7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2008 3:04 PM by Anton Rang
Jim Mauro Level 2 Level 2
The quicklookd deamon is spawning unzip processes continuously.
Periodically, I can not start an app, or even to an ls(1) is a terminal
window - fork: resource unavailable.
After some digging, I discovered my process table was full of
unzip processes (all in the Zombie state) that were created by quicklookd.

If I kill quicklookd, all the unzips go away as well. But it seems launchd
will eventually restart quicklookd, and before long I'm back to a full
process table and an almost unusable Mac. This is 10.5.5 on a MacBook Pro.

Looks like a bug to me. Is there any way I can tell launchd to not spawn
quiklookd, or is there a fix for this?


MacBook Pro 2.33Ghz 15.4", Mac OS X (10.5.5), 3GB RAM, 200GB HD, LaCie 250GB + 500GB External
  • Allan Eckert Level 9 Level 9
    Hi Jim Mauro;

    I just checked this out on my MBP and I don't have anything like that happening on mine. I suspect it is something that is particular to your system.

    What other software are you running?

  • iBrian Level 4 Level 4
    quicklookd is likely trying to create a preview thumbnail for a specific file and is running amok.
    can you figure out which file? take it off the system?
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6
    Try creating a new user and see if it stops when logged in as the new user.
  • Jim Mauro Level 2 Level 2
    Thanks - I should add that this started happening fairly recently.
    As far as the software I'm running, nothing unusual (I don't think) -
    Thunderbird, FireFox, VMware Fusion (Solaris as a guest OS), Safari,
    Term.app, Adobe for PDF viewing, StarOffice 9 Beta, iTunes....

    The only time correlation I can make is loading and using StarOffice 9 Beta.
    It seems to have started around when I started using StarOffice 9 Beta bits.
    I can't really correlate using SO9 to quicklookd forking all these unzip processes.

    I'm waiting for it to happen again, in the hopes I can learn more with DTrace.

    I still say it's a quicklookd bug at this point. I can't think of any good reason
    why quicklookd should be fork'ing unzip's continuously, and not cleaning them up.

  • Jim Mauro Level 2 Level 2
    I found this in console messages;

    11/10/08 Nov 10, 08 5:04:45 PM com.apple.quicklook[3912] error [/Users/mauroj/Solaris/DTrace/dtrace_allhands.sxi]: missing 1 bytes in zipfile

    I removed the file. We'll see what happens.

    Even if quicklookd encounters a borked file, it should deal with this more gracefully
    than, say, wedging your machine by consuming all the process table slots!

    Thanks for your interest.

  • bastion Level 1 Level 1
    Jim Mauro wrote:
    Even if quicklookd encounters a borked file, it should deal with this more gracefully
    than, say, wedging your machine by consuming all the process table slots!

    In the abstract, that's certainly true. The problem is that quicklookd itself doesn't create the previews; it relies on little code plugins to do the heavy lifting for it. IIRC, there's no component for previewing zip files as part of the stock OS install which means it's 3rd-party code that you installed that's probably failing.
  • Anton Rang Level 1 Level 1
    That would be, in this case, the StarOffice preview component. StarOffice files are ZIP archives. Sounds like the StarOffice preview is forking a zip process and not properly cleaning up in all cases.