how to configure alfresco for a small installation
I am going to install Alfresco for home use, feeding approx. 500 docs per year, with about 5.000 existing documents. I had a CE Version 5.0 running for some time but was always unhappy with the resource consumption. After having a look at some other projects, I am coming back to Alfresco
Which configurations (Alfresco itself, tomcat) can be changed to which values to achieve a small memory footprint (it's on a VM host) but usable performance?
Re: how to configure alfresco for a small installation
You can reduce that to about 2 GiB If you disable all unused/expensive Alfresco services / subsystems (e.g. file systems, activities, IMAP), forego the installation of more elaborate 3rd-party addons, reduce the size of the Alfresco caches and/or restart it regularly so that data does not accumulate that much in Alfresco memory and put all web apps in one server (as the installer does by default, which would not be recommended for normal production use). Though I have assigned ~4 GiB to my dev system (summed up over all components), I can see from monitoring that it would be able to run with 2 GiB or less just as fine.
My advise would be to start with Alfresco 5.2. Disable all mentioned subystems / services via the alfresco-global.properties file. Check the default cache configurations (in caches.properties from Alfresco source code on SVN mirror) and reduce the maxItems value. Configure server.xml of Tomcat to limit the number of HTTP threads. If you can live without transformation / previewing of Office-like files you may disable LibreOffice transformation by setting its transformations as "unsupported" (via alfresco-global.properties, using transformers.properties as a reference of the default configuration). AFAIK LibreOffice may consume the most memory of all transformers, especially since its process is kept alive while all other transformers will only be started for one-off actions.
Finally, to limit the amount of RAM the Tomcat process(es) use, you have to specify a lower Xmx value in the JVM parameters. (Note I cannot provide specific steps for configuring an installer-based setup since I refuse to use that tooling myself.)