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crxssi 04-29-2005 07:31 PM

gam_server gamin
I have noticed a process under Mandrake/Mandriva 10.2 called "gam_server".
It consumes an unusually high amount of CPU time in regular, huge
spikes/intervals. Over time, it uses more and more. If you kill it, it
just comes right back! I have confirmation that others have seen this on
their machines, too. I have not seen it on my laptop, though.

Others, using FC 3 have also complained about it.

After much research, I still have no useful answers. "Gamin" is a "fam"
service replacement. It seems to allow applications to watch certain
files for changes and get notified of the changes. I remember Mandrake <
10.2 offering "fam" as an actual system service, which I always left off,
anyway. I think FC3, 10.2, and other distros are switching to gamin, and,
unlike fam, it does not act like a init.d service.

Since it is annoying me, using valuable resources, seems to have no real
purpose, don't know which applications might use it, has no man page or
docs, and I can't even find out why it is acting the way it is, I traced
it down to a binary and zapped it.

It lives as a binary file in /usr/lib/gam_server
So I renamed it to /usr/lib/gam_server.hold which effectively breaks it.

(BTW- binary commands and services should not live in /usr/lib, although
after snooping, I see others, too.)

Disabling this thing seems to have had no negative effects on my system.
I thought it might cause problems for file managers knowing when files
appear and disappear, but it doesn't.

damicatz 04-29-2005 08:30 PM

Re: gam_server gamin
Did you manage to note it's process priority before you killed it? Generally things like gam_server run at a low priority which means that they generally only use CPU time when nothing else is using it.

crxssi 04-30-2005 12:21 AM

No, I didn't notice it's priority, but this is on a machine running Seti all the time at nice -20. I run ksysguard CPU monitor, which displays nice processes as yellow, so the background is always yellow (seti). The gam_server process is clearly visible as blue (I think) spikes every 20 or 30 seconds.

The longer gam_server runs on my system, the longer the spikes become... it is quite noticable at times, slowing the system down. If it is killed, it will restart and use much, much less CPU time for many hours and then slowly start using more and more again.

crxssi 04-30-2005 09:05 AM

Response to another list:

On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 07:54:26 -0400 (EDT)
Jerry wrote:

> On Sat, April 30, 2005 12:22 am, crxssi said:
> > Well, I certainly hope they will fix the thing so it doesn't consume so
> > much CPU time!
> I don't know i it's just drake or what

Nope, there are reports on other distros also

> but I run famd on my mail server
> and it seems not to eat up much cpu at all. Also I've knoticed at least
> with my config of curiour-imap famd isn't required but it makes imap and
> webmail slower if it's not used.

I have had my laptop up for long periods (9+days) and I have not seen any CPU used by gam_server. I don't have a large enough sample yet... 4 computers, 2 desktops are eating CPU, two laptops are not. Since gamin doesn't provide ANY status info, proc interface, logs, anything, there is no way for me to determine what it is doing, what is using it, or what could be "wrong".

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