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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    X.org consuming significant amounts of shared memory (170-200MB)

    After 1-2 weeks of operation, top reports X as using 170-200MB of shared memory.

    Is this usual or a sign of a memory leak (eg. applications using XSHM and not freeing the memory afterwards). Restarting X may recover between 30-40MB.

    This was discovered on an occasion where I was unable to start an application as it failed to obtain approx 6MB of memory (my system has 512MB RAM and perhaps a 1GB of swap, so this is a definite anomaly).

    X appeared at the top of top's listing when sorted by memory, so thats why I'm investigating it first.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    i would also like to know that too, and which programs to shut down if anyone knows please provide us with answer.......thanks in advance

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Try typing 'free' at a command prompt, you should get output like
    [aravi@ironclad Fishing]$ free
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:        515848     510832       5016          0      20504     253168
    -/+ buffers/cache:     237160     278688
    Swap:      1847424      70080    1777344
    The Linux kernel caches recently accessed files in RAM so that they're faster to load. It will free up this space if a current process requires it (as of kernel 2.6, this is slightly different - more on that later). This means that memory usage may appear higher than it is. The -/+ Buffers/Cache line reports how much memory is used by actual processes and how much is ACTUALLY free.

    Now, to how kernel 2.6 is slightly different. When new memory is needed the Linux kernel has two options - free up some space used for cached files or swap data in memory out to disk. In 2.4 it would resort to swapping only after it had pushed out all cached files, in 2.6 it may do one or the other (controlled via /proc/vm/swappiness).

    You might want to check if that is your issue, or if an app really is consuming that much memory. In my case, an application failed to allocate memory - so I know there is another issue at work. Running top and pressing shift-M will give you a listing of which applications are currently consuming the most memory.

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