How to disable/limit pixmap cache in X

Glynn Clements glynn at
Wed Sep 19 13:03:44 PDT 2007

Jim Kronebusch wrote:

> The problem in the thin client world is that when an app runs wild with pixmaps it is
> possible to chew up all available RAM.  This in turn hard freezes thin clients.
> So even though it is not good practice and can cause apps to crash, I am looking for a
> way to limit how much RAM can be used for the purpose of storing pixmap data.  If such a
> setting was available an offending application may simply die a horrible death, but at
> least the client itself can still function without requiring a hard reboot and loss of
> data in other open applications.

One option would be to hack xrestop into a watchdog which killed any
client whose resource usage exceeded a certain threshold.

This isn't foolproof; if the client allocates many pixmaps in a short
interval, it may exceed it resource limits before it can be killed. It
would probably suffice for Firefox, though.

Glynn Clements <glynn at>

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