Re: [As-users] AfterStep using 100% CPU when playing music

Volker Ossenkopf (
Wed, 01 Aug 2007 14:58:38 +0200

Dear all,

> The bulk of my played music is MP3 or WAV.  Is there a particular format 
> that seems to be affected more than others?  Does this happen with  
> AfterStep and no other applications open?  Is this playing from a list? 
> Or are you loading the tunes one at a time?

I didn't do any debugging, but I noticed that the problem was the same
or even worse on my system (Debian etch with afterstep 2.2.6) while
opening a particular website that updated the window title every

This gives an easy way of testing the problem completely independent
from xmms:
I ran xterm and within the xterm-bash the loop:
ossk@hevelius: while (true); do echo -n "^[]0;`date`^G"; sleep 1; done
(^[ is the character for escape and ^G the character for bell)
This updates the xterm window every second. In this way one can easily
time the problem:
After about 8 minutes I notice the first increase in the afterstep
load (6%), after 16 minutes, I am at about 20%, after 24 minutes
I am at 30%, after 32 minutes 45%.
The load drops immediately to zero when I stop the loop in the xterm,
so that the title is no longer updated.

The delayed behaviour seems to indicate a memory management problem
for the structure containing the window titles. This might explain,
why the problem does not seem to occur on all systems using afterstep,
but may depend on an underlying library.

I don't want to make further guessing about the cause here, but hope
that this gives at least some additional information.

Volker Ossenkopf                       
 Space Research Organization Netherlands - Groningen    +31 50 3634799
 1. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln    +49 221 4703485

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