Memory problem with flash and firefox - system stops working
I don't really know where to post this message, as it is a problem I
encountered not only on firefox, but also with the mozilla suite
running on a Linux based system.
The problem is : my system stops working after running hundreds of web
pages which contains flash.
The system used is a linux custom system, based on LFS 6.2, with
firefox 220.127.116.11. The hardware used is a 3.5" motherboard with a 1.6G
celeron M, 512M RAM and the system is run from a compact flash. Thus
we decided not to have any swap partition.
I have a basic script which plays a loop of 2 contents : it plays a
web page for 10 seconds with firefox, then firefox is killed, then it
plays a movie for 10 seconds with mplayer, then mplayer is killed.
If the web page does not contain any flash content, it works well.
When looking at top, we can see that the memory used and the memory
containing cache remain constant. Here is an output from top :
top - 10:27:22 up 2 days, 16:56, 1 user, load average: 0.23, 0.33,
Tasks: 30 total, 3 running, 27 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.0% us, 0.0% sy, 21.6% ni, 78.4% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi,
Mem: 484024k total, 189728k used, 294296k free, 5736k
Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 98936k
But if I play a web page containing a flash element, for example a 1M
flash web page, after half an hour the system is not usable, I have
just a black screen, and nothing is played anymore... When looking at
top, we can see the whole memory is used, whereas we just kept on
playing the same 2 elements, the cache memory is full, and the cpu is
100% waiting for i/o... Here is an output from top :
top - 10:29:56 up 42 min, 1 user, load average: 3.21, 2.85, 1.67
Tasks: 46 total, 1 running, 45 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 1.6% us, 0.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 0.0% id, 98.4% wa, 0.0% hi,
Mem: 484024k total, 478548k used, 5476k free, 204k
Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 401984k
I read on kernel trap that it was not a good idea to run a linux
system without swap, so I tried using a swap partition. But either the
partition is on the CF (not a good idea but I had to test it), or in
memory, I didn't notice any improvement... It just worked a few
minutes more, but as soon as the swap file was full, the problem
My question is : what can I do ??? I suspect this is a flash plugin
problem, a memory leak... But why doesn't Firefox releases the memory
when I kill it ??? How can I solve this problem ?
Any help would be really appreciated !!!