X server memory footprint growing continuously and monotonically over time

Joel Feiner jafeiner at gmail.com
Sun Nov 11 09:32:04 PST 2007

I used to think that too, but when I've had the same problem, xrestop 
shows considerably less memory usage than the amount of memory in the X 
server's heap (via /proc/<PID>/maps).  Firefox is a big offender when it 
comes to triggering this behavior in X.  Sometimes I get that behavior 
after only a few hours of using Firefox when visiting sites with lots of 
images.  All my RAM is used up and I go into swap.

There is a memory leak in X and it's bad.

Omari Stephens wrote:
 > Remy Bosch wrote:
 > ::snip? SNIP!::
 >> You message was a wake-up call since I had mysterious oom-killings 
 >> With the help of your script, I see rising mem-usage:
 >> A shorteded list:
 >> 0x08aeb000 - 0x081dd000 = 9494528 <- start-value
 >> 0x0915e000 - 0x081dd000 = 16257024
 >> 0x08dee000 - 0x081dd000 = 12652544
 >> 0x08e68000 - 0x081dd000 = 13152256
 >> 0x09455000 - 0x081dd000 = 19365888
 > You should look at xrestop to see what it says about X client pixmap 
 > usage.  Given that the last usage you reported is 20 megs, it seems 
 > that that's caused mainly by X clients storing (and freeing) pixmaps.
 > Furthermore, look at top, but _make sure you understand what it's 
telling you by
 > reading the manpage_.  Last, [1] is an excellent resource for 
learning about how
 > X memory usage works.
 > [1] http://www.xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2003-April/003370.html
 > --xsdg
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