ASU - out of memory?

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Fri Aug 22 02:50:21 CEST 2008

On Thu, 21 Aug 2008 18:49:33 +0200 Tilman Baumann <tilman at> babbled:

> And come on. Software is not perfect. Sometimes we have to live with a 
> dreamteam like (old) firefox and x11. I had times when they had both 

man it gets annoying people blaming x11 for memory problems. it is rarely a
cause. it LOOKs bad because it is allocating ram FOR client apps (like firefox)
- when firefox asks for 300mb of pixmaps.. the memory sits in x11 - not in
firefox. use xrestop. example:

res-base Wins  GCs Fnts Pxms Misc   Pxm mem  Other   Total   PID Identifier    
1c00000   333  435    1  374  332    36940K     26K  36967K 15872 Main - Mozilla

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND           
15872 raster    20   0  432m 198m  27m S   11  6.0   1:09.77 firefox            

it's simple - but firefox has alone ASKED x to allocate just under 37mb of
pixmap memory... and that is not included in firefox's base - everyone goes
around blaming x. x invariably is the victim of its clients resource requests
and the need of having to MAP lots of video card memory and resources into its
space - thus looking big (though it really just brought in video memory and
card registers in - not real memory).

> hundreds of megs virtual mem. But everything was fine because it all was 
> just harmlessly been swaped away. I restarted them every weekend to not 
> let it become worse.
> Not ideal, but should the system rather be unusable in this condition?

we should have a userspace oom that on low-memory kills off "user apps" (not
xserver or wm or basic required processes - just optional ones like calculator,
addressbook, web browser etc.) when things get low - not going and adding swap.

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Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at>

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