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Moebius 12-15-2004 03:00 PM

memory leak (I think) paralyses my system - how to diagnose?
I have no idea what program is causing it or what starts it, but it's happened a few times now where I'll be working and all the sudden my memory usage shoots up to 100% and my hard disk starts reading like crazy and I can't do anything on my system because its so slow. Like it takes a few minutes just to open a menu and trying to open a terminal or system monitor is pointless. Even pressing Ctrl + Alt + Backspace takes like 5 minutes to get out of X. The only sollution is to hit the reset button on my computer or wait the 5 minutes to for Ctrl + Alt + Backspace.

How can I figure out what program is causing this? It's only happened a few times and so far I've found no pattern. Does this sound like a memory leak? Why doesn't the kernel have some kind of protection against this?

kilgoretrout 12-15-2004 03:30 PM

Open a console and run:

$ top

It will give a continuously updated readout of running processes and the % of system memory they use with the highest on the top of the list. That should help you identify the runaway process causing the problem.

mikedeatworld 12-15-2004 03:44 PM

Know that, unless your swap file is being destroyed (completely used) it is not a mem leak.

*nix systems manage mem much different than dos based.

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