Each new tab leaks memory?

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d97RHM
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Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-26, 14:57

On a fresh install, with a fresh profile, I'm seeing an apparent misbehaviour of Basilisk where every time a tab is opened(even if nothing is loaded in it other than the default new tab content) an inProcessTabChildGlobal entry is added to about:memory(be sure to check the "verbose" checkbox, then press the "Measure" button, then CTRL-F for "inProcessTabChildGlobal" to see it in the "explicit" and "js-main-runtime-compartments" sections. In "explicit" the count is only visible on lines like "gc-heap" that are under inProcessTabChildGlobal in the tree.) and the count never decreases even if the tabs are closed and I mash the "Minimize memory usage" button in about:memory. I've also graphed private bytes in Process Explorer while opening and closing tabs for a second opinion and it does seem that the "floor" reached after all but one tab is closed increases without practical limit. This is on Windows 10 and Basilisk Version: 52.9.2020.04.17 (64-bit).

I'm hoping other users can verify whether this happens for them or not as I'm doubtful something this blatant is affecting everyone and I'd actually be the first to notice.

For background: I became aware of this because in my normal profile with plenty of weird add-ons I was noticing that scrolling got jerky after the browser had been open a few days and there seemed to be a correlation with the private bytes figure in Process Explorer getting to high values even when only a single empty tab was open so I started attempting to blame the memory on some of my add-ons and then discovered the subject.

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by therube » 2020-04-26, 20:57

If I was looking correctly, if I understand your steps correctly, if I understand what I think I'm looking for, then I only saw two instances of "inProcessTabChildGlobal" mentioned.

Basically...

open B
about:memory -> verbose -> Measure
Ctrl+F, inProcessTabChildGlobal, found = 2

open a few tabs
about:memory -> verbose -> Measure
Ctrl+F, inProcessTabChildGlobal, found = 2

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:68.9) Gecko/20100101 Goanna/4.4 Firefox/68.9 Basilisk/20200206
(so I'm on an older, non-current version then you)

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-26, 21:12

therube wrote:
2020-04-26, 20:57
open a few tabs
about:memory -> verbose -> Measure
Ctrl+F, inProcessTabChildGlobal, found = 2
Almost what I had in mind except counting the number of times the string is found doesn't work for this purpose. For the entry under "js-main-runtime-compartments" look at either the far right(this one will be in square brackets) or left(unbracketed) of the line for the number of interest. To find the same number for the entry under "explicit"(not strictly necessary since I expect it to always be the same exact number but confirmation doesn't hurt.) look for "gc-heap"(which is the topmost entry of interest in my about:memory) or other non-expandable entries(nearly all of them will have the same number) that are descendants of the inProcessTabChildGlobal entry and look at the far right of the line for a number in brackets. If in doubt about what's a descendant you can click on the inProcessTabChildGlobal entry to collapse or expand all the descendants which should make it clear which they are.

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-26, 21:20

Also for the purposes of this the experimental tabs ought to be opened and then closed again and then the "Minimize memory usage" button ought to pressed(to make sure anything that ever will naturally get removed from memory gets removed promptly) before the memory measurement is taken.

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-04-26, 23:18

The number of inProcessTabChildGlobal compartments should be equal to the number of total tabs you have opened. These compartments are cycle-collected as normal and don't leak, unless some extension is (incorrectly) keeping the compartments alive. This container count includes "unloaded"/"suspended" tabs and tabs not yet loaded from sessionrestore when the option is to not load tab until activated. Each of these contains a few system scripts necessary for each tab, but should not take much memory each. Of course if you are a tab hoarder you will see considerably more memory use in total as a result, but it's assumed if you hoard tabs that you have more than some memory to play with that the small amount of memory per tab instance isn't much of a problem and insignificant overall.

