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Re: ncurses: tgetent leaks nearly 10 KB of memory every time it is calle

From: Thomas Dickey
Subject: Re: ncurses: tgetent leaks nearly 10 KB of memory every time it is called
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 19:43:22 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 15 Jun 2006, Matt wrote:

GNU screen calls tgetent twice every time a user reattaches to a
screen session. I don't know why it does that, but due to the
memory leak in ncurses version 5.2-20020615, which is what ships
with FreeBSD as the standard curses/terminfo library, GNU screen
leaks 20 KB per session reattachment.

ok.  So it's annoying, but not really hundreds of times (usually)

Many users on my system start a screen session and run processes
inside it for months or years, so these leaks add up quick. In the
past six months, my screen session has grown from 6 MB to 83 MB
(I tend to detach and reattach several times a day). My system ran
out of swap space a while back primarily due to this leak.

oh - I would do that on dayjob stuff, but my home machines get rebooted according to whatever I'm working on.

So, since it's such a pain to upgrade ncurses on FreeBSD (they have
FreeBSD-specific hacks that I don't want to dig into), I'm hacking
a simple tgetent cache into my copy of GNU screen, since those
tgetent calls are just getting the same answer every time. I suspect
it will be at least a year before the FreeBSD folks make a new
release that incorporates ncurses 5.5; until then this hack will
get me by.

I tried installing the FreeBSD port of ncurses 5.5 and linking GNU
screen with that, but it doesn't work right -- it needs the
FreeBSD-specific hacks that have been made to the ncurses build
that the base system uses. It sure would be nice if those hacks

I pointed out to someone working on the ncurses port recently that most (if not all) of it can be done simply by using ncurses' configure script

         --enable-termcap \
         --disable-database \

That was enough for the port, which I see here is the same as the base system:


weren't necessary, so I could just drop in the new version of ncurses
and enjoy. Maybe the hacks are for some kind of BSD backward
compatibility? Backward being the key word there. :)

not really compatibility - it's just politics (let's not go there)

Thomas E. Dickey

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