Excessive X server size

Adam Jackson ajax at nwnk.net
Wed Jun 7 10:35:44 PDT 2006

On Monday 05 June 2006 13:16, Howard Thomson wrote:

> 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.

This _is_ the problem.  The server is largely innocent; it can only do what 
apps ask it to do, and when apps ask it to hold on to large quantities of 
resources...  Granted we probably have some fragmentation problems too, but I 
expect they're second-order at most.

One idea I've kicked around for a while is teaching the fb layer how to swap 
out pixmaps directly, since it knows better than the kernel which pixmaps are 
active.  It'd be slightly tricky.

- ajax
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