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, kernel 184.108.40.206 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, 0.42
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, 0.0% si
Mem: 484024k total, 189728k used, 294296k free, 5736k buffers
Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 98936k cached
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, 0.0% si
Mem: 484024k total, 478548k used, 5476k free, 204k buffers
Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 401984k cached
I read here 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 appeared.
My question is : what can I do ??? I suspect this is a flash plugin problem, a memory leak... But why doesn't Firefox release the memory when I kill it ??? How can I solve this problem ?
Any help would be really appreciated !!!