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Ok so I guess last few days there was a kernel upgrade in apt, cause I had to reboot. And since then, X shows up in htop eating 50% or more of my ram!

And the swap is totally eaten too. I haven't seen that happen in years.

Using 10.10 w/ compiz and an nvidia 6150 with the official nvidia drivers.

This has made my computer unusable. I disable AWN and changed my theme and no effect on X ram usage.

I tried looking with the 'tree' mode in htop for anything that stood out but didn't see anything.

Help, cause now I have to boot up into Vista.

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How much memory do you have and did you test running ubuntu in console only, just to see if it is a service or some gui program. –  Luis Alvarado Dec 24 '10 at 2:51
    
It might be wise to remove and reinstall the Nvidia drivers. –  NightwishFan Dec 24 '10 at 3:19
    
Have you tried booting using an older kernel ? I know that on my Vaio, X doesn't even start if I use the latest kernel... –  jfoucher Dec 24 '10 at 17:39
    
Well it has mostly stopped, I think it was Gwibber and gwibber-service. –  todd Jan 25 '11 at 2:13
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1 Answer 1

While it may appear that X is using up all the RAM, 99% of the time it's not X but some client application.

The Xserver is a server, and so it responds to client requests. Clients can drive up X RAM or CPU usage by making excessive calls to the xserver, sort of like a DDOS attack against a web server.

The standard way to debug this kind of issue is to look through your process list (e.g. 'ps aux') and start killing off applications one by one until the load dissipates. Whatever you killed last is probably what's to blame.

The program xrestop can give some indication of what clients are using resources, however unfortunately the memory column in that report doesn't give total memory usage, just pixmap memory. But it can give you a starting point.

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Oh sorry I didn't respond earlier to you guys thanks for answering. I thot I was supposed to get emails for replies, but I guess not. Anyways, I have 2 gigs of Ram. And I am using htop sorted with the memory field. I kill anything iffy, like Chrome and DropBox, and while the swap will clear up a bit, the line with /usr/bin/X is always at the top and still shows 44-59% RAM and then right below the next biggest ram eater is like compiz 2.3% or AWN. It HAS to be an X memory leak cause X doesn't go down in memory usage even after I close Chrome, which is by far the biggest RAM eating program. –  todd Dec 25 '10 at 1:25
    
I will check into booting with the last kernel, if I didn't tell Grub to only keep one around. –  todd Dec 25 '10 at 1:27
    
Client memory leaks can be caused by even the tiniest applet. In fact larger apps like chrome tend to have better memory checking and testing tools so ironically are less likely to cause these kinds of memory issues. –  Bryce Feb 9 '11 at 20:57
    
Also, even with all visible GUI apps closed, there are still background apps you might not notice - things like indicators, settings daemons, panels, and the like. Really, you have to look through 'ps aux' or similar to see what exactly is running (look for stuff running as your username first). –  Bryce Feb 9 '11 at 20:58
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