Epiphany memory use analysis / monitoring

Posted: March 14th, 2006 | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

For the OLPC project one of the many tasks is to take a look at system optimization, and One aspect of this which frequently crops up is memory usage by mozilla based browsers. Unfortunately, as David Baron points out, getting useful analysis & bug reports has been a tricky problem. So we’ve been doing some experiments to try and get some more useful information on memory usage. At the same time this is giving us a good opportunity to do some work with the Dogtail GUI automation tool recently developed. For the first round of tests, we picked Epiphany rather than Firefox primarily because we couldn’t figure out how to make Firefox with with AT-SPI yet :-( The results have none-the-less proved interesting, suggesting there is a leak in the X server-side pixmap cache used by mozilla for storing images. When browsing without tabs, everything seems to be operating reasonably, however, after opening just a single tab, images are seemingly never released.

This certainly merits some further detailed investigation to verify whether there really is a reference counting bug, in the meanwhile read up on the techniques we’ve employeed in investigating thus far.