Firefox pixmap cache problem (somehow mixed with gnome-cups-icon problem)

Jim Kronebusch jim at
Wed Sep 5 15:14:10 BST 2007

On Wed, 5 Sep 2007 09:10:24 +0100, Gavin McCullagh wrote
> Hi,
> On Tue, 04 Sep 2007, Jim Kronebusch wrote:
> > I was monitoring with xrestop (on the server sudo apt-get install
> > xrestop).  On a running client when logged in open a terminal and run
> > xrestop.  Then fire up firefox and watch the memory used by firefox
> > climb, fast, then hang.  When it freezes you can see the last amount used
> > before hanging.  
> > 
> > This appears to be due to firefox caching pixmaps to X.  We need a hack
> > for that and the problem should go away.  I'm using Opera in the interim.
> Have you reported a bug on this?  It seems like the firefox guys should be
> made aware of it.
> Gavin

I looked through the firefox bug lists last night.  It appears a variant of this problem
has been reported off and on since about 2002.  But somehow the firefox devels interpret
the bug reports as firefox just using too much memory (disk cache and RAM use as
reported by top).  It doesn't seem that anyone has accurately conveyed the pixmap cache
problem to firefox devels and they they have accurately read it as such.

So I will try and put a very descriptive bug report together for them along with
instructions used to monitor usage and a sample website.  I will also include "why" this
is a problem (sometimes they don't see it as a problem as they expect firefox is always
run an a 3Ghz CPU with 2GB RAM and massive hard drives).

I've seen posts going back years about this problem with no stated fix.  I just have to
assume this means the firefox devels don't care, otherwise I can't believe this wouldn't
have been taken care of.


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