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back to article Lucid Lynx fights 'major' X-Server memory leak

The Ubuntu 10.04 release candidate contains a "major" X-Server memory leakage bug that "causes the computer to get slower and slower over time." According to a bug report, the problem can cause system instability after "a day or two uptime" - depending on memory quantity and usage. Developers have proposed a fix, but it's still …

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Memory leak in X? Shocking!

I've been dealing with (slower) memory leaks in X for months now, mostly by ignoring them and hoping they'll go away. It tends to limit my uptime to ~30 days, if I'm willing to deal with running a reduced set of apps for the last week. Right now my desktop at work is using 1 out of 4GB for X, and at home it's at over 3.5 of 8GB. Happening on two different distros with different video drivers and different versions of X, so I rather assume it's not due to some uncommon combination of circumstances. And no, closing things doesn't make X release memory, I've got to kill X entirely, which, screen sessions aside, might as well be a reboot.

Since I'm so stubborn, I'm going to go ahead and blame it on all the X development that (I imagine) is wasted on features so unimportant as jiggling windows and "Oh look it's raining on my desktop!"

I haven't noticed any improvement in my user experience from X since they went with the modular version, which I believe coincided with Canonical taking over development...

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WTF?

@nexox enigma

"I've got to kill X entirely, which, screen sessions aside, might as well be a reboot."

Err , how is it in any way similar to a reboot? Do you really need your GUI apps running 24/7/365 without interruption? What the hell do you do , run a CCTV recording system or something?

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FAIL

24/7/365?

Notice anything wrong with that string of numbers? You should.

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WTF?

Er, no

"Since I'm so stubborn, I'm going to go ahead and blame it on all the X development that (I imagine) is wasted on features so unimportant as jiggling windows and "Oh look it's raining on my desktop!""

'Imagine' is the operative word there, as nothing of that kind is done in X. There's various projects which implement some kinds of desktop-whizzy-stuff like that, but none of them is part of X.

"Happening on two different distros with different video drivers and different versions of X, so I rather assume it's not due to some uncommon combination of circumstances."

Hard to say, but overall I'd disagree; I don't have any long-term memory leak issues on a dozen different machines (yeah, they add up) running various versions of two different distros, with a range of graphics cards. You can, of course, have someone eminently more qualified take a shot at figuring out what the issue is by filing a bug.

"I haven't noticed any improvement in my user experience from X since they went with the modular version, which I believe coincided with Canonical taking over development..."

Nurgh, do what? Canonical haven't taken over development of anything. Canonical does no X development at all. They have one paid person working on X - Bryce Harrington - and all he does is work on integrating X into Ubuntu, he does no upstream development.

No one company or body controls X development; various companies make contributions, including Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, Intel and several other companies and distros.

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Thank you Adam

You have just prevented me from chewing my fingernails down to the bone!

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Joke

Obvious, innit?

I keep hearing talk that open source has "many [x]eyes". Clearly they need to SIGTERM a few of them...

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"From RedHat"

Just to clarify this, they're right in a sense to say the patch they used came "from RedHat", in that it was written by someone who works for Red Hat (Matthew Barnes). It does not, however, come "from RedHat" in the sense of being part of any Red Hat or Fedora product. It was an initial suggested fix attached to the upstream bug report which Ubuntu jumped on for their distro; it was never actually committed into upstream X.org, any version of Red Hat, or any version of Fedora. As far as I'm aware, nothing but Ubuntu 10.04 - and certainly not any Red Hat or Fedora product - is affected by this leak.

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News?

Pre-release software has bug. More on this story at 11.

Now if this is still there when it releases in... uh... two days, repost.

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It's a Feature!

They're just running a Windows simulation.

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Paris Hilton

Slow down, you move too fast ........... and we don't want to be left behind ?

Moleware does tend to be slow things down a bit while new system's parameters are checked for competitor compatibility and competitive capability.

The Shuttleworth RockIT and Virtual Chipset Ship takes Off into Cyber Controlled Space? It is a Natural Progression for an Operating System to Driver Peripherals rather than just Relying on the Opposite, and Reverse Thrust for Forward Motion, Peripheral Drivers Operating Systems, for is that not the Cart before the Horse Territory?

Does that take us into Lucid Lynx Juicy Lucy Confines/Combines? Or just some ..... and a Fortunate Few into Fabulous Felines for Friendly Fellows.........which is in AI Circles, Magical Mystery Turing XSSXXXX Excursions and Expeditionary Missions into House of the Rising Sun and Immaculately Conceived and Tendered Perfumed Garden Spaces.

Hilton Paris PlaySpace in Deed, indeed. ....... although at a Completely Different Levels of Searching Semantic Symbiosis for Sublime Insatiable Satisfaction.

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yesterday

Parches were rolled back in yesterdays updates.

Plus it doesn't affect those using proprietary drivers anyway.

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Proprietary drivers?

XFX HD4850 XXX Edition 512mb +FGLRX = No worky in 10.04

Although the open drivers seem to provide plenty of display grunt for what I need it for [HD video, compositing desktop, er, that's it] I look forward to the day when it works out of the box with hardware GPU acceleration enabled - open or proprietary.

