at all on 2.2.
  21. ewingr

    ewingr Android Enthusiast

    Your app list is a bit smaller than mine. But ATM, I don't have them all installed...probably 65 or so, and have 67MB now, w/o using Autokiller.

    Are you using Autokiller?

    Just for grins, I may install it again while I don't have all apps installed and see how it goes.
  22. jreed2560

    jreed2560 Android Expert

    Seems like Piiman as been at his anti-"anything that says killer in the title of the application" kick for a bit. BTW great job of explaining exactly what this app does VIO and Beasley
  23. Airmaxx23

    Airmaxx23 Android Expert

    I haven't had app brain installed for a while so my app list is outdated, I have 102 downloaded apps at this point. Yes I'm using autokiller.
  24. ewingr

    ewingr Android Enthusiast

    I put it on last night before bed, and just for testing, set it on the most aggressive setting. I got up this morning and the phone appeared frozen up. cCuldn't get in. But I set it down for a minute or two (hard to do, I"m addicted to the darn thing...wife says "Its just a phone!" I said "No its not. Its a Super Computer!" :D ). Anyway, I could then get in. Checked memory, and I had 115mb.

    So, I'll keep it on and see how it goes. Will likely lighten up on the settings.
  25. Piiman

    Piiman Android Expert

    Yep because its always been true. And while Autokiller doesn't do the same as a taskkiller you use it for the same reason, to free memory. And for the hundredth time free memory does not equal useable cache memory for the phone it will simply try to reload apps again only with AK it will load less. But again more free memory does not = better performance on an android phone.
    This is not Windows this is not a BlackBerry This is not win7 phone.

    Someone show me a article or documentation that says otherwise and I will admit the follies of my way?? Because I can show you pages and pages of web hits that back me up. :cool::D

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