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Ubuntu recently informed me that I used up all disk space and need to free some more.

After few hours spent looking for guilty party, I found out that my .xsession-errors file size is 37.1 GiB!

I haven't read it completely (thank GNU for less and its ability to read only parts of files!), but most common errors appear to be

 (npviewer.bin:2918): Gdk-WARNING **: XID collision, trouble ahead

/usr/share/themes/NOX/gtk-2.0/gtkrc:233: Murrine configuration option "gradients" is no longer supported and will be ignored.
[0x7fc5d4023518] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
*** NSPlugin Viewer  *** WARNING: unhandled variable 18 (<unknown variable>) in NPN_GetValue()

For comparison old .xsession-errors was around 10 KiB.

This is in my opinion very strange.

My question is : How do I found out what's causing such behavior and how to stop it?

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2 Answers

The npviewer.bin and NSPlugin Viewer lines come from NSpluginwrapper, which lets you use 32-bit browser plugins in a 64-bit browser. The first line leads to Ubuntu bug 401823 (no fix for Lucid). The second line leads to Ubuntu bug 592492 (no fix for Lucid).

As a workaround, you could:

  • run a 32-bit browser. (At some point, I got into the habit of running an i386 firefox on my amd64 machine, because it took less than half the memory!)

  • try the amd64 flash player. It's not 100% complete, but it might work for the content you habitually browse.

  • discard the output of NSPluginWrapper. This may hide important error messages, of course. Here's one way to do it (untested, run as root):

    dpkg-divert --add --local --rename --divert /usr/bin/nspluginwrapper.bin /usr/bin/nspluginwrapper
    echo '#!/bin/sh' >/usr/bin/nspluginwrapper
    echo 'exec /usr/bin/nspluginwrapper.bin "$@" 2>/dev/null >/dev/null' >>/usr/bin/nspluginwrapper
    chmod 755 /usr/bin/nspluginwrapper
    

The Murrine line could come from any GTK application. It's discussed in Ubuntu bug 518325 (status unclear).

The No. of Audio Channels could come from any sound-producing application. There doesn't seem to be an Ubuntu bug about it, though this is debugging output that shouldn't have been included in a release. This message seems to come from the VLC pulseaudio plugin, so maybe the culprit is the VLC browser plugin all along (though I don't know why it would run in NSPluginwrapper).

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I'll look into it. I deleted old file because it took all free disk space and restarted computer. So far, everything seems to work fine, but I'll try to reproduce the problem. Oh, and where can I get 64bit flash player? Adobe pulled it few months ago, and I don't know where it's available now, if it is available. –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 10:21
    
My amd64 machine runs Debian, and the flash plugin is from the flashplugin-nonfree package. Oh, that downloads a file from Adobe and they no longer provide it. It looks like there no longer is an amd64 flash player without NSPluginwrapper. –  Gilles Sep 5 '10 at 11:09
    
The NSPluginwrapper is from Flash and the audio error is from VLC. I'll try with 32bit Firefox and with newer version of VLC, maybe it'll help. –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 12:04
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Well, looks like it was some strange bug. I have been unable to reproduce it so far.

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Doing a regular logrotate might prevent it in the future... –  oKtosiTe Feb 8 '11 at 20:28
    
@oKtosiTe Actually, the system was up for only about 90 minutes or so and was freshly installed. Clearly a bug somewhere. –  AndrejaKo Feb 8 '11 at 20:47
    
Ouch. Yes, that would be hard to avoid. @AndrejaKo –  oKtosiTe Feb 8 '11 at 20:55
1  
@oKtosiTe Actually, I remembered time incorrectly. It was definitely more than just 90 min, but less than 8h for sure... –  AndrejaKo Feb 8 '11 at 21:18
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protected by Community Nov 25 '11 at 14:07

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