Fresh install of ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit) with 3.6GB of RAM. Installed only dropbox (from .deb) after system update. Initial sync uses all of my RAM and Swap. Dropbox is using LAN sync to pull of another local machine.
Why is dropbox running away with my RAM?
I'm having this problem too when LAN syncing large files to my Linux machine (running Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS 64-bit). Do you have any large files (bigger than your RAM+swap) in your Dropbox by any chance Travis?
I tried monitoring the memory usage (using "watch -n 1 -d free") and the Dropbox status (using "dropbox.py status") at the same time, and the memory usage seems to increase at the rate of the LAN Sync transfer, so it looks very much like when using LAN Sync Dropbox is trying to store the whole incoming file in memory at once. I presume that's a bug. It doesn't use memory like that when syncing a file normally from the Dropbox servers.
It happens with at least Windows 10 as the source of the LAN Sync and I'm on version 3.12.5 on both machines. I think this is a fairly recent problem (like in the last few months) because I've LAN Synced very large files (~30GiB) to this system without issue before. Just in case this is of any use to anyone else, now I'm working around the problem by using Samba to copy the files across to the Linux machine manually and moving them to the correct place under the Dropbox folder. Dropbox then indexes them fine without using excessive memory or having to download them from the internet.
I've just LAN Synced a 4GiB file to my Linux machine (this time from OS and I watched the memory usage again and it used up ~4GiB of memory and swap. Interestingly this time the file was small enough that the transfer was able to complete without exhausting all the memory and swap, but when it had finished Dropbox was still using ~4GiB of memory, so this looks like just a good old-fashioned memory leak when LAN Syncing to Linux. Stopping Dropbox released all the memory and when I restarted it, it was using a much more reasonable amount.
Just built a Debian 8.3.0 machine with dropbox 3.14.7 and 8GB memory. It suffers from memory leak which uses all memory and required regular restarting of dropbox over several days to complete 'initial' file transfer. Source Debian machine for initial 'LAN' transfer also regularly died. I have several 30GB - 50GB PC backup files in my dropbox total of 400GB. I now restart dropbox daily to control memory use as it never releases memory.
Thanks for that post Bob. It sounds very much like we're seeing the same problem doesn't it? And it's interesting that the source machine is dying too.
So it looks like there's a problem with Dropbox leaking memory on Linux (and only on Linux) whenever it's doing LAN syncing. Can someone from Dropbox escalate this to a bug please?
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