OpenOffice client freeze on print figured out (and other app freezes)

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Tue Sep 18 15:42:47 BST 2007


> As for your comment about thinking this is an Xorg problem.  I sort of 
> agree/disagree.
> 
> I think it's a problem in the interface BETWEEN the Xserver and the 
> Xclients.
> 
> The Xserver needs to be able to refuse requests for pixmap allocation, 
> and the Xclients need to pay attention to that refusal and gracefully 
> handle it.   Right now, we are limiting pixmap allocation by setting 
> X_RAMPERC.  the problem is, the Xclients die a horrible death when they 
> don't get what they want from the Xserver.
> 
> Firefox is requesting the Pixmap caching so that when you move from page 
> to page, you don't have to wait for the graphic images to get sent to 
> the Xserver. They'd already be there.  Konquerer and Opera don't do 
> that, and the performance doesn't seem to suffer.  I think that the 
> Firefox guys just need to add an option to NOT try to send the images 
> ahead of time, and to request removal of the pixmaps as early as 
> possible. (Like when you move from one page to the next).
> 
> As for OpenOffice using the Xserver as a cache for print jobs.... that 
> just seems really strange.

Well you guys know best what the actual problems are and most likely the best approach
to get them resolved.  I hope all my messing around helps paint a better picture of why
these apps are crashing the clients.  We have had Firefox, OpenOffice, and Totem crash
due to the pixmap crashing.  This happens often.  After every class (7 classes per day
in the labs) I notice about 20 clients frozen out of 108 (and not all 108 are in use
which makes this a fairly high percentage).  So on our systems the viewing of graphic
intense firefox, printing of graphic intense docs, playing graphic intense Impress
slideshows, and viewing of some movies in totem are what leads to these freezes.

I think I can work around the printing by ordering at least 64MB RAM for all printers, I
can workaround firefox by using Opera and hiding the firefox link with sabayon, and
hopefully if these two apps aren't chewing up memory totem will function better.  I am
sure that Impress will still freeze, I'll try and work around that by increasing
nbd_swap to 512MB or more.  If it comes down to it I'll have to order 108 512MB RAM
sticks to upgrade client memory.  

Beyond that if anyone comes up with better solutions please post.  I'll keep looking
myself.  Until then I'll stop flooding the lists with my problems.

Jim

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