Strange bug in F14: gnome-settings-daemon, Firefox ramp up to high CPU usage

Kevin J. Cummings cummings at
Mon Jan 17 20:26:00 UTC 2011

On 01/17/2011 10:52 AM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> Hi, folks. Before I file a bug on this I was wondering if anyone else
> had seen it and hoping to get a better idea of exactly what's happening.
> Lately, on this machine - a laptop running F14 - it seems that every so
> often, gnome-settings-daemon, firefox and one other process (I forget
> which, something else that's part of GNOME I think) suddenly go crazy,
> pegging out the CPU (which is dual-core) entirely and also showing huge
> virtual size (virt column in top) - in the 60-70GB range. One thing that
> sometimes triggers this is, sometimes, trying to play some music in
> audacious; usually it works, but sometimes it returns 'input/output
> error', PulseAudio crashes, and this bug happens immediately. But
> sometimes the same problem with gnome-settings-daemon and firefox
> happens without being triggered by loading music.
> Has anyone else seen this? Any ideas what's going on?

No idea, but I often see similar:  F14 x86_64 laptop (2GB ram), firefox
w/Flash Square.  Just when I really need to use the computer, the load
average goes through the roof (> 8).  The machine starts swapping,
firefox's memory usage grows large (multi-GB), and the machine becomes
*very* unresponsive until whatever it was trying to do finally finishes.
 Sometime I can fix it by logging out and logging in again, other times
I have to reboot.  Right now my load average is around 3.3.  That seems
a bit high for a system not doing very much other than writing an email
(thunderbird) with about 30 different tabs open in firefox not doing
anything, and 4 gnome-terminals open waiting at command prompts.

I too suspect that firefox and audio is at the heart of the problem, but
I can't prove it.

Kevin J. Cummings
kjchome at
cummings at
cummings at
Registered Linux User #1232 (

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