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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:31 am 
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It's been 2 weeks since I rebooted my computer (2008 iMac with 4 GB RAM, Mavericks). It's been feeling kind of slower than the usual pokey but that isn't unusual if I haven't rebooted in a while (unlike my Tiger G4 which has been running 24/7/365 and is content with rebooting once a year). I emptied the trash (which I do at least daily) this morning and it said 102 GB free. I then needed to go out and shovel snow, so I wasn't going to be using the computer for a while and decided to reboot. Since I boot from an external HDD over USB2 it takes 5+ minutes to be up and running again so I am kind of reluctant to do this, particularly since the separate monitor doesn't always appear (the iMac's monitor is dead). Anyway, I told it to restart, shoveled, came back in and it said 126 GB free. 24 GB freed up just by rebooting? Did I have some monster caches somewhere? I know I get some applications such as TextWrangler and Waterfox crashing not infrequently. Sometimes my old iTunes too.

Yeah, I know the whole setup is poor but I am not going to spend money on a SSD and RAM for a computer that's 11 years old with a dead display. I run an old iStat Menus and RAM never seems full, though I not infrequently see the CPU saturated when using some applications. I was just surprised at 24 GB being freed up.


Last edited by Limnos on Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Thanks for the report, I also find that Tiger/10.4 can run about forever, Leopard 10.5.8 about 6 months, but later OS versions seem to need more frequent rebooting... And I remember us Mac users turning our heads, looking at each other then laughing when we heard you needed to reboot Windows® to straighten it out... but then we also almost died laughing when a Window® Update was over a Megabyte in size! :badteeth:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:29 am 
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Just did another reboot. Gained 13 GB this time. Any idea how I could track down what is using so much space? I'm guessing something is making huge caches but not cleaning them until I restart. Waterfox? Handbrake?

Running Mavericks on a 2008 iMac with only 4GB RAM. RAM "memory" never seems under pressure (I have a menu bar widget going to keep an eye on it) but it wouldn't surprise me if there was some writing and reading. But would that just build and build with time?

Also whatever is doing this is causing the computer to feel slower in general. Applications start faster after a reboot. Tabs refresh faster in Waterfox after a reboot.

Note to self: See how much drive space is freed up after a log-out, log-in instead of a full reboot.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:00 am 
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Open Console in Applications>Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when this happens.

Secondly, to see if it's a cache til... Find Any File...

http://apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile/index.php

Hold Option or alt key when selecting Find to Find All.

Run it, sort on date, then hours/days later run it again & sort on Date, compare to the first one.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:32 am 
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I just rebooted so probably nothing has built up yet. I'll probably wait a few days.

Edit: Interesting. In order to find any caches at all I had to remove the date and time option and just tell it to find things ending in .cache. It finds a lot of tiny stuff created over the past 5 years but nothing major. I know things won't have built up yet but I get the feeling it is missing some major categories. Nothing either modified or created today except for some caches for an application that I know I was using and those are only a few MB each. I do have it showing invisibles too.

Edit 2: In terms of size there's a 1.1GB swapfile that was last modified before I rebooted my computer this morning, and a 1.9 GB snapshot.db file that was just updated a few minutes ago. Of course I don't expect any monster system files to have built up in the 2 hours since I rebooted.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:55 pm 
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/private/var/vm/ is where virtual memory lives, although I don't believe it's cleared on reboot


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm 
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It may not even be a .cache file, was just suggesting how I'd try to narrow it down.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:42 pm 
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Maybe something useful to explain what's going on here. Pondini:


https://web.archive.org/web/20170721010 ... /Home.html

In "Where did my disk space go?"


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:11 pm 
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Thanks WZZZ. I'm familiar with a bunch of that stuff but it may be worth checking some of those areas the next time the computer is up for a week or more. Since this is 16 or so GB it isn't a matter of a dozen or so log files (unless I have a runaway log file the way I did a few years ago where an old iTunes Applescript was generating a sandbox error and had built up a 2 GB error log). Something is taking up serious space until I reboot. I'm the only user. I have run Disk Utility with no issues. I mostly use iTunes and Waterfox so just in terms of most-used things I am most likely to eye one of those two as the guilty party, though some of the other less frequently used applications could be doing it all.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:01 am 
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Yeah, assumed you were familiar with it, but I haven't looked at the Pondini in years -- not sure how much is still relevant after all these new, succeeding OSs, but still interesting and useful, to a point. Just thought it would be a good reference, in case, like me, you didn't remember everything there.

Had actually DLd the entire site using SiteSucker when he died, but only vaguely remembered that there was a working link here, which I'm glad to have found.

Another idea is that you might do a before and after restart using lsof. And also another before/after lsof with iTunes and Waterfox quit then open.

Or perhaps, even more useful than lsof, run top.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:17 am 
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It's also hosted online at...

http://www.baligu.com/pondini/TM/Troubleshooting.html


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:07 pm 
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A thought occurred to me this weekend, the contents of /tmp/ (which i think is /private/tmp/ or /private/var/tmp/) should get cleared at reboot. I wonder if something's writing gobs of temporary files.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:14 pm 
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I was wondering about that myself MB. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:18 pm 
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/private/var/vm has 5 x 1.07 GB swapfiles created since I rebooted. On the left is date modified and on the right date created. If this keeps on going on at several GB/day it could account for what I'm seeing.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:53 am 
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I'm trying to see if I can come up with a 4GB chip for that iMac, the extra 2GB did wonders for my 2007 iMac, & it seems 2GB more on yours would eliminate the 1GB VMs being needed.

