Sunday, July 09, 2006

bfobserver Sucking RAM

By now most of the people involved with Mac development know about the bfobserver "python zombie bug." One thing most of those posts don't seem to mention is that bfobserver can eat prodigious amounts of RAM without actually going zombie. "Whaa?" I hear you say? Yes. I just was using my iBook and noticed it had a rather extensive 2 GiB set of swapfiles, which is well over the norm for me (varies depending on what I do, usually 512 MiB GiB if Xcode isn't open and Safari is sucking RAM down at its usual rate). Closing Xcode and Safari usually cures almost all RAM-hog issues for me, but here it dropped things down to 1.5 GiB, which still seemed gihuge for running, well, Finder and Dock.

I looked around a bit with a few tools, then thought to go to Activity Monitor and see what had large VM sizes. Ran the launchd command to kill bfobserver (sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ and then immediately my VM dropped back down to 512 MiB just like that.

Why Apple is putting this tool on by default is beyond me, it just seems to be causing more harm than good.


Blogger diskgrinder said...

what is it, this thingbfpbserver and can I do without it?

10:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

Beware: I did this, and broke something fundamental in the System that required a reinstall to fix.

The lesson I learned: take care when following random optimization information on the Web. :)

3:58 PM  

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