Re: Possible Memory Leak with Fedora 9 64-bit?

Stefan Patric wrote:
On Tue, 24 Jun 2008 22:18:28 +0000, Jean-David Beyer wrote:

Stefan Patric wrote:
Anyone experiencing what appears to be a memory leak with Fedora 9
64- bit? System is unusable--keyboard unresponsive and cursor barely
so, all apps frozen. There is continuous hard drive activity. The
only way to get out of it is hitting the Reset button.

This happens every few days (I run the system 24/7) with only these
apps running: 2 tabbed shells, file manager, and Firefox 3. I'm
thinking that Firefox is the problem. Years ago, I had similar
behavior with it, in addition to it just totally crashing, but this
hasn't happen for a long time.

I've taken to quitting Firefox when I go to bed, but leave it running
during the day. So far, the problem has only been occurring when
Firefox is running.

After rebooting, logs don't show anything out of the ordinary. The
swap is empty.

Anyone got ideas?

I have only run 32-bit machines.

I have never had a memory leak with Linux. I ran Red Hat Linux starting
with 5.0. I currently run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2.

I'm not sure it is a memory leak, but due to the "freezing" of the system
and the hard drive activity--swap writing?--that was my first guess. It
could be a runaway process, but until I can get a view of the state of
system resources when the "problem" occurs, an educated guess is the best
I can do.

Try running vmstat to see what swapping and other io is going on.
man vmstat
I would let it run every 10 seconds or so and dump its output to a file you
could look at after the problem gets away from you (i.e., after you reboot).
You could look at it any time. Here is what it looks like on my machine, but
I almost never get paging activity and right now my machine is essentially
idle except for 4 BOINC processes that burn up otherwise-wasted CPU cycles:

$ vmstat 10
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- --system--
r b swpd free buff cache si so bi bo in cs us sy id
wa st
4 0 0 6059032 125852 1164392 0 0 11 19 256 130 90 4 5
0 0
5 0 0 6017620 125892 1164396 0 0 0 104 1064 511 97 3 0
0 0
4 0 0 6062192 125928 1164392 0 0 0 12 1060 622 85 5 11
0 0
4 0 0 5941056 125964 1164408 0 0 0 140 1025 297 94 6 0
0 0
4 0 0 5873168 125988 1164400 0 0 0 8 1038 383 93 6 1
0 0

One thing I would do (I do it all the time anyway) is run xosview all
the time in one of the workspaces. It gives, among other things, a
graphical display of memory consumption. For my machine, with 8 GBytes
of RAM, it would take quite a while to run it out of RAM unless you
deliberately put in a memory gobbling program. With xosview, you could
watch the memory usage increase and by running top, you could see which
process is gobbling it up. I doubt it is the kernel. You could have
cron run free and dump its output into a logfile to keep track of
memory usage.

I'm currently running htop, which unfortunately does not write a log.
It's real time only as far as I can tell. (Haven't finished reading the
info file.) It does do a lot of stuff. And it's better than top

I have 4GB of RAM installed. Right now about 48% is in use. Swap is
empty and not in use. My system will accept a maximum of 8GB RAM.

As far as FireFox is concerned, I have not had trouble with it running
out of memory, or anywhere close. Right now I have FireFox version
3.0b5 running and it is taking 177 Meg virtual and 43 Meg RES memory,
which is not much for me.

I'm not sure Firefox IS the culprit. It could just as easily be one of
the plugins. Or something else. It's just the freeze ups have only
occurred when Firefox is running, but it could be a coincidence.

This caveat has occurred with both 3.0b5 and 3.0 Final versions.


.~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
/V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
/( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey
^^-^^ 21:35:01 up 6:55, 4 users, load average: 4.41, 4.35, 4.27

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