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

夜神 岩男 supergiantpotato at
Mon Jan 17 22:16:38 UTC 2011

--- "Kevin J. Cummings" <cummings at>

> 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.

The only times things like this happens to me is when
Flash misbehaves. Jump to tty2 and run htop or top
(whatever you like -- htop just makes this more obvious)
and see which process is freaking out and kill it.

And while we're talking about flash (and not to start a
flame war, just to present some humor)... This awesome
quote was posted the other day on a security mailing list
in a thread about all the holes that have emerged in Flash

"Personally, I kind of like Flash. It gives me a single
kill switch for 90% of the useless blinking crap and
popups on the internet. Flash is a really appropriate name
for exactly what I don't want to see on a web
page. I hope it remains the platform of choice for those
who develop such things."
  - Marsh Ray

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