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X.org 7.2 memory leak


One of the things I really like about the Ubuntu family of distributions is that you get a good solid chunk of the stability you see in stock Debian Stable installations, but with the release cycle being so much faster, you get more up to date apps. Which is fine for a desktop to be honest. Let’s face it, for a server you want Debian (hell, for a *really* critical server you probably want OpenBSD); but for a desktop you just need it to run for ten to twelve hours between restarting X, and if you get a month’s uptime before a reboot, that’s perfectly acceptable (more time for either, is of course better, but those times are what you need, not what you want). And Ubuntu can do that and give you the cool bells and whistles to silence the iBook-and-Vista-wielding critics (Leopard, you say? Multiple desktops, eh? Vista, you say? Cool spinning desktop changing you say? Hmmm. Have you seen Beryl yet? Old project I know, been doing this for a few years now, but … 😀 )

Unfortunately, sometimes the great idea doesn’t work. Right now I’m looking at X.org 7.2 (without Beryl, which doesn’t like my three screen xinerama setup yet 🙁 ), and it’s using up 342Mb of RAM.

I mean, that’s just daft.

Granted, three 24-bit colour, 1280×1024 screens. Fine. But that’s only about 90Mb in total – and when X.org starts up, sure enough, that’s what it takes up (well, slightly over that). And granted, X.org does swipe memory that’s not in use for caching to speed things up (which is a good thing). But it’s not giving this memory back, and after a few days (or a really heavy Firefox session with forty-odd tabs open), I can be looking at over 700Mb of my 1Gb being used, and the machine is swapping just to open an rxvt shell.

It also seems like I’m not alone in this. And since there have been memory leaks in earlier versions of X.org, I’m looking forward to finally updating to Gusty to get away from this.

(ps. it’d be really nice if Gusty’s version of Beryl supported the whole three-screen xinerama setup too…)

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