Excessive X server size

Howard Thomson howard.thomson at dial.pipex.com
Mon Jun 5 10:16:29 PDT 2006

Hi all,

I am currently an ex X-server-developer, from the stone-age era of X11R2/R3, 
some (many!) years ago. I did a port to the M68k based Atari ST, which 
involved a major rewrite of the O/S interface to network (no sockets i/f) 
etc, cross-compilation from X86 on UNIX using gcc, and writing some custom 
cross-compilation tools, but internally I only configured the existing mfb 

I am considering getting involved again, as I am dissatisfied, to put it 
mildly, with the fact that my current system (see below) manages to achieve a 
time to unlock the current session of approaching 5 (five!) minutes, mainly 
due, presumably, to the massively excessive VM size of the X server process.

A short time ago, plus 5 minutes to get a response from the system, KDE System 
Guard Process Table listed my X server as:
	2.5Gb VmSize
	1.7Gb VmRss

With the X server still being, as I understand it, single threaded, this delay 
must be caused by thrashing to/from swap, and prior to my dedicating a whole 
80Gb HDD to swap used to crash my machine with monotonous regularity, 
especially prior to my move to X86-64.

Is anyone working on solutions to this problem area, or am I missing some 
configuration settings or later fixes to alleviate such symptoms ?

The most guilty client culprit is currently Opera, although both Konqueror and 
Firefox managed to achieve similar effects prior to my moving to Opera.

Size of 'operamotifwrapper' prior to Opera exit: 1.67Gb.
Size of X server after Opera exit: 900 Mb VmSize, 295Mb VmRss

Current system:
	Tyan K8W motherboard
	2x Opteron 242 1.8GHz processors
	2Gb RAM
	2x 160 Gb SATA HDD
	1x 80GB EIDE (Swap)
	SuSE 9.3 X86_64 OS

Any comments ?

Howard Thomson

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I'm not sure about the former." -- Albert Einstein 

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