Bug#974186: /usr/bin/gnome-software: gnome-software uses way too much memory

Timothy Allen st at thristian.org
Wed Nov 11 05:12:30 GMT 2020

Package: gnome-software
Version: 3.38.0-2
Severity: important
File: /usr/bin/gnome-software

Dear Maintainer,

Thank you for working on keeping GNOME packages up-to-date in Debian, and thank
you in particular for packaging GNOME Software, which makes it easy to keep on
top of package updates, especially for Testing where they happen regularly.

I have a low-end laptop with 2GB of RAM, and I usually run GNOME 3 because it's
highly polished and light-weight enough that I can still run a browser and a
few terminals to get work done. The one exception is gnome-software, which
frequently claims 15% or more of my RAM whenever it checks for updates. Right
now, it's sitting at ~18%, or 335MB resident — that may not be much on other
computers, but for my little laptop it's often enough to get my browser OOM-
killed while I'm in the middle of something.

Is there some way I can make GNOME Software stop checking for updates, or at
least stop holding (presumably) the entire package list in memory after the
update-check is complete?

From GNOME Software's hamburger menu, I picked "Update Preferences" and
disabled "Automatic Updates" and "Automatic Update Notifications", but that
doesn't seem to stop it from checking for updates (what seems like) every time
I wake my laptop up.

I also went into the "Software & Updates" application, and set "Automatically
check for updates" to "Never". Still no change.

Previously, I've just sent the gnome-software process a SIGTERM and that
cleaned it up until the next time I logged in, but more recently it's been
automatically restarted.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: bullseye/sid
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (990, 'testing'), (500, 'unstable-debug'), (500, 'testing-debug'), (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Foreign Architectures: i386

Kernel: Linux 5.9.0-1-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU threads)
Locale: LANG=en_AU.utf8, LC_CTYPE=en_AU.utf8 (charmap=UTF-8), LANGUAGE=en_AU:en
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: systemd (via /run/systemd/system)
LSM: AppArmor: enabled

Versions of packages gnome-software depends on:
ii  appstream                                    0.12.11-1
ii  apt-config-icons                             0.12.11-1
ii  dconf-gsettings-backend [gsettings-backend]  0.38.0-1
ii  gnome-software-common                        3.38.0-2
ii  gsettings-desktop-schemas                    3.38.0-2
ii  libappstream-glib8                           0.7.17-1
ii  libatk1.0-0                                  2.36.0-2
ii  libc6                                        2.31-4
ii  libcairo2                                    1.16.0-4
ii  libfwupd2                                    1.4.6-2
ii  libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0                           2.40.0+dfsg-5
ii  libglib2.0-0                                 2.66.2-1
ii  libgspell-1-2                                1.8.4-1
ii  libgtk-3-0                                   3.24.23-2
ii  libgtk3-perl                                 0.037-1
ii  libgudev-1.0-0                               234-1
ii  libjson-glib-1.0-0                           1.6.0-1
ii  libmalcontent-0-0                            0.9.0-2
ii  libpackagekit-glib2-18                       1.2.1-1
ii  libpolkit-gobject-1-0                        0.105-29
ii  libsoup2.4-1                                 2.72.0-2
ii  libxmlb1                                     0.1.15-2
ii  packagekit                                   1.2.1-1
ii  software-properties-gtk            

Versions of packages gnome-software recommends:
ii  fwupd  1.4.6-2

Versions of packages gnome-software suggests:
pn  apt-config-icons-hidpi         <none>
pn  gnome-software-plugin-flatpak  <none>
pn  gnome-software-plugin-snap     <none>

-- no debconf information

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