Debian Bug report logs - #593849
gconf2: gconftool-2 uses up all my ram during package upgrades

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Package: gconf2; Maintainer for gconf2 is Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>; Source for gconf2 is src:gconf.

Reported by: Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 15:30:01 UTC

Severity: normal

Found in version gconf/2.28.1-3

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Bug#593849; Package gconf2. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 15:30:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 15:30:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
Subject: gconf2: gconftool-2 uses up all my ram during package upgrades
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 11:24:00 -0400
Package: gconf2
Version: 2.28.1-3
Severity: normal

During upgrades of various packages in squeeze, gconftool-2 gets called
from maintainer scripts.  During these calls, gconftool-2 uses an
amazing amount of memory; over 100MB.  When doing this on an XO-1 (which
has 256MB of physical RAM), it ends up triggering the OOM killer if X
and gnome are running.

To give you some idea, here's my XO with full gnome running (using
xmonad instead of metacity, but otherwise w/ everything else..
nautilus, g-panel, weather-applet, network-manager, hal, etc), a
few gnome-terminals, and claws-mail running:

             total      used       free     shared    buffers cached
Mem:         197580     176600     20980      0        180    95372
-/+ buffers/cache:      81048      116532

One would think that 116MB would be plenty for a dist-upgrade to
happen, but no; gconftool-2 triggers the OOM killer.  If I shut down
X/gdm, that provides *just* enough to do the upgrade.  It doesn't
matter how many packages I'm upgrading; upgrading a single package that
makes use of gconf will cause OOM.

Watching gconftool-2 in top during the dist-upgrade shows it using
at least 100MB before completion..




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Bug#593849; Package gconf2. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 17:21:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to 593849@bugs.debian.org:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 17:21:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 593849@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>
To: Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>, 593849@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#593849: gconf2: gconftool-2 uses up all my ram during package upgrades
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 19:20:07 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Le samedi 21 août 2010 à 11:24 -0400, Andres Salomon a écrit :
> Watching gconftool-2 in top during the dist-upgrade shows it using
> at least 100MB before completion..

If you know of a way to deal with 50 MB of XML code using DOM without
needing 100 MB of RAM, I’m interested. There’s not much we can do here,
it’s just that there are lots of schemas to register.

-- 
 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'  “If you behave this way because you are blackmailed by someone,
  `-    […] I will see what I can do for you.”  -- Jörg Schilling
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Bug#593849; Package gconf2. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 19:33:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 19:33:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 593849@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>
To: 593849@bugs.debian.org
Cc: joss@debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#593849: gconf2: gconftool-2 uses up all my ram during package upgrades
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 15:32:18 -0400
On Sat, 21 Aug 2010 19:20:07 +0200
Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> wrote:

> Le samedi 21 août 2010 à 11:24 -0400, Andres Salomon a écrit :
> > Watching gconftool-2 in top during the dist-upgrade shows it using
> > at least 100MB before completion..
> 
> If you know of a way to deal with 50 MB of XML code using DOM without
> needing 100 MB of RAM, I’m interested. There’s not much we can do
> here, it’s just that there are lots of schemas to register.
> 

Is this one massive chunk of xml, or could it be processed piecemeal?
(If the former.. aiee!)

Also, is it currently only being run when schemas actually change, or
just every time a schema file is touched?




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Bug#593849; Package gconf2. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 20:06:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to 593849@bugs.debian.org:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>. (Sat, 21 Aug 2010 20:06:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #20 received at 593849@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>
To: Andres Salomon <dilinger@queued.net>, 593849@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#593849: gconf2: gconftool-2 uses up all my ram during package upgrades
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 22:03:26 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Le samedi 21 août 2010 à 15:32 -0400, Andres Salomon a écrit :
> Is this one massive chunk of xml, or could it be processed piecemeal?
> (If the former.. aiee!)

There are ~ 40 MiB of schema files to be processed in a typical GNOME
installation. Each of them can contains keys that can be spread anywhere
in the GConf tree, and translations for all of them. The gconftool run
puts them all in a single tree and outputs one XML file for each
language, for a total of ~ 50 MiB.

Doing them piecemeal was the old behavior: it used maybe a bit less
memory, but it was extremely slow since it required parsing all the
output files before being able to modify them.

> Also, is it currently only being run when schemas actually change, or
> just every time a schema file is touched?

It is run once after an upgrade if it touched packages that ship schema
files, regardless of whether the contents has changed.

Cheers,
-- 
 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'  “If you behave this way because you are blackmailed by someone,
  `-    […] I will see what I can do for you.”  -- Jörg Schilling
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Bug#593849; Package gconf2. (Tue, 11 Jan 2011 00:18:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>. (Tue, 11 Jan 2011 00:18:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #25 received at 593849@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net>
To: 593849@bugs.debian.org
Subject: debian #593849 makes machines with 256MiB of RAM fail
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 19:15:02 -0500
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
i'm seeing the same behavior (oom-killer invoked) on a machine with
256MiB of RAM if no swap is loaded.

without swap, the following command fails because of gconf's postinst
script, which calls gconf-schemas --register-all --no-signal:

 aptitude install gnome-desktop

if i add a bunch of swap, i can get away with it.

It would be a shame to have to give up on gnome for systems with 256MiB
RAM and no swap :(

	--dkg

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