I just verified in my days-old session that the number of globals is indeed equal to the number of active+unloaded tabs (39 in this case), and that they reduce (albeit not instantaneously or with forced CC because that's not how these containers work) if tabs are closed. There is no spoon leak.
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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-27, 00:00

Moonchild wrote:
2020-04-26, 23:18
I just verified in my days-old session that the number of globals is indeed equal to the number of active+unloaded tabs (39 in this case), and that they reduce (albeit not instantaneously or with forced CC because that's not how these containers work) if tabs are closed. There is no spoon leak.
Thank you very much for taking a look at this. This confirms for me that at the very least something is wrong with my normal profile(as no matter how much I use it the number never goes down) and I'll be attempting more long term testing with the fresh install, fresh profile to see whether there's anything I can do to actually get the number to go down just in case something about my system independent of the profile that is causing it to not work as intended. I had tried using the cc/gc analysis python scripts at https://github.com/amccreight/heapgraph on the exported logs from my normal profile to figure out whether it was an add-on issue but that seemed to dead end at a "preserved wrapper" without ever crossing any add-on code which got me wondering about the un-customized scenario. I'll refrain from posting more on this topic unless I find something very persuasive.

Thanks again!

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by therube » 2020-04-27, 12:45

Could you post the about:support... type of information that is typically requested in these parts.

Any ideas as to what may be causing the situation on your end? Extensions?

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by therube » 2020-04-27, 14:12

Oh I've probably got it wrong again, but FWIW...

(something like...)

5. i closed 237 /more/ tabs, 57 tabs remaining
6. closed 50 /more/ tabs, 6 tabs remaining
7. closed 2nd window with final 6 tabs in it
8. open a new window & a bunch of new tabs, 163 of them, it seems
9. close that window
10. GC
11. CC
12. Minimize

Basilik inProcessTabChildGlobal opening closing tabs.png

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-27, 14:22

therube wrote:
2020-04-27, 12:45
Could you post the about:support... type of information that is typically requested in these parts.
Surprised I never noticed that existed before. I suppose this is the first time I ever asked anybody but google about browser issues.

As suggested at the end of my last post I had actually given up on getting help on this until such time as I had a stronger case based on experimentation that it wasn't just my own fault somehow(I'm awful about tweaking things then forgetting I did it or just not realizing the full implications until much later) but if anyone can spot a red flag in this that would be great. I'm assuming the result of the 'copy text to clipboard' button is the extent of your request? This is from the clean-room profile since it seems to be showing off the issue just fine and is certainly a less wild target than my normal one for anyone including me to prognosticate about.

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therube wrote:
2020-04-27, 12:45
Any ideas as to what may be causing the situation on your end? Extensions?
Other than my bad habit of tweaking things and forgetting/never really understanding them to begin with(main reason I went with a fresh install in addition to a fresh profile before posting this since I know in the remote past I actually would edit files in the program files instead of overriding them with add-ons as I now do), I really don't have a clue since this is a recent but not nearly bleeding edge system and I generally don't have any weird issues with Basilisk like this that I can't just google my way out of. If there are any extensions or non-vanilla things in the clean-room profile it's spooky NSA stuff I can't see :lol:.

On my normal profile I have extensions nobody ever even heard of because I just wrote them myself or modded them seriously from published ones(absolutely the primary reason I use Basilisk since I didn't want to deal with trying to re-implement them, if the crippled Nu-Firefox API could even theoretically do that which I'm pretty sure for some of them it cannot and I'd have to get into compiling my own version which I hope to avoid as long as I live.) so not going to bother with listing those.

Since my last post the only experiment I've done is using the 'clean-room' profile and letting it sit for periods of up to an hour, opening a new window and closing the old one, minimizing it and letting it sit, letting it go through a sleep/wake cycle, none of which resulted in the about:memory numbers for inProcessTabChildGlobal decreasing whatsoever. Incidentally if anybody can tell me more specifically about what the expected time-frame/scenario for inProcessTabChildGlobal leaving memory is I'm very interested.

I still intend to do some more experiments and only perturb anybody about them if they seem persuasive that I'm not the sole problem here but if more info is requested I'll probably post it.

P.S.: just saw therube's screenshots while previewing this post and he absolutely does have a lot of inProcessTabChildGlobals on display(740 is the max shown for anybody in doubt) but based on Moonchild's reply my initial methods of checking for whether this is happening to somebody or not seem unsound so what 740 inProcessTabChildGlobals really means when there aren't nearly that many tabs of any kind apparently open I can't say at this time.

