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My desktop PC is also used as a NIS/NFS server for a small workgroup. It runs for months without reboot.

Recently I observed that when I log into a desktop session the computer becomes less responsive for several minutes. A polkitd process in a D state generates a lot of disk I/O activity. Its VmSize is over 600MB and its VmRSS is over 400MB.

The machine is still on OpenSUSE 11.3 with polkit 0.96. I plan to upgrade in the Summer.

There are several reports of memory leaks in polkitd that were fixed in 0.98 (freedesktop.org, opensuse.org). While upgrading will probably solve the problem it would take about a day and I am looking for a quick fix.

There is no polkitd script in /etc/init.d and the parent for the polkitd process is init itself.

    PID  PPID USER     CMD
      ....
  22362     1 root     /usr/lib/polkit-1/polkitd

Question: How do I restart polkitd without rebooting the system? Can I do it from within a desktop session or should I log off the desktop session and log on to the text console?

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1 Answer

The man page for polkitd says:

... Users or administrators should never need to start this daemon as it will be automatically started by dbus-daemon(1) ...

Therefore polkitd will be restarted when dbus service is restarted. Since this service interacts with the desktop manager it is safer to log out of the desktop session, stop xdm service, restart dbus and start xdm again.

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