Subject: Package System Question, Top Memory Leak
To: Current Users <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Mason Loring Bliss <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/08/1997 16:04:01
I've been seeing various and sundry messages about a stunningly neat
packages system for NetBSD, which does wondrous things like automatically
ftping, compiling, and installing random packages at the drop of a key.

How does this work? I'm running 1.3_ALPHA/mac68k, and my /usr/pkg and
/usr/pkgsrc directories are sadly barren. `apropos package` gives me, among
other things:

pkg_add (1) - a utility for installing software package distributions

This looks like what I want, except that it looks like I have to
specifically point it to a URL, which doesn't seem as magickal as telling
it what I want and having it look around for me. Is there an index of
available packages somewhere? I'll look through the FreeBSD FTP site, I

Part of why I want to get this going is this: I want to install a new top.
The one I've got (Top version 3.5beta5) leaks memory like it's going out of
style. The previous version I'd used (3.4?) was pretty stable, and ran for
days and days without hogging massive amounts of RAM. When "The Great Swap
Change" came about, my old top broke, and I compiled and installed the new
one, with the necessary patches to support the new NetBSD. After several
hours, top starts to consume more and more memory. After a day or so, it
climbs up above one megabyte. This never happened with the older version.
(Also, when I was running 1.2.1 on an old 486, I ran top without any
leakage. That was also the older version.)

I seem to remember someone in the past suggesting that someone else use GNU
malloc instead of the NetBSD malloc, since ours was potentially leaky or
something. Is this still advised? If so, how do I specify which malloc to
use? Does it seem likely that the leakage I'm seeing is a result of a funky
malloc, or is it a design flaw in top 3.5b5? (I'd suspect the latter, as I
was using the standard malloc, IIRC, with the older top.)

Thanks in advance for the help!

Mason Loring
"In the drowsy dark cave of the mind dreams build their nest with fragments
 dropped from day's caravan."--Rabindranath Tagore...awake ? sleep : dream;