gam_server, Solaris and high CPU load

Since upgrading to s11b83a I noticed that gam_server processes eat significant amount of CPU cycles. So I decided to make some investigations.

# uname -a
SunOS xeon 5.11 snv_83 i86pc i386 i86pc
# pkginfo -l SUNWgamin
NAME: Library providing the FAM File Alteration Monitor API
CATEGORY: GNOME2,application,JDS4
ARCH: i386
. . .
# fgrep SUNWgamin /var/sadm/install/contents
/usr/lib/gam_server f …
/usr/lib/ s …
/usr/lib/ s …
/usr/lib/ f …
/usr/lib/ s …
/usr/lib/ s …
/usr/lib/ f …
/usr/lib/python2.4/vendor-packages/ f …
/usr/lib/python2.4/vendor-packages/ f …

No manuals, no config files.

# strings /usr/lib/gam_server
. . .

From Gamin project page:

Gamin is a file and directory monitoring system defined to be a subset of the FAM (File Alteration Monitor) system. This is a service provided by a library which allows to detect when a file or a directory has been modified.

This is the description of the config file: Gamin config

Now, how to fix the problem

  1. Create /etc/gamin directory:
    # mkdir /etc/gamin
  2. Create file /etc/gamin/gaminrc. It may contain the following lines (this is just an example, you can set your own polling intervals):
    fsset nfs poll 15
    fsset ufs poll 15
    fsset lofs poll 15
    fsset zfs poll 15
  3. Restart gam_server (let me know if there is a better way):
    # pkill gam_server; rm -rf /tmp/gam_*

Voila! That should be done in all zones.

Update 2008-07-07 @00:06:24: i did not see this behaviour in snv_92. However, do not install snv_92 because of otehr bugs. Try snv_93.

4 thoughts on “gam_server, Solaris and high CPU load”

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve posted a link and the same procedure on my blog. I’d recommend the following minor changes for opensolaris 2008.05:

    Step 2 should have the following additional line:
    fsset zfs poll 15

    Step 3 is more graceful if you don’t kill -9 and kill gam_server instead of fam_server:

    pkill gam_server;rm -rf /tmp/gam_*

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