How to disable/limit pixmap cache in X

Pat Kane pekane52 at
Wed Sep 19 18:02:31 PDT 2007

One of the lessons I have learned (the hard way) is that
a system should not have flow-control at two  adjacent layers,
that would promote deadlocks.

Another is the adding delays and timeouts is a very temporary fix.
It is best to try to understand the root cause of a problem.

But hey, a hacker has to do what a hacker has to do...
... make it appear to work :-)


On 9/19/07, Jim Kronebusch <jim at> wrote:
> > 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.
> This sounds like a cool suggestion.  When I monitor with xrestop it seems that every
> application has its own line and it doesn't seem to duplicate for more than one instance
> (say I have 4 firefox windows open with a few tabs each, I only see one firefox listed
> once in xrestop).  Again this would not kill an app gracefully but it would kill an app
> only if its pixmap storage exceeded a present limit.  Currently there is a similar patch
> in LTSP to kill an app if it exceeds a certain percentage of memory usage.  But this
> isn't specific to pixmap usage such as you suggest.  I will forward your suggestion to
> the LTSP devels.
> thanks,
> Jim
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