ports/131122: port devel/gamin default polling frequency increases load w/ large kern.maxfiles

Graham Todd <gtodd@bellanet.org> gtodd at bellanet.org
Thu Jan 29 15:10:03 UTC 2009

>Number:         131122
>Category:       ports
>Synopsis:       port devel/gamin default polling frequency increases load w/ large kern.maxfiles
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       non-critical
>Priority:       low
>Responsible:    freebsd-ports-bugs
>State:          open
>Class:          sw-bug
>Submitter-Id:   current-users
>Arrival-Date:   Thu Jan 29 15:10:01 UTC 2009
>Originator:     Graham Todd <gtodd at bellanet.org>
>Release:        FreeBSD 7.1-PRERELEASE-p1 i386

System: FreeBSD 7.1-PRERELEASE-p1 #0: Mon Nov 24 11:49:24 UTC 2008 root at i386-builder.daemonology.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC i386


gam_server consumes a relatively high level of CPU (10%) which pushes overall load quite high for a desktop system.  CPU and memory hogging should be the exclusive domain of firefox-bin ;-) ...  

This appeared on my systems with gamin-0.1.10 and recent gnome upgrade whcih required a higher kern.maxfiles setting. Perhaps gam_server now uses a more frequent default polling interval or the higher kern.maxfiles setting increased its workload. 

The FreeBSD gamin port/pkg does not include these files:


These files can be used to tune polling frequency. 


Increase kern.maxfiles to a large number run gam_server and untar/compile several large source packages. The application will begin to consume a large set CPU. 


The fix below seems to work and simply reduces the polling frequency from the default setting. I did this by creating the following files:

~/.gaminrc /usr/local/etc/gamin/gaminrc

# /usr/local/etc/gamin/gaminrc
# reduce polling frequency to once per 10 seconds 
# in order to lower CPU load
fsset ufs poll 10
fsset zfs poll 10 # does this work?

A default /usr/local/etc/gamin/gaminrc or /usr/local/etc/gamin/mandatory_gaminrc could be included with the port that documented some of the possible configuration settings and defaults for gam_server.


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