I forget is it 2007-667MHz or 2008-800MHz?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:14 am 
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early 2008 20" iMac
Type: DDR2 SDRAM
Speed: 800 MHz


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:37 am 
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I wonder if 667 & 800 can work at 667 on your Mac, quite certain 2 extra GB of slower RAM would be way faster than all the VM going on?

I think you have a handle on it now but an App to clear temp stuff for OSes from 10.4 to 10.14...
https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/maintenance.html


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:20 am 
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Limnos wrote:
/private/var/vm has 5 x 1.07 GB swapfiles created since I rebooted. On the left is date modified and on the right date created. If this keeps on going on at several GB/day it could account for what I'm seeing.

Curious why that should keep happening for you. Just had a look on my 10.12.6. Just one swapfile there dated 2/6 (created/modified) at 1.07GB.

EDIT: just had a look at /private/var/vm using OmniDiskSweeper (run as root, which will allow an immediate delete.) Private comes up rather early in the disk sweep, so it should be easy just to delete any excess swap files there. This way, no need to do a restart.

Script to run ODS as root:

do shell script "/Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper > /dev/null 2>&1 &" with administrator privileges

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:35 am 
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Ah, good point W, just one here in 10.12.6

But in 10.8.5 I have these...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:33 am 
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I've just scanned half a dozen discussions on fairly reputable Mac sites (Applestack exchange, Apple Discussions, etc.) and they all say don't touch the swap files. Swapfile0 is left alone when rebooting (and for me it is negligible size anyway) as a starter file. Others are deleted (probably what is suddenly freeing up space). If you delete while running there's a risk of programs or system crashing. Best done by rebooting (which on my computer takes 5+minutes since it is booted off an external drive over USB2). I checked Onyx (which has a version of Maintenance inside it) and couldn't even see a place to delete swap files which probably makes sense in the context of other reading.

I do have a fairly sizeable sleepimage file which hasn't been modified in quite a while. Probably a relic from when I had a note book I'd sleep (the iMac runs 24/7 since sleeping creates problems with the monitor I am using). I could delete it but 2 GB isn't going to break the bank.

It's kind of odd I only just started noticing this since I have been using this computer for 2 years now and it wasn't unusual for me to not reboot it for a month or two which should have resulted in a huge quantity of swap files and loss of 50 or 60 GB between restarts. I wonder if there was some recent change to Waterfox since that's the only application I have changed on the computer in a while.

I just got swapfile6 while typing away here.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:38 am 
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Top in Terminal may tell if Waterfox is increasing...

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/lackofram.html


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:07 am 
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Wouldn't want to disable dynamic paging entirely to stop any swap files from being created, which might lead to a crash, but not sure why all those swap files you're getting are needed/generated. Guessing that they are created because the system is seriously starved of RAM. But no idea why this would suddenly appear because of Waterfox. FWIW, I'm running the latest Waterfox 56.2.7.1. Could it be some addon in WF consuming all that memory? Maybe ask here, see what they think

https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/

FWIW, Waterfox, from active processes:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:40 am 
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I think we're running different OS versions (I have Mavericks). I only see one Waterfox listed and it is hovering around 1.5GB of memory in activity monitor. Kernel_task is 436MB and and Finder 55MB, then a long list of items all under 10MB.

I'll try disabling a few extensions and see if it helps any.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:49 am 
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No idea what that second one is here.

I'd temporarily disable all addons. Safe Mode: quit WF then reopen with option key. Or about:support->Safe Mode->Restart with all addons disabled. Don't try a Refresh. I'm sure you know what a disaster that can create.

Or to narrow down a possible culprit, leave Activity Monitor open, then disable them one by one.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:01 am 
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That cleared things a bit. :-) Waterfox is at 250 MB instead of 1500 MB. OTOH I am now open to every advertiser, every tracker, and having to use ASC just as Apple wants me to use it. :lol: Now I would have to keep on using it this way for another 12 hours or so to see if it has any effect upon the swapfile problem…

After running WF for a bit the 250 ramped up to 400 MB then held steady.

Rebooted back to normal with a couple of extension running. Started to 700 MB then ramped up to 900 MB where it is now holding steady. Odd that I had to reboot to completely disable some of those extensions since they did not say you had to the way others do. Will see how it goes like this for a bit.

Edit: I trimmed out a few more extensions and rebooted WF. Was running about 800MB for a while but then I needed to check Gmail which I have to do in a private window since Waterfox or Gmail did something 4 months ago that meant an additional tab didn't work. Anyway, that and an additional tab I had open for a while bumped it up to 1.16 GB. I have now closed the private window and the tab but it only freed up maybe 50 MB. It is at 1.11GB with the same configuration it was running at 700 when I first started up.

Edit 2: WF eventually dropped back down to 800MB but it took it 10+ minutes


Last edited by Limnos on Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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