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Old 12-15-2004, 04:00 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Distribution: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, CentOS
Posts: 216

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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?
Old 12-15-2004, 04:30 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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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.
Old 12-15-2004, 04:44 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Farmington Michigan
Distribution: UBUNTU - Slackware - SuSE 9.1 - Knoppix - Fedora
Posts: 828

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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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