The cause of the lag bursts on Continuum has been determined.

netrekd sees a memory leak.  It was at 28Mb or so today, and restarting
it solved the lag burst on login of new players.  Karthik and I isolated
this by noting that the lag burst happened on multiple connections to
either the player list port (2591) or the standard ship port (2592) but
not to connections to the metaserver.

Watching "top" on continuum when Karthik sent ten connection requests
showed netrekd at 99% CPU utilisation.  Restarting netrekd removed the
problem altogether; it never appeared in "top".

Karthik uses the same netrekd on his servers, and it is not leaking.
His servers are Intel, and Continuum is Sparc.

There are no significant malloc/free heap consumption code within the
netrekd code we are using.  So the problem is probably related to the
Sparc Linux libraries or kernel.

Workaround is to restart netrekd periodically.  This is relatively
harmless, now that the rest of the server processes do not need to be

I have a core dump of netrekd's 28Mb instance, but I don't know how to
proceed to determine the ownership of virtual memory.

James Cameron    mailto:quozl at