WindowServer in Panther

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I was checking my activiy monitor, and a program called WindowServer is taking up tons of my RAM. can i turn off something to make this go away?


  • Reply 1 of 2
    Only by closing windows and quitting applications.

    Did you forget the last time you posted this question?

    activity monitor question

    Here's a copy of what I had posted in that thread:



    Originally posted by Paul

    what does it do? not a clue... but whenever it crashes you are forced to "log out" and all your open applications will be quit without any warning... it will be like you restarted your computer (if you have auto-login on)...

    WindowServer does exactly what it sounds like it does. It's the "server" to all the "windows" for the GUI. It is, in a sense, the GUI itself and the parent to all of your GUI-driven applications. That's why when you crash/kill it, you are logged out. Your applications can not run without it.

    From Apple:

    window server: A system-wide process that is responsible for rudimentary screen displays, window compositing and management, event routing, and cursor management. It coordinates low-level windowing behavior and enforces a fundamental uniformity in what appears on the screen.

    The memory that the WindowServer uses is directly proportional to the number and size of the windows you have open. Something to keep in mind is that Mac OS X double-buffers all windows in Quartz. The size is reduced greatly by using compression (the LZW compression, if I recall) but it will still gobble up lots of memory. This is the biggest reason why people say 512 MB is a good minimum amount of RAM to have for users who multitask much in Mac OS X.

    There's a good article by John Siracusa of ArsTechnica fame explaining the memory usage in Mac OS X, including the window server. When reading, keep in mind that the article was written for 10.1 and that compression *is* enabled in 10.2 and 10.3.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    well i did hit my head pretty hard on the ground while i was snowboarding the other day....
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