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 07:07:32 up 13 days,  4:01,  2 users,  load average: 0.47, 0.28, 0.21

System Monitor shows that metacity uses 1.2 Gib and Nautilus 450.1 Mib.

Everything has gotten pretty slow-ish so I suspect that this is not normal?

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Have you tried killing Nautilus and running Metacity --replace? – RolandiXor Aug 15 '11 at 4:31
yeah. it seems like this is every where in recent Ubuntu versions. When I boot up my system, It's memory consumption is 1.2 Gb. :( – Abhijeet Aug 15 '11 at 5:26

Correct. That's not normal at all. As comparison, on my system, nautilus uses 25,5MiB, gnome-panel uses 8MiB, indicator-datetime-service uses 9,3MiB and compiz (I don't use metacity) uses 42,5MiB with Unity.

Very odd, but with so little information, it's impossible to provide anything more helpful. Hope it helps though :)

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