Ticket #7414 (closed defect: obsolete)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 18 months ago

vboxservice memory usage keeps growing

Reported by: pmikep Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 3.2.10 Keywords:
Cc: Guest type: Windows
Host type: Windows

Description (last modified by aeichner) (diff)

vboxservice keeps growing in memory footprint with time. It normally starts out at something like 22KB, but can grow into the hundreds of K until I reboot the virtual machine.

IIRC, it was stable in vbox 3.1.4 and would hold at 22K forever running the exact same guest on the exact same host.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by harmscon

I have the same problem. VBoxService.exe has a current Mem Usage of 365,336 K as reported by task manager.

VirtualBox: 3.2.8-64453~Debian~lenny Host: Debian Lenny amd64 Guest: WinXP 32-bit (uptime 20 days 16 hours)

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by pmikep

vboxservice memory usage still grows in vbox 3.2.10, although perhaps not as quickly as it did with 3.2.8.

Interestingly, in a virtual machine running MicroXP (an unofficial stripped down version of XP) on the same host, vboxservice footprint is very small (4KB) and stays low.

comment:3 Changed 7 years ago by frank

  • Version changed from VirtualBox 3.2.8 to VirtualBox 3.2.10

pmikep, which amount of memory you are talking about here? The VBoxService process of VBox 3.2.10 has some more features than the process of VBox 3.1.4. You can even find out which of the services is responsible for the growing memory usage by searching for the registry entry where VBoxService is started and by appending one or more of the following parameters:

  • --disable-memballoon
  • --disable-vminfo
  • --disable-vmstats
  • --diasble-control
  • --disable-cpuhotplug
  • --disable-timesync

Make sure to restart your guest to get the change in effect.

comment:4 Changed 7 years ago by pmikep

Sorry I haven't seen this latest entry.

Frank, you're going to have to take me by the hand here.

When you say "searching the registry," I presume you mean the Windows registry in my W2K guest? I searched for "Vboxservice" in regedit and find a few entries, but none that appear to obviously start the service. Besides, I would need to know what kind of key to add to the registry.

I googled for memballoon and found one hit in a ubuntu forum, but I'm running XP as a host. So did you mean instead that I should start the guest using one of your disable modified vbox command? If so, I don't see a place in the GUI to add special switches.

I'm willing to collect the data for the growing memory problem, but you may have to spell it out for me more.

Sorry to be such a newbie.

comment:5 Changed 7 years ago by pmikep

I'm not sure if this is the correct procedure, but I opened a command window, and, with the VM running, typed

vboxmanage guestproperty set "name of my VM" "/VirtualBox/Guestadd/VboxService/--disable-memballon"

I did the same for vminfo, vmstats, control, cpuhotplug and timesync.

After doing that, VBoxService still grows with time, but at a very reduced rate.

comment:6 Changed 7 years ago by frank

Nice, but this information is not very helpful because it is not clear which of the services is responsible for the grow. So if you are interested in this information you should disable services separately and compare the results.

And, which amount of memory we are talking about? A few KBs are not worth to investigate, but if the service grows continuesly, this would be worth of course.

comment:7 Changed 7 years ago by pmikep

Hi Frank:

With all the processes disabled, vboxservice continues to grow, so it seems to me that there is some fundamental problem to fix before trying to gather data on which of the named processes is the worst offender.

Per harmscon's post above, if I let my VM run for a week or so, Vboxservice will grow into the hundreds of KB. It seems like it will grow without limit, so I restart my VM periodically.

comment:8 Changed 7 years ago by frank

Well, hundreds of KB is not a big amount. Also you cannot really trust the Windows process monitor in this regards.

comment:9 Changed 7 years ago by pmikep

I disabled vboxservice from starting in Windows guest using Autoruns as a work around.

comment:10 Changed 7 years ago by frank

What I wanted to say: I'm not convinced that this a bug at all.

comment:11 Changed 7 years ago by frank

I saw your  posting in the forum and you said there that you were not able to disable certain parts of VBoxService. Just start regedit in the guest and search for the string VBoxService.exe. You will find several occurrences of system32/VBoxService.exe. Change the first of these values and attach the corresponding --disable switch like I told you above. This way try to find out which of these service is responsible for the memory leak.

comment:12 Changed 18 months ago by aeichner

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to obsolete
  • Description modified (diff)

Please reopen if still relevant with a recent VirtualBox release.

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