Xorg massive memory usage

Clemens Eisserer linuxhippy at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 07:53:15 PST 2010

What does xrestop report when you see Xorg consuming such large
amounts of memory?

- Clemens

2010/2/3 Marcus Rademacher <endingpop at gmail.com>:
> I'm having an issue with Xorg using a ton of memory. To start off, here are
> the machine specs:
> Dell Precision M4400
> 4 GB of RAM
> Dedicated video card with onboard video RAM
> Running Ubuntu 9.10 x64
> Not using Compiz or any special display effects.
> Results of "X -version":
> X.Org X Server 1.6.4
> Release Date: 2009-9-27
> X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
> Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-23-server x86_64 Ubuntu
> Current Operating System: Linux marcus-laptop 2.6.31-17-generic #54-Ubuntu
> SMP Thu Dec 10 17:01:44 UTC 2009 x86_64
> Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-17-generic
> root=UUID=dc474f24-3833-4896-bd3e-0a209d66a767 ro vga=799 quiet splash
> Build Date: 14 November 2009  05:48:57PM
> xorg-server 2:1.6.4-2ubuntu4.1 (buildd@)
>     Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
>     to make sure that you have the latest version.
> I'm using this machine for thesis research, and that involves running some
> niche software and some of my own code. The crux is that many folders and
> files are created and deleted over the course of 30 seconds. These runs take
> several days to complete.
> The problem is that if I start out with a fresh log in Xorg starts at about
> 30 MiB in use. After letting my program run overnight, Xorg is typically
> using several GiB of memory, pushing the amount in use up about 95%.
> Normally I can do regular web browsing while my program runs, but when the
> memory usage is that high the whole machine is unusable, and my research
> program slows a lot.
> So what I'm actually running is a bash script that calls a commercial
> optimization code (HEEDS) several times in sequence, which in turn calls
> Matlab and some very small C programs of mine many times as well. So no
> instance of my code or HEEDS is running the entire length of time, since
> they end and new instances begin many times. That fact, and that I've run
> this same thing on other Linux platforms and Windows without issue makes me
> think that this is unrelated to the code I'm running. Perhaps it's
> exacerbated by the many folders and files that are created over the course
> of the program's run.
> So what do I have to do prevent Xorg from stealing all of my memory?
> Also posted to Ubuntu Forums:
> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1397093
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