Q: howto find xorg leak?

Michael Hirsch mdhirsch at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 05:14:42 UTC 2007

On 4/12/07, D. R. Evans <doc.evans at gmail.com> wrote:
> Running amd64 dapper, with KDE 3.5.5, xorg grows at the rate of about
> 300 to 400 MB of memory per day. After googling around, I discover
> that almost certainly this is not actually a leak in xorg, but in some
> program that is using xorg. But how do I discover which program? I
> have been through the system, killing all the obvious candidates
> (basically, the application programs that put stuff on the display),
> but the memory never seems to decrease; the only way to "fix" the
> problem is to log out and restart the X server.
> So, can anyone suggest a way to figure out which program is causing the leak?

This is a tricky problem and not easy to solve.  If you were an X
expert (X-pert?) then you could maybe watch the X protocol and figure
out who is leaking info to the X server, but that would be quite hard.

The best way I can think of is to try to notice when Xorg grows.  If
you can get real time data on Xorg, maybe you can correlate it to your
application usage.

You could write a script that uses PS to find the memory usage for
Xorg every few seconds.  If it's size grows by 10K issue a beep.  Now
go about your usual business and listen for when the beeps happen a

I don't leave my machine on, but I don't shut it down, either--I
hibernate it.  You'd think I'd have seen something like that and I
don't.  right now Xorg is using 247M of virtual memory, and only 59M
of resident memory.

Can you see it go up if you leave top running while you use your
computer?  If not, maybe it is your screensaver.

Hope that helps,


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