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-04-27, 16:25

therube... I told you these will not be collected immediately or when forcing CC. Your exercise was rather pointless.
Incidentally if anybody can tell me more specifically about what the expected time-frame/scenario for inProcessTabChildGlobal leaving memory is I'm very interested.
It depends on many factors. idle time, memory pressure, whether something holds a lock on it, dependent network and shared style and script containers, etc. so no, nobody can tell you with certainty when they are expected to be cleaned up except for "when you restart the browser". The garbace and cycle collectors are very complex pieces of machinery, so is the browser.

Now the real question is aside from looking at number of containers in administration by the browser in about:memory, is there a real issue?

P.S.: i suggest you install updated video drivers. Yours are from 2018, which may contribute to memory leakage.
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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by d97RHM » 2020-04-27, 19:45

Moonchild wrote:
2020-04-27, 16:25
P.S.: i suggest you install updated video drivers. Yours are from 2018, which may contribute to memory leakage.
That's a reasonable suggestion, thank you.

Having completed the last of the experiments I intended to on multiple Windows 10 systems from rather different hardware generations and circumstantially reinforced by therube's screenshots, I have concluded that there is a great difference between the behaviour of Pale Moon and of Basilisk concerning how long useless inProcessTabChildGlobal instances are preserved and it is independent of extensions or hardware at least within Windows 10 computers.

The behaviour of Pale Moon is very much as Moonchild described in his first reply. inProcessTabChildGlobal instances are removed until they match the visibly open number of tabs in a prompt but not instantaneous way, in my experiments never exceeding 2 minutes after the tab closes without any special conditions required. That reply of Moonchild was presumptively about Basilisk being in the Basilisk forum in a thread explicitly naming Basilisk in the OP but it does not at all match the behaviour now seen on multiple Windows 10 computers. I have great respect for Moonchild's efforts and don't wish to speculate about why this mismatch exists except that it may have been an innocent over generalization of the commonalities between Pale Moon and Basilisk.

The behaviour of Basilisk is not at all like that of Pale Moon under any circumstance I tested. It is as I have already stated above, holding on to inProcessTabChildGlobal instances seemingly forever, which does constitute an effective memory leak. It could be that under some really extreme scenario they would be released making it not technically a leak but the buildup that occurs without that happening is excessive and at least sometimes problematic. In no case I experimented with were any instances of inProcessTabChildGlobal ever removed from memory. In processes that have had large numbers of tabs opened by seemingly any means such as opening a blank tab or opening a link in a new tab this causes pointless and ever increasing memory use and even when this memory use is not close to any physical limit of available hardware it causes problems such as jerky scrolling. The threshold where this seems to become noticeable is not well defined but for me it seems to occur around 800 tabs opened or 2 GB of private bytes as shown near the bottom of about:memory or Process Explorer when only one empty tab has been open for a while. which usually takes me a day or 2 from when I start a given process under normal circumstances. I'm sure many things might confound the private bytes measurement but for me it doesn't vary much.

I cite therube's post as circumstantial support for the difference between the browsers since it would be hard(though not impossible with certain tools) to close that many tabs and press the indicated buttons fast enough to see 740 inProcessTabChildGlobal instances if Basilisk were behaving as Pale Moon does.

Is this a real problem? Restarting Basilisk every few days doesn't seem like that big a deal to me except that it seems to be very unnecessary in light of how Pale moon behaves.

I wish the best to all involved.

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Re: Each new tab leaks memory?

Post by Moonchild » 2020-04-27, 22:01

Since Pale Moon is my main browser, I performed my tests with Pale Moon, not Basilisk. Primarily because I didn't expect the behaviour of Pale Moon and Basilisk to be significantly different here, as management of script containers and their release is handled purely in the platform code. It is interesting at least that it seems it is different. It would mean that there is something in the front-end code that prevents the proper release of tab frame containers. If that's the case, then Basilisk has most likely inherited that behaviour from Mozilla Firefox ESR 52 which it is a very close twin to.
Either way, it would require trying to pinpoint what is holding these containers alive; and aside from trial and error testing (which I don't think any of the core devs have time for) I don't really know where to start narrowing down this quirk.
"Son, in life you do not fight battles because you expect to win, you fight them merely because they need to be fought." -- Snagglepuss
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