[Novalug] running out of memory

Bonnie Dalzell bdalzell@qis.net
Tue Aug 23 12:28:54 EDT 2011

On Tue, 23 Aug 2011, Bob Copeland wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM, Walt Smith <waltechmail@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> There are times when my imagination believes the box did some overnite
>> database update ( perhaps for "locate" ), used up the ram,
>> and by morning hasn't released the memory pool yet.
>> But thats my imagination since closing Firefox is the ONLY way to
>> a responsive system.

I am finding that if I go away from my computer for a while leaving 
firefox running - often when I come back the machine frozen up and I 
have to do a hard reboot. so i am closing down FF whenever I am not 
using it.

Also making sure I do not go away from computer leaving any unsaved 

> This is a real phenomenon -- all of the metadata crawled by the
> filesystem gets cached in the pagecache, creating memory pressure
> which can cause the OS to swap other memory out to disk (say,
> anonymous pages used by Firefox).  See for example:
> http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0707.3/1166.html
>> There was recent;y a news report that a FF team is going to
>> specialize in reducing memory leakage.  I'll believe it AFTER
>> I see it.   Not the marketing, not the hype, but blogs saying
>> it's really working better.
> In Firefox 7+ there is about:memory, and mozilla are filing
> bugs with developers of plugins that have memory leaks, so I am
> hopeful that the picture is getting better.
> As for X using up lots of memory, I'm not sure if it's still true
> but in the old days all pixmaps (i.e. any graphics that you see)
> belong to the X server, and any video memory would show up in its
> virtual memory map.  So it would often show much more memory in use
> than you would expect.
> On my machine at least - F15 with Gnome 3 Shell, i915 using KMS,
> Xorg has 135 megs mapped, and only 9 megs resident, which is
> quite good.

                        Bonnie Dalzell, MA
mail:5100 Hydes Rd PO Box 60, Hydes,MD,USA 21082-0060|EMAIL:bdalzell@qis.net
Freelance anatomist, vertebrate paleontologist, writer, illustrator, dog
breeder, computer nerd & iconoclast... Borzoi info at www.borzois.com.
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