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bug#27498: 25.2; Memory leak in M-x shell

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: bug#27498: 25.2; Memory leak in M-x shell
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:04:41 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.18; emacs 25.2.1

Emacs leaks memory as lines are printed in a shell buffer.  Here is a

    emacs -Q
    M-x shell
    yes "This should not leak, but it does."

Observe the memory usage grow in a tool like “top”.  Once you decide
that Emacs has eaten enough memory, kill the shell buffer.  Note that
memory is not released.

This is a problem for me because I often compile software in shell
buffers (via “guix build”).  The compilation processes often print out
very large amounts of text and Emacs quickly eats up all memory on my
machine, freezing it.  I can only recover from this by killing Emacs
(which is terrible, because I live in Emacs).

This has not been a problem in Emacs 24.x; I’m also pretty confident
that this was no problem in version 25.1.


GPG: BCA6 89B6 3655 3801 C3C6  2150 197A 5888 235F ACAC

In GNU Emacs 25.2.1 (x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.22.12)
 of 2017-04-24 built on localhost
Windowing system distributor 'The X.Org Foundation', version 11.0.11903000
Configured using:

Configured features:

Important settings:
  value of $LANG: en_US.utf8
  value of $XMODIFIERS: @im=ibus
  locale-coding-system: utf-8-unix

Major mode: mu4e:compose

Minor modes in effect:
  magit-auto-revert-mode: t
  global-git-commit-mode: t
  async-bytecomp-package-mode: t
  mml-mode: t
  erc-track-mode: t
  erc-track-minor-mode: t
  erc-ring-mode: t
  erc-networks-mode: t
  erc-netsplit-mode: t
  erc-menu-mode: t
  erc-list-mode: t
  erc-pcomplete-mode: t
  erc-button-mode: t
  erc-fill-mode: t
  erc-stamp-mode: t
  erc-autojoin-mode: t
  erc-autoaway-mode: t
  erc-smiley-mode: t
  erc-irccontrols-mode: t
  erc-noncommands-mode: t
  erc-move-to-prompt-mode: t
  erc-readonly-mode: t
  typo-mode: t
  TeX-PDF-mode: t
  guide-key-mode: t
  diff-auto-refine-mode: t
  pdf-occur-global-minor-mode: t
  savehist-mode: t
  global-undo-tree-mode: t
  undo-tree-mode: t
  delete-selection-mode: t
  desktop-save-mode: t
  display-time-mode: t
  projectile-global-mode: t
  projectile-mode: t
  ido-ubiquitous-mode: t
  ido-vertical-mode: t
  global-paren-face-mode: t
  global-guix-prettify-mode: t
  guix-prettify-mode: t
  shell-switcher-mode: t
  shell-dirtrack-mode: t
  show-paren-mode: t
  save-place-mode: t
  global-eldoc-mode: t
  electric-indent-mode: t
  global-prettify-symbols-mode: t
  file-name-shadow-mode: t
  global-font-lock-mode: t
  font-lock-mode: t
  blink-cursor-mode: t
  auto-composition-mode: t
  auto-encryption-mode: t
  auto-compression-mode: t
  column-number-mode: t
  line-number-mode: t
  auto-fill-function: message-do-auto-fill
  transient-mark-mode: t
  abbrev-mode: t

Recent messages:
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Memory information:
((conses 16 5498967 500617)
 (symbols 48 81951 0)
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 (string-bytes 1 12956536)
 (vectors 16 105509)
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 (buffers 976 129))

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