Why does the xorg server consumes so much memory?

Daniel Stone daniel at fooishbar.org
Sat Apr 28 06:13:33 PDT 2007

On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 02:18:43PM +0200, Juergen Beisert wrote:
> when I run the xorg server on my small X terminal some programs (running on a 
> different machine, connected to via "-query" option) will consume the whole 
> memory on my local terminal. Most of the time OOM kills the xorg, sometimes 
> the terminal freezes only.
> For example when I start KDE's konqueror on my remote computer with the page 
> http://ftp.franken.de/kongress/99/kenner1/index.html this will kill my local 
> 32Mbyte terminal. It seems the local xorg caches all pictures (or something 
> else, I don't know).
> I checked it from a different machine (with 512MByte RAM), also connected 
> via "-query" option to my remote computer. The remotely running konqueror 
> with the webpage above lets the local xorg consume about 55MByte of system 
> RAM!
> When I close the remote konqueror process the local xorg server frees the most 
> of this memory and continuous to allocates 15MByte of system RAM only.
> I tried with the xorg "-ld <int>" and "-ls <int>" options, but without a 
> success.
> Is there a way to limit the memory the xorg server allocates when running? My 
> terminals are running with NFS root, so I don't have any swap space.

This has been requested, but not written.  The best thing to do is to
use a tool like xrestop to find out what's consuming so much memory, and
fix it: most programs won't react well at all when XCreatePixmap returns

(To be clear: every pixmap that is created is done as a direct result of
 a client request.)

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