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New package added to Fedora devel: xrestop - GUI X Resource monitoring tool.



The GUI xrestop utility has been added to Fedora Core 
development.

xrestop presents a 'top' like view of X resources.  This utility
can be used to determine what applications might be leaking X
resources, or may be using a lot of X resources, all of which
are stored in the X server, and thus affect the memory footprint 
of the X server - even though the resources belong to the 
applications themselves.

Often, people look at the output of "top" or "ps" and mistakenly
believe that the X server is using a horrendous amount of memory.  
The output of both of those programs is very inaccurate for the X
server process, as the X server mmap's video memory, and I/O
regions of the video hardware, ROM BIOSes, etc. all of which add
into the memory shown by top/ps for the process, but which are
not physical system RAM.  This results in the mistaken belief 
that the X server uses a lot of memory, when in reality, the X 
server itself uses very little memory at all.

Aside from the above problem, the other more frequent cause of
the X server appearing to use a lot of memory, is applications 
allocating X resources.  Some applications such as Mozilla, can 
use a LOT of pixmaps when viewing certain web pages, etc. which 
all end up stored in the X server until mozilla releases them or 
exits.  If you visit a large webpage with hundreds of images, 
you'll quickly see your X server increase in size.  Quit the web 
browser and you'll see the X server shrink again.

Applications which leak X resources, end up causing the X server 
to bloat over time, until the application is killed - at which 
time the resources are freed.

xrestop is a useful utility for tracking down X resource leakage 
problems and for helping both developers and end users alike to 
determine what exactly is causing their X server memory usage to 
increase.

The overwhelming majority of all "my X server is leaking memory" 
bugs that get reported, almost always end up /not/ being X server 
bugs, but instead are applications leaking X resources, some of 
which are hard to find because they are part of the desktop 
environment itself, such as gnome-panel or similar.

Please use xrestop when experiencing problems of this nature, to 
help pinpoint the true cause of the problems at hand, so that 
bugs can be filed to the appropriate buggy components in 
bugzilla.

Now that there is a useful tool for helping track these types of
issues down, please do not gang up on the X server with X
resource utilization bugs.  It is memory leak free, or we'd have
to change the name of it to XMalloc86.  ;o)

/me runs to dodge the tomatoes

Seriously though, please play with xrestop, and report any 
application resource leakage bugs you find in bugzilla.

Thanks for testing!


-- 
Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat


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