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I've just installed Ubuntu 10.10 x64, activated the recommended Nvidia drivers, and I noticed my hard disk space is disappearing, I narrowed the culprit down to this:

alex@alex-home:~$ ls -la .x*
-rw------- 1 alex alex 4436076400 2010-11-19 22:35 .xsession-errors
-rw------- 1 alex alex      10495 2010-11-19 21:46 .xsession-errors.old

Any idea what this file is, why its so big, and why its growing? A few seconds later:

alex@alex-home:~$ ls -la .x*
-rw------- 1 alex alex 5143604317 2010-11-19 22:36 .xsession-errors
-rw------- 1 alex alex      10495 2010-11-19 21:46 .xsession-errors.old

tailing it:

alex@alex-home:~$ tail .xsession-errors

(gnome-settings-daemon:1514): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gnome-settings-daemon:1514): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gnome-settings-daemon:1514): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gnome-settings-daemon:1514): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gnome-settings-daemon:1514): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

Also, the process "gnome-settings" seems to be using 100% cpu:

 PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND     
1514 alex      20   0  268m  10m 7044 R  100  0.1   7:06.10 gnome-settings- 
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

.xsession-errors is where the standard error of the X server and all its children are directed to. Obviously, gnome-settings-daemon is unhappy about something.

You might get some useful information by watching what gnome-settings-daemon is trying to do with

strace -p 1514

But this can often be staggeringly difficult to make sense of, especially if you've not done much of it.

Your best bet is probably to file a bug using

apport-bug 1514

where 1514 is the PID of the errant process. I've been of the impression that the x64 implementation of everything has not been beaten upon nearly as much as the 32-bit version, so you may well have uncovered a new bug. Apport gets the information in front of the people most interested in fixing it.

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Thanks, I'll try out apport-bug if it starts doing it again, I killed the process, rebooted, and now its not screaming into the log file. –  Alex Black Nov 20 '10 at 21:41

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