Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MDS(spotlight) process using ~130MB of Real memory

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Hi all,
Yes, I did use the search function and searched google to see what was up, but I only got responses to Spotlight using too much CPU (aside from one guy curious about my question from 2005-unanswered). That's not my problem. The MDS process consistently uses about 130MB of real memory. That seems strange to me because on my G5 (I'm currently on a 2.2 SR MBP), it never used that much. I've rebuilt the index already too - it still uses a ton of memory. Or at least more than I'd like. Anyone have any clues as to why it's using so much? Do any of you also experience this?
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,250
0
/dev/null
While, sadly, I have no answer for you...my 2.4 SR MBP's mds process is currently using around 8MB of real memory. So I would say that yours is definitely not behaving correctly!
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
If you hadn't restarted since the index or if you have added a large amount of files since the last restart, then I wouldn't be surprised. If it happens straight after a restart with no changes to the amount of files on the machine or the folders/drives being indexed, then you should be a little more concerned. In other words, restart and tell us how it goes. :)
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Thanks guys. Well, I restarted and it was back down to around 6-8mb of real memory for a while. So I opened iChat, Camino, iTunes and Mail and started browsing for a bit. I checked Activity Monitor again after about 5 minutes it was up to 133mb! I have no idea what to do.
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
It's using 0.0% of the CPU, 8 threads, and about 131MB of real memory. It takes a little while for it to shoot up to 131MB, but it always stays around that point.
 
Comment

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
How much real memory do you have? Is it possible that, since you have adequate memory, it's just chewing up some of what's available to speed itself up? The program is responsible for indexing but also for searching, right?
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
How much real memory do you have? Is it possible that, since you have adequate memory, it's just chewing up some of what's available to speed itself up? The program is responsible for indexing but also for searching, right?
It's possible, I guess, but I haven't even been using Spotlight to search for things recently. Nor have I been adding a lot of files. I have the standard 2GB of RAM in my Macbook Pro. But I'm not sure that's what's causing it, because my old G5 had 1.5GB of RAM and the mds process never got that high (not that I can remember at any rate).
 
Comment

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
You might try a little overhaul -- verify the disk and make sure everything is kosher, and then force spotlight to re-index everything, and see if RAM usage improves?
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Thanks for your help, but it didn't work :-(. The disk was fine and rebuilding the index and restarting didn't help.
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Heh, I don't think I even have one smart folder on my drive. Until I can find what might be the problem, I've disabled Spotlight indexing.
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
I wonder if Smart Playlists in iTunes are also attached to that process. I reckon they might be... I know Smart Albums are, in iPhoto. Are either of these relevant? :)
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
I wonder if Smart Playlists in iTunes are also attached to that process. I reckon they might be... I know Smart Albums are, in iPhoto. Are either of these relevant? :)

Ooh, interesting idea! I'll check that out, although the only smart playlists I have are the default Apple lists.
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Yeah, I've got a few of them too but don't get nearly that level of RAM usage. Are you sure you don't have a complicated Smart Folder laying about the place somewhere? :)
 
Comment

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Is there actually a problem?

If you didn't know spotlight is using so much memory, would it actually be affecting you in any way?

Unless you're hitting memory errors and/or being slowed down by vigorous paging, don't be concerned. I certainly wouldn't ditch the excellence of spotlight searching unless you're feeling the impact of this anomaly somehow.

Sometimes I think we could all benefit from having no access to temperature readouts, process tables and other system details at all! ;)
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Well, it's more like I don't like it when something on my system is acting abnormally compared with most other users. Sure, if I don't have a lot of things open, it doesn't present much of a problem. But if I start opening more and more things (especially bloatware like Skype, Eclipse and Painter X, etc etc) then it's a problem.
Mostly, however, I'm just really curious as to WHY it's taking up so much space ! It just bugs me that I can't figure it out ;-P

Anyway, back to the question at hand. Do you guys think it could be the automatic logging of iChat transcripts and/or Chax? When I reenabled Spotlight a while ago, it was pretty stable below 10mb of usage so I didn't look at for a while, but then I started chatting and happened to to check activity monitor and it shot up. Of course, it could've been something else because I wasn't monitoring it while chatting. But I'll run some more tests on that.
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
I don't use either of them terribly often. What else was running? Sorry to say it, but it might be a case of trial and error to find the culprit. Start with third party apps.
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Hmm, let's see... I think I was running iChat(w/Chax), Camino, Mail, iTunes, and Activity Monitor. Oh and I think TextEdit too. Yeah, I know it'll take a while to figure it out, but I'm determined ;-P.
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Definitely start with Chax. Restarting will reset your RAM so as annoying as it is, maybe restart now and start doing similar things with your machine, minus Chax this time. Hopefully we'll get there soon! :)
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Yeah, I'll try that in a few. I've quit the mds process and it's down to 5mb of usage. I'll start messing around with Chax. Thanks for sticking around ;-P


edit:
H'Okay... Well, I was just typing in iChat, with Camino, Mail, iTunes, Activity Monitor and the Console open and it suddenly jumped up to 130. Hm.
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Hmmm, I'd hate to speak too soon - but I MAY have narrowed it down a bit. I put my whole user directory into the Spotlight privacy tab so it won't try to index it. I quit the process and so far so good, it's been about 15min and memory usage hasn't shot up. Of course, that's most likely due to the fact that more than 50% of my HD is in that directory, but still ;-P. I'll continue to try and narrow it from there and let you guys know.
 
Comment

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Err, I don't really think that narrows it down all that much. :D

It could possibly be a certain file that keeps getting stuck and hasn't been indexed properly. Remove your Home folder from the Privacy tab and over the next few days add components of the account until you hopefully find the culprit. Add and remove one section at a time, such as pictures, movies, music, documents etc. Hopefully this'll get us closer to the answer. :)
 
Comment

bonecandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2006
42
0
Right, well, that's what I meant by narrowing it down ;-P. It'll take quite a while but at least I have somewhat of a lead.
 
Comment

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,316
0
sunny los angeles
i fail to see why you should be concerned about spotlight's memory usage increasing. I regularly see safari blow past 2gb of virtual memory and don't really care..

In any case, I'll bet my money on ~/Library/App Support or ~/Library in general. Maybe ~/Music or ~/Documents based on what you're doing.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.