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Bug 249051 - gnash eats all my memory
gnash eats all my memory
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: gnash (Show other bugs)
All Linux
urgent Severity urgent
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Assigned To: Patrice Dumas
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2007-07-20 11:38 EDT by Bill C. Riemers
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:12 EST (History)
0 users

See Also:
Fixed In Version: 0.8.1-2.fc7
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2007-09-17 23:23:29 EDT
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description Bill C. Riemers 2007-07-20 11:38:34 EDT
Description of problem:

Naughty gnash.  I left firefox open to the webpage:


while doing other things.  Eventually my computer stopped responding to my
keyboard, and the mouse became sluggish.  I had to ssh in from another computer
to find out the problem is gnash was eating all my memory and cpu.  I have 2 GB
of regular memory and 4 GB of swap, 4 cpu's (shows up as 8 cpu's due to
hyperthreading).  Gnash brought the whole compute to a standstill.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):


How reproducible:

Haven't tried.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Open
in firefox and wait.
Additional info:

As a workaround to avoid this problem in the future I did:
    mv /usr/bin/gnash /usr/bin/gnash.real

Then I created a /usr/bin/gnash script as follows:
ulimit -H -m 256000
ulimit -H -v 256000
exec /usr/bin/gnash.real "$@"

However, I expect that gnash using so much memory indicates a serious flaw in
gnash itself, not just a need for ulimit settings.

I also set higher value ulimits for firefox, just to be on the safe side.
Comment 1 Bill C. Riemers 2007-07-20 11:47:49 EDT
Hmmm.  It looks like the ulimits are not having an effect.

13706 docbill   15   0  900m 580m  11m S   53 30.8   3:29.89 gnash.real      

BTW. It looks like all this memory and CPU usage is to display a small vonage ad.
Comment 2 Bill C. Riemers 2007-07-20 12:52:36 EDT
Bug #220657 makes this problem difficult to work around, but I did find the
ulimit -v flag works from zsh (not from bash).  So the following does work as a

ulimit -H -v 524288
/usr/bin/gnash.real "$@"

Of course gnash is still broken.  It looks like it is not reclaiming garbage
collected memory.  But at least this allows it to be used a very short while,
without bringing down the whole machine.  If I had a machine with less than 2GB
of ram, I would probably just uninstall gnash until it is fixed.

Comment 3 Patrice Dumas 2007-07-21 09:49:56 EDT
There may have been some progress on that upstream with the 
addition of a garbage collector. Could you please try to 
reproduce with upstream cvs?
Comment 4 Bill C. Riemers 2007-07-23 21:36:53 EDT
If you can provide a reference to the repository, I can certainly try it. 
Perhaps in the mean time, it would make sense to revert back to the previous
version of gnash, as this version is bad enough, many non-technical people would
dump the whole distribution.

Comment 5 Bill C. Riemers 2007-07-23 23:06:03 EDT
I found the upstream cvs tree, and did a checkout of tonights source tree.  I
used the following to build:
   cd gnash
   mkdir -p ../gnash-build
   cd ../gnash-build
   ../gnash/configure --enable-renderer=opengl --enable-media=GST \
      --enable-plugin --with-plugindir=/usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins
   make CFLAGS="-pipe -O2" CXXFLAGS="-pipe -O2" -j 10

At after a building a few minutes, make reported some build errors.  I find this
is common when using -j 10 on a Makefile that is not designed for it.  So I
finished with:
   make CFLAGS="-pipe -O2" CXXFLAGS="-pipe -O2"
   sudo make install

I find the current CVS version is much more stable, and actually works correctly
on the web page I referenced above.  e.g.  This time when I browsed to the url,
there were three flash ads.  All three seem to render correctly, and with the
telus one, I watched a pool of fish chase my mouse.  All the while the memory
usage for all three processes stayed steady.  The CPU utilization was high while
displaying the ads, but when I background the tabs utilization for each fell
below 6%.

I would definitely recommend, either updating the package, or finding what fixes
were applied to gnash and back porting them.

Comment 6 Patrice Dumas 2007-07-24 03:19:36 EDT
A new upstream release is on the way, I'll package it once
it is out.

In any case I consider gnash still quite immature and buggy, users
that want to use it should know about that.
Comment 7 Fedora Update System 2007-09-17 23:23:27 EDT
gnash-0.8.1-2.fc7 has been pushed to the Fedora 7 stable repository.  If problems still persist, please make note of it in this bug report.

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