How to disable/limit pixmap cache in X

Jim Kronebusch jim at
Thu Sep 20 08:02:32 PDT 2007

Okay, I'm going to take a step back here and try a different line of thinking on this. 
Xserver and Xclients currently don't have a decent way to talk to each other and
implementation of this is not an easy task.  We can run certain patches or band-aids as
a work around or try and configure Xclients to not be so greedy, but that is some work
as well and not pretty.  The problem still stands that an Xclient and Xserver have full
ability to request all available RAM and see who wins.  But in the end if the Xserver
runs out of memory to use, everything crashes and your session is over.  So it seems it
is most important to be sure the Xserver always has the memory it needs to run.  This
brings me to my thought.  Is it possible to modify the Linux kernel (or whatever process
would be best to control this) to check on startup if an Xserver is present, and if yes
set aside RAM for only the Xserver which would guarantee the Xserver will always have
the resources it needs to function.  Then take the remaining amount of RAM and allocate
it as "free" memory for other processes to use.  Could this guarantee stability of the
desktop without needing any form of communication between the Xserver and Xclient?  Then
if a developer develops an Xclient that is greedy, so what, it performs poorly or
crashes as it normally would, but the desktop still runs.  This would then keep the
Linux desktop stable and put pressure on the developer to optimize their application to
make it more stable or perform better.

Forgive my ignorance on the topic if this is way off base.


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