Possible memory leak in XFree86
jonathan at fosburgh.org
Wed Jan 21 06:05:25 PST 2004
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Adding kde@ and following up below.
On Friday 16 January 2004 12:17 pm, Eric Anholt wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-01-16 at 06:20, Jonathan Fosburgh wrote:
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> > I am cross-posting this to -current, since the problem is occuring in
> > that environment.
> > I first noticed this as far back as 5.0-RELEASE, but I had chalked it up
> > to being hardware-related, for reasons I shall get into shortly. The
> > problem has persisted throught XFree86 4.3.x (and through the most
> > current snapshot available in the ports). I am also running KDE 3.x
> > (3.1.x and now 3.2 BETA2). I am running -CURRENT (updated within the
> > past couple of weeks) on a Pentium III-600mHz with 383MB (from dmesg)
> > RAM. Originally, I had an nvidia Riva TNT2 video card. For a brief time
> > I used the nvidia drivers, but those were so unstable I never found out
> > if this particular problem was reproduceable with them. I now have an ATI
> > Radeon 9200 and I see the same things.
> > What is happening is that the X server slowly allocates more memory until
> > all physical RAM and page space are allocated, and the pager starts
> > killing off processes, eventually killing the X server. This seems to
> > screw up syscons as well, and I wind up having to reboot to get my text
> > consoles back. Things have gotten slightly better of late, sometimes the
> > memory is freed and the XFree86 process might go from say 400+MB
> > (according to top) down to a little less then 200MB, which appears to be
> > normal for the Radeon using DRI. But this is not always the case. When I
> > come in in the mornings I either find my system very low on page space,
> > or if I am gone for a couple of days I will generally find that X has
> > been killed. I run screensavers and have DPMS set up to send the monitor
> > to power-save mode. I have reduced my screensaver to just blanking the
> > screen, but still to no avail. This morning, I came in (after having
> > been out yesterday) to find that X had been killed after running out of
> > page space.
> > Now, here is why I initially thought it was hardware related (that is, in
> > the nvidia driver for XFree86): at home I have a Pentium III-600 with
> > about the same amount of memory, running XFree86 4.3.x, KDE 3.1.x,
> > screensavers, DPMS, etc. The differences are that at home I have an SiS
> > ViRGE video card (incidentally, PCI versus AGP for work), and I am
> > tracking -STABLE there. Only every once in awhile do I run out of page
> > space at home, but my paging space is undersized there, whereas at work
> > it is set to the recommended size from when I did the install, 753MB.
> > Where I am at now is trying to figure out where the memory is going, and
> > how to prevent it. :) Can anyone help me diagnose this?
> Every month or so I see someone saying they think XFree86 is leaking
> memory. Of course, with this release of XFree86 having been out for
> about a year now, there are probably no major memory leaks, especially
> with such a commonly used driver like ATI.
> The X Server allocates memory on behalf of clients. What you are
> seeing, I'm willing to bet, is some application you run is leaking
> pixmaps, so the X Server continues allocating memory for it until OOM
> killer starts killing things off. You could try, when the memory usage
> is very large, killing your apps off one by one and seeing when the
> memory usage in the server goes back down.
I observed my work system over the weekend, and around the time that the
XFree86 process reached 425M I killed konqueror. At this point memory usage
for X stopped increasing, but no memory was ever freed, even after logging
out of KDE. The kdeinit process for konqueror showed ~150M (give or take
about 15M), which is what it (and every other instance of kdeinit) always
shows. Following a reboot yesterday, I started using opera, and now my
XFree86 process is topping out around 195M. Sometimes a little more memory
is allocated but it is freed fairly quickly.
Now, contrast this to my setup at home where I use konqueror and keep it
running all the time. As I state above, there are relatively few differences
aside from -CURRENT at work and -STABLE at home and hardware, which it seems
should not be an issue. Now who knows, maybe this will magically stop when
3.2-RELEASE comes out, but given this has been happening for awhile (and
across several releases), I'm not too confident of that happening. I also
find it odd that I would be the only one seeing this. Is there anything
further I can do to try to figure out what is going on?
AIX and Storage Administrator
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
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