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Old 09-29-2007, 11:28 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Tartu, Århus,Nürnberg, Europe
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy
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X11 memory footprint


is there any way to config X11 to use less memory? I have 1G ram, but X seems to eat up everything what is available. Currently 2 instances of X consume more than 900M, so I don't believe more memory will be a solution.

I remember a few years ago I played around with an P1 with 64M ram. There was an option to switch off X11 caches, and that worked very well.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,

This is debian lenny

X Window System Version 1.3.0
Release Date: 19 April 2007
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0, Release 1.3
Old 09-30-2007, 12:09 AM   #2
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Location: Charleston, SC, USA
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First, why do you need to run multiple instances of X11? Second, there is no good reason why any instance of X11 should be using 900MB of RAM. Mine is currently using about 25KB. Where did you get the information about how much RAM its using. If it really is using that much, something is horribly broken and fixing it should greatly improve performance.
Old 09-30-2007, 12:26 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Tartu, Århus,Nürnberg, Europe
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy
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Original Poster
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Well, I admit these numbers are coming from 'top'. However, I notice that the system starts swapping when switching applications/desktops after having run a while. It is not a problem, but something I'd like to keep under check.

This is my home desktop where both me and my wife are logged on most of the time. Usually we don't switch it off, just hibernate. That's why the problems accumulate. The top memory consumers according to 'top' are:

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                       
 3679 tiina     15   0  578m 138m  10m S    0 13.8  66:07.92 galeon                                                         
18399 siim      15   0  190m  94m  19m S    1  9.4   2:17.24 firefox-bin                                                    
 3364 root      15   0  602m  34m 3672 S    0  3.5  33:32.62 Xorg                                                           
19390 siim      15   0 35324  27m  10m S    0  2.7   0:13.54 gimp                                                           
18417 siim      15   0 79368  25m  17m S    0  2.6   0:01.67 gaim                                                           
 7298 tiina     16   0 79548  22m 5344 S    0  2.2   4:36.75 skype                                                          
 3702 tiina     15   0  134m  16m 7008 S    0  1.7   0:49.44 evolution                                                      
 5043 root      15   0  282m  16m 3984 S    0  1.6   1:14.49 Xorg
May it be the case that the problem lies with galeon, but this memory also shows up with X?

Thanks, Ott
Old 09-30-2007, 11:41 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2006
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well when you show top as saying
602m  34m
virtual memory is "virtual" as in not real.
RES = resident, as in, IS real. but still most likely shows shared memory over and over again on every program.

X just shows ever darn thing as memory. is shows all you video cards memory
as being used up and adds that to the total. it shows ever image ever viewed on your machine as used up virtual memory.

basically the answer is to just stop looking at top and thinking it has anything to do with anything.
Old 09-30-2007, 05:03 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego
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I've noticed that X uses up about as much memory as Firefox. It could be that.


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