heavy activity problems


today i have detected some more or less strange behaves with gnome in
general that should not happen. let's have this scenario here. i am
running gnome 2.0 normally without any serious problems and trying to
compile kde 3 cvs head in a console with the --enable-final configure
parameter. the --enable-final parameter is known to merge all the
sources into one big source file and compile that one. it's also a
known fact that it eats much memory. now my system has 256 mb physical
ram and 256 mb swap mem. now while gcc is working to get the kde stuff
compiled in the background i see how the memory getting filled and the
swap memory is beeing used. i wanted to clearify this only to let you
know that this is no memoryleak. it's a forced and correct behaviour.
kde was choosen here because of an example only. i need it for testing
issues etc.

now what has this to do with gnome after all ?

the problem is as soon as the swap memory starts to fill (the compile in
the background continues without any problems) and the harddisk where
the swap is located starts to scratch then nautilus kills itself and
restarts (i think you call it respawning). i also detected while trying
to rescue me from this beeing to happen that sometimes even gnome-
terminal or the panel shut down. the compile in the background continues
normally because there is still a lot of memory free (over 100mb mixed
in swap or physical). my question here is i don't see the point for
nautilus to shutdown and restart everytime.

nautilus was started already and the memory was allocated and i don't
see the point why it does this. there is also no dialog that tells me
about a serious crash (segfault) or something it only quits and starts
again. now you can imagine that having a heavy compile in the background
and having the swap activity of the hardisk and having nautilus
respawning all the time that this is slowing the system down totally.

i also don't see the point for the panel to shut down or the terminal to
close since all their memory is allocated already. nongnome applications
like gkrellm or some other stuff still works like a charm. the only
solution i found myself from the annoying and really harddisk scratching
behave of natilus' respawning was to shut down gnome completely. after
this was done the system worked again in full speed not because of the
free'd memory. it's because of getting rid of the restarting tries of

it loads, the nautilus window comes up, then it kills itself again and
restarts, the dialog comes up and it kills itself again... and so on.

now after i switched to console and killed gnome i restarted it again
normally and realized that all my preferences got killed. i had the
default nautilus icons on my desktop, the panel was empty etc.

this seriously should not happen. i doubt that gnome was ever tested
under heavy systemload and heavy activities of the disk. since i don't
know if this is a general nautilus issue or if this is a gconf specific
issue (by signaling some stuff to the app) i don't know where to report
this kind of behaviour and choosed the mailinglist for this. generally
there is a need to test the applications under heavy systemload.

summarized again only for reminding:
- 256 mb physical ram.
- 256 mb swap ram.
- system starts to map the ram to the swap space due to some background
- still enough memory free (100 mb for swap and physical differently
- nautilus shuts down and respawns, window pops up kills itself again
  pop up again kills itself etc. without error without segfault etc.
  (sometimes rarely even gnome-terminal and gnome-panel shuts down)
- this behaviour slows the system down totally because by reloading
  nautilus all time again (and having background compile and having
  swap activity of the disk in general)
- a kill of gnome was the only solution after restart all prefs gone.

oki there are several ways to solve this issue some of you would
probably reply:

- don't compile kde.
- get more ram.
- don't start nautilus.
- start nautilus without respawning.
- ....

but the point here is first, why does the apps shut down at all,
nautilus wasn't used during that time not even started only the
desktoppainter, no activty on the panel or in the gnome-terminal. a
stable system that has all it's apps running but in 'idle' state should
not shut down, specially not if there is still ram free. the correct
behaviour of these apps would be trying to map the ram to the swapspace
if it goes in critic conditions and swap around (on worst case for many
minutes) but should not fail. only if the ram really exceeds then it
should crash or exit correctly.

Name....: Ali Akcaagac
Status..: Student Of Computer & Economic Science
E-Mail..: mailto:ali akcaagac stud fh-wilhelmshaven de
WWW.....: http://www.fh-wilhelmshaven.de/~akcaagaa

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