Although plenty of people seem to have it working, so it's probably just XFX pissing about with the reference design that's the problem!

Still using it though - Win7 was nice to have for a while, and a genuinely good improvement over 7, but I'm still finding Linux is more suitable to my day to day computing needs. Although I still need a Win32 dual boot for flashing my phone. Nowt else mind.

Or maybe I should use this as an excuse to rob an off license and buy an HD5850? Do they work Ok? :-)

Steven R

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Come on Reg!

Is news really that slow today that you have to report on bugs in beta software? It's beta software, the whole point IS to find the bugs before general release.

Remember the summer of fun when we all got a free copy of Windows 7? Beta software to iron out the bugs, MS saw the merit in letting thousands of free beta testers iron the bugs for them for free, hence why Windows7 will not be the steaming pile Vista was.

No I don't like MS, I prefer the Jobs cult with a side order of Penguin!

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Important indeed

This is newsworthy because we are two days away from GA, and this is not a bug in a beta, it is a bug found in the Release Candidate. Generally speaking, it is unusual to get late fixes in the RC, because of the alpha and beta programs.

One question, however. I know why you might want to keep a server on for months at a time (my firewall system gets restarted about 4 times a year when I have a loss of power), but why stay logged in for all that time? Every time you log out and in (at least on Dapper, Hardy and Jaunty, and various RedHat and Mandriva distros), the X server is re-started, recovering the lost memory.

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not really

It was a bug in 3 patches, not the RC, and the patches were actually rolled back to cure it before the article was published.

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WTF?

Maybe I should have checked, but...

...I was taking the article at face value, and it says that the patches were rolled into the release candidate. The release candidate is supposed to be what is released unless something seriously bad is found.

The reason why it is important is because there was bad press and lingering stories of woe for a couple of weeks after Karmic was released, and Canonical cannot really afford the same for Lucid.

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"but why stay logged in for all that time?"

For the real geeks, logging out is a sin. Rebooting is heresy. Repeat after me: "It Is Linux And It Does Not Ever Need Restarting.."

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Anonymous Coward

Re : "but why stay logged in for all that time?"

"For the real geeks, logging out is a sin......"

You don't know Linux geeks very well then.

The mantra is : logging out is sensible (for security reasons). Rebooting IS unnecessary. (except for kernel patches and that's being worked on I think)

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Joke

@Mark

<joke>

I think we have identified a REAL geek here! Obviously does not have a Significant Other who complains about the noise produced and electricity consumed (while using the tumble drier even when the sun is shining!)

</joke>

I agree it does not NEED shutting down (see my comment on my firewall), but I pay huge amounts to the electricity company already.

What I am hoping for now is a power supply that draws less than a watt when in standby, a motherboard that will respond correctly to WOL requests and an ACPI subsystem which allows Linux to suspend and resume correctly. I can start my RS/6000 44P remotely, why have I not been able to get any of my Linux boxes to do the same.

I'll look at this again with Lucid, as I've recently replaced the motherboard in my workhorse system.

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X11 is a Synonym for Mem Leaks

..and has been since I know it (hpux 9 in ca 1995).

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major" X-Server memory leakage

> The Ubuntu 10.04 release candidate contains a "major" X-Server memory leakage bug that "causes the computer to get slower and slower over time."

Not a problem here. I tried out the Lubuntu Lucid Beta on a USB device. Boots in about 12 seconds and runs like the blazes. Such problems are to be expected in release candidates.

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Would that make it...

Leaky Lynx?

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WTF?

Journalist Dream Team

"It was a bug in 3 patches, not the RC, and the patches were actually rolled back to cure it before the article was published."

Bug fixed before the author had finished typing the article.

Your making murdochs propaganda machine look good.

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@boltar

"Err , how is it in any way similar to a reboot? Do you really need your GUI apps running 24/7/365 without interruption? What the hell do you do , run a CCTV recording system or something?"

That would be because there are those of us use our GUI apps, for, you know, actual work? If I've got a few dozen documents, terminal windows, Skype sessions, an IDE or two and browser tabs open for my day to day activities then it's somewhat irritating to have to kill them all or face intolerable swapping!

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WTF?

@Jeff11

My god (if I had one), you're a better man than me!

Never sleeping or eating or going to the loo. You really never have an opportunity to log out!

I think you need to move your long-running tasks into a batch process that can run divorced from a GUI, and learn to set up your environment quickly.

I have met members of the "it takes too long to set everything up when I log in" brigade, and all I can say to them is to stop whining, and learn to automate their post-login setup process. I tend to use a personally enforced logout/login to keep the number of windows I have open manageable.

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@jeff11

"That would be because there are those of us use our GUI apps, for, you know, actual work? "

Well I don't know about you but I stop work at 5.30 and don't really care what happens after that. If I have to take 3 minutes to start stuff up the next morning I can live with that. It would be irritating but hardly the end of the world. Why you need all that shit open to work anyway beats me - I have 3 xterms and thats it.

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