Is it normal that X consumes 800 MB RAM?

dolphinling lists at
Thu Dec 17 12:54:32 PST 2009

On 12/14/2009 04:44 PM, Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
> The longer the system runs, the more RAM X eats.  After about 5 hours of
> uptime, I get this:
> That's about 800MB memory usage.  It gets worse as time passes.  Is this
> normal?  This looks like some memory leak to me.  Does the graphics
> driver play a role here?  I'm using AMD's binary blob for ATI cards (the
> "radeon" driver doesn't support my card.)  Anything else that might be
> going on?
> This is on a Gentoo AMD64 system with X server 1.6.5, AMD Catalyst 9.11
> drivers and kernel  DE is KDE 4.3.4 (in case it matters.)

Typically high memory usage of X is caused by other programs asking X to store 
things for them. You can use the xrestop program to see how much is being used 
for each program.

This problem may be because some other program is never telling X that it's done 
with resources. xrestop should be able to tell you which program it is.

Of course theoretically it's possible there's a leak in one of the X components 
(especially the binary graphics driver), but this is far more common.


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