My system has 32GB RAM. I'm running Gentoo Linux and using GIMP 2.9 updated very recently.

I opened five or six large (1 to 2 GB each) XCF files and then closed all but one of the files (not having an image browser that can produce a thumbnail for GIMP 2.9 XCF files, I was trying to figure out which file was which).

After closing all but one of the files, GIMP was still using 27GB virtual/25GB resident, and 79% of total RAM. I tried to decompose a layer in the single remaining open file and got the following two error messages:

Unable to run plug-in "decompose"

Failed to fork (Cannot allocate memory)
Execution error for 'Decompose':
Failed to run plug-in "decompose"

Closing GIMP and then restarting and reopening just the one file resulted in much less RAM usage, and there was no problem with decomposing the layer.

There are several RAM-related open bug reports, but all of them seem to be about Windows and/or GIMP 2.8.

Tying up all that memory means other applications sometimes don't have enough temp space to function properly. For example I repeated the "open a bunch of XCF files and close all but one" procedure to verify that it really is a reproducible problem, and Thunderbird couldn't save a copy of this email as a draft message.

I think maybe GIMP (and/or GEGL?) really isn't releasing RAM when it should. But maybe also I have some incompatible settings:

1. In System Resources in GIMP Preferences, I have the tile cache size set to 15GB - too much?

2. I allocated 12GB as a dynamically expanding tmp file in fstab (tmpfs /tmp tmpfs noatime,nodiratime,size=12G 0 0).

3. I use the following lines to start GIMP:
export GEGL_SWAP

Are the above three settings for RAM usage perhaps in conflict with one another?


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