Bug 133530

Summary: Apparently spurious OOM conditions triggered by nautilus
Product: [Fedora] Fedora Reporter: Tim Vismor <tvismor>
Component: nautilusAssignee: Alexander Larsson <alexl>
Status: CLOSED RAWHIDE QA Contact:
Severity: medium Docs Contact:
Priority: medium    
Version: 3   
Target Milestone: ---   
Target Release: ---   
Hardware: i686   
OS: Linux   
Fixed In Version: Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of: Environment:
Last Closed: 2004-10-01 08:35:42 UTC Type: ---
Regression: --- Mount Type: ---
Documentation: --- CRM:
Verified Versions: Category: ---
oVirt Team: --- RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---
Description Flags
System log of the event
System monitor recording of the event
strace of nautilus during oom incident
Output from strace -o nautilus3.log -tt -f nautilus --browser
strace output from normal user account
Anomaly in tree view prior to previous OOM
Previous screen shot as png. none

Description Tim Vismor 2004-09-24 17:21:24 UTC
Given the nature of the problem, I hestitate to blame Nautilus.
However, it is always present and active when the problem occurs.
Details follow. I post this to Redhat bugzilla, rather than Gnome,
since it is not clear to me that this behavior is not system dependent.

System: Dell Precision Workstation 420
Details: 2 1Ghz Pentium III cpus, Adaptec AIC-7899P U160/m SCSI, 256MB
memory, 753MB swap partition
Operating System: Fedora Rawhide (updated as of 9/24/04)
Kernel: 2.6.8-1.541smp
Nautilus: 2.8.0

During the last few days I have received numerous OOM-Killer events
under the following circumstances:

a) Opening nautilus (in browser mode with tree view in left pane with
"display directories only" enabled).
b) Attempting to navigate into a folder with nautilus (under the same

This behaviour has not occured while any other program is in the
foreground and has input focus. Yesterday, (9/23) I switched to using
Knonqueror for file management duties (while running Gnome) and no
incidents occurred.
After today's updates the problem still persisted and was easily
reproduced (I don't have the patience to determine if it is "always
reproducible").  I was able to produce an event as follows:

a) Boot the system.
b) Log in as root.
c) Start the system monitor.
d) Start nautilus (in browser mode with tree view in left pane with
"display directories only" enabled).

At this point the system monitor showed:

Used memory: 141 out of 249 MB
Used swap:   4.9 out of 753 MB

e) Attempt to navigate to the "/etc" directory with nautilus.

At this point, the system became unresponsive as the oom-killer
started to run. See the first attachment. Once the process died out, I
snapped a screen shot of the CPU/memory history. It is the second
attachment. The appent discontinuity in memory usage occurred during
the oom-killer episode. The system monitor did not update during this

Note: Over time, I have run various flavors of Redhat linux on this
machine (7.3, 8.0, 9.0, FC1, and FC2). I have only begun to see this
problem recently.

Comment 1 Tim Vismor 2004-09-24 17:23:37 UTC
Created attachment 104276 [details]
System log of the event

Comment 2 Tim Vismor 2004-09-24 17:24:53 UTC
Created attachment 104277 [details]
System monitor recording of the event

Comment 3 Alexander Larsson 2004-09-28 09:31:05 UTC
Can you strace nautilus when this happens.

Remove it from the session and kill it, then start it as
"strace -o nautilus.log nautilus" and attach nautilus.log here.

Comment 4 Tim Vismor 2004-09-28 14:00:35 UTC
Created attachment 104437 [details]
strace of nautilus during oom incident

Per your request, I ran the nautilus browser under strace and generated a trace
of an OOM incident. The script of the session was similar to the original bug

Comment 5 Alexander Larsson 2004-09-29 08:10:17 UTC
Hmm. It doesn't seem to allocate a lot of memory. Maybe one of the
threads does it.

Can you try "strace -o nautilus.log -tt -f nautilus" instead?

Comment 6 Alexander Larsson 2004-09-29 08:10:43 UTC
Also, could you try this not running as root?

Comment 7 Tim Vismor 2004-09-29 12:44:47 UTC
Created attachment 104503 [details]
Output from  strace -o nautilus3.log -tt -f nautilus --browser

Attached is the output of strace with the additional arguments. This trace was
run as root. The OOM triggering scenario was similar to the previous two
events. FYI, terminal output was as follows: 

[root@redbud ~]# strace -o nautilus3.log -tt -f nautilus --browser
PANIC: attached pid 4596 exited
PANIC: handle_group_exit: 4596 leader 4595
[root@redbud ~]#

The output occurred immediately after running strace, before any user
interaction with nautilus.

Will try this as a normal user now.

Comment 8 Tim Vismor 2004-09-29 13:14:23 UTC
Created attachment 104504 [details]
strace output from normal user account

This trace is from a user account with normal privileges. For what its worth, I
looked at the system log associated with this OOM event and only nautilus was
killed. Normally, daemons like named and httpd are shut down first.

Terminal output was similar to the previous report:

[tdv@redbud ~]$ strace -o nautilus.log -tt -f nautilus --browser
PANIC: attached pid 5884 exited
PANIC: handle_group_exit: 5884 leader 5848
[tdv@redbud ~]$

Comment 9 Tim Vismor 2004-09-29 13:27:58 UTC
Created attachment 104505 [details]
Anomaly in tree view prior to previous OOM

This may be the subject of another bug report or it may be relevant to the
current discussion.

When the nautilus browser started during previous OOM incident, the tree view
in its left pane was "different". In particular, note

(a) The samba share "Dogwood" is located above the local file system in the
tree. It is normally, displayed beneath the "Filesystem".

(b) The "Filesystem" icon does not a symbol for expanding its node in the tree.

I have seen this problem sporadically with various versions of nautilus
thoughout August and September.

Note: The current OS is Rawhide as of 9/28/04.

Comment 10 Tim Vismor 2004-09-29 13:31:40 UTC
Created attachment 104506 [details]
Previous screen shot as png.

Sorry, I forgot to mark the tree view screen shot as a png and it was saved as

Comment 11 Alexander Larsson 2004-09-29 14:05:01 UTC
Its very strange. It doesn't look from the trace like nautilus is
allocating a lot of memory. I have no idea why this is happening.

Comment 12 Tim Vismor 2004-09-29 17:40:00 UTC
Since I updated from Rawhide today (9/29/04), I have not encountered
this problem. 

Looking over today's changes, it struck me that a bug
(http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=153759) which was fixed in
gnome-vfs may have been the culprit. Apparently, a bug in the desktop
file parser could generate gigabyte memory allocations (by computing
string length using inappropriate pointer arithemtic).

Since desktop file parsing is now used for mime type determination
(which is used for icon selection, etc), it seems to me that
encountering some ill-formed (in the sense that it triggered the bug)
desktop file could have caused the OOM condition.

Just speculation.

Comment 13 Alexander Larsson 2004-10-01 08:35:42 UTC
Yes. That is likely the problem. I'll close this for now then. Reopen
if you see it again.