On my desktop Xorg leaks a lot of memory. I use to let this machine on for days (weeks, months ...), but about once a week I'm forced to restart xorg, because it is taking too much memory.

Am I the only one affected by this issue? Why does this is happen?
Is it xorg to be bugged, or is it something else (maybe some xorg modules)?
Can I do anything to avoid it?

Some more infos:

I'm on ArchLinux, kernel 2.6.36, nvidia drivers 260.19.36, gnome 2.32.1.

Anyway I've got this issue from a lot of time, like more than one year.

Here is how the Xorg process is shown by top after about 9 days of uptime...

1591 root      20   0  278m 229m 9364 S    2 11.8 244:38.73 Xorg

I've got only a few open windows. 229MB of resident memory looks like a lot to me (and it will keep growing with time). As soon as I reboot Xorg I'll also add process stats at the beginning of its life.

Here is as soon as my Gnome desktop gets up:

 1573 root      20   0 89508  43m  11m S    1  2.2   0:03.53 Xorg
  • Perhaps you could show the evidence you've collected to show the memory leaks, to give us an idea of what's going on? – jsbillings Jan 27 '11 at 16:14
  • Which OS? What version? Did you upgrade Xorg? – Tshepang Jan 27 '11 at 16:15
  • @jsbillings: top shows that the process Xorg takes a lot of memory (like 300m) even if I close all X11 applications (but Gnome ones). – peoro Jan 27 '11 at 16:16
  • Does this problem happen with the non-proprietary drivers? – mattdm Feb 23 '11 at 19:50
  • And, does the Xorg memory usage grow, or does it start like that? – mattdm Feb 23 '11 at 19:51

Some memory leaks in the X server are applications' faults; if they create server-side Pixmaps and don't clean up after themselves, they stick around forever. (This is intended to be a feature, so e.g. GNOME could install a set of standard Pixmaps once and then use them from any program by passing around their XIDs, as an optimization.) xrestop can be used to track these down.

  • Are there other resources that xrestop won't show? Right now, xrestop shows me 45990K total, while top shows X with 11.9g RES (12.4g VIRT). That's a much bigger difference than I would expect... – aij Jun 6 '18 at 14:59

Here is an Ubuntu bug report for a memory leak in Xorg: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xorg-server/+bug/565981

Does that help at all?

  • I don't think so. I'm using the proprietary nvidia drivers, haven't got KMS etc – peoro Jan 27 '11 at 16:22

I have that same problem and similar OS. Mem leaks is probably in gnome. I have huge mem leaks in Xorg mem space when I use applet to change monitor resolution. I dont know where is problem but if you will disable this applet than mem leaks will not appear any more.


I'm new to this, here's what I do to circumvent the problem:

  1. I switch to master console with Ctrl-Alt-F3
  2. logon as administrator
  3. type:

  4. switch back to desktop with Ctrl-Alt-F2

    All of the blocked memory has been released as if system was just booted.

I'm using tails 3.1

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