I am running FME on Xubuntu. It works very fine save for some minor glitches with the inspector. I am planning on setting up a couple of rather heavy vector calculations (areaonarea,buffering and dissolves) as well as raster calculations. For the latter I will probably be using Orfeo Tool Box from FME.

I asked IT for new hardware (I am running some pretty ancient hardware on my linux desktop) and they told me to specify a new computer.

I am therefore wondering:

  • Can FME 2015 on Linux can make use of more than 16 Gb of memory?
  • Safe software suggests Intel core i7. Which processor speed would be a good option?
  • If SSD disks are necessary?
  • If the software can also make use of graphics cards?

1 Answer 1


You've probably already found it, but the hardware specs for FME are here: http://www.safe.com/fme/fme-desktop/tech-specs/

To answer your questions:

  1. RAM: The Linux FME is 64bit only; it should easily handle as much RAM as you can throw at it. I've had it running quite happily on a 32GB machine and using a bunch of it (it maxed out any single process using ~20GB due to its dynamic allocation limit).

  2. CPU Speed - this is less meaningful today than a decade ago. CPU speeds differ certainly, but these days that's not an indicator of how fast they are unless you're comparing within the same model familiy. FME will happily use whatever. For most workspaces, your IO is going to be more restricting than you CPU. More cores won't necessarily benefit you unless:

    a. You use parallelisation,

    b. you use workspace runners,

    c. you manually run lots of processes at once.Your specified ones will use more CPU, but you'll benefit more from using smart parallelisation than throwing more hardware at it.

  3. An SSD is probably more important than either of those two components as it'll speed up data accessing (assuming you're using locally stored data).

  4. Safe Software does not give any information relating to "graphics card" or "acceleration" on their webpage. So I do not think a graphics card will do you any favors. If you are using graphics card "ready" libraries called from FME it might be relevant for you.

In short - it doesn't matter; get whatever you can.

  • Thank you! SSD was in the equation. I have seen the magic of smart parallelisation. I think if you add a sentence on graphic cards (whether they can be utilized) the answer is perfect :-) I will add this as well as SSD to the question. Will make the question and answer pair better.
    – ragnvald
    Feb 5, 2015 at 15:57
  • @ragnvald - I don't believe FME uses graphics cards at all except for when you're actually using the Inspector/ Universal Viewer. Given they're not mentioned on the specs, anything is probably adequate. Feb 6, 2015 at 11:07
  • 1
    That's a great answer. As to GPU processing, it's on our radar, but we've no immediate plans to do anything with it. But as with most things we'll always do something if there is enough demand for it. Let our support team know if it's of real interest. Feb 6, 2015 at 18:54
  • Seems like parallelisation does not kick in properly when I am running FME 2015.1.2.0 (20150911 - Build 15538 - linux-x64). Hence I am wondering if the answer is good on the note on parallelism on linux?
    – ragnvald
    Sep 28, 2015 at 19:23

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