Thin Clients freezing in Firefox

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Sat Sep 1 16:32:21 BST 2007


> Get to a shell on the thin client and run 'free'.  see if it shows 
> anything for 'Swap:'
> 
> if it shows '0', or doesn't show the line at all, then you aren't using 
> nbd swap.

I really wish the client wouldn't completely freeze, it would make for easier testing :-(

Anyhow, nbd swap is working.  I boot the client and switch to screen 1 and log into the
command line and run free:
          Total    Used      free    shared    buffers     Cached
Mem:      109948   109960    2988    0         0           43216
-/+ buffers/cache: 63744     46204
Swap      131064   0         131064

Then I switch back to screen 7, log in and open firefox, free now looks like:

          Total    Used      free    shared    buffers     Cached
Mem:      109948   105552    4396    0         0           43376
-/+ buffers/cache: 62176     47772
Swap      131064   0         131064

Then I load this website and quick switch to screen 1 and start madly doing "free" enter:

http://www.carteretcountyschools.org/bms/teacherwebs/sdavenport/artgallery6.htm

Free keeps showing increasingly large numbers and finally the client froze, here is the
last output from free:

          Total    Used      free    shared    buffers     Cached
Mem:      109948   107688    2260    0         0           2840
-/+ buffers/cache: 104848    5100
Swap      131064   56892     74172

Now this website is an extreme case, but it makes for good testing.  At least this
proves Swap is getting used, so that theory is out.  But I see Cached memory greatly
reduced and the buffers look like they almost immediately fill up leaving only 5MB or so
free.

Can anyone reproduce this, or is this problem isolated to just me and our system here?

Crazy thing is I obviously built the server right (45 concurrent users max so far,
server hardly even knew someone was logged in), but I did not expect the clients to end
up being the problem.

Jim

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