Failed to establish shared memory mapping

Martin van Es mrvanes at
Thu Nov 19 15:13:49 GMT 2015

Solved the problem by recreating my home folder and only copying documents,
.kde .config and .local back from old home. Guess the offending shm config
was somewhere hidden in old configuration file that I can't possibly

On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 3:09 PM, Martin van Es <mrvanes at> wrote:

> Hi Duncan,
> I just discovered that a newly created account doesn't suffer from this
> warning. So what option in my carefully crafted (kde) configuration could
> be responsible for plasma/kde not being able to initialize shared memory?
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 8:43 AM, Martin van Es <mrvanes at> wrote:
>> Hi Duncan,
>> Thx for your lengthy answer.
>> I'm using Kubuntu Wily with custom built kernel 4.3.0 (but the same
>> happens when booting the ubuntu kernel).
>> I don't use apparmor and selinux is disabled according to getenforce.
>> I use kubuntu-backports repository, so as for versions, I'm at plasma
>> 5.4.3, framework 5.15 and apps 15.08.2
>> Best regards,
>> Martin
>> On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 2:31 AM, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan at> wrote:
>>> Martin van Es posted on Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:50:35 +0100 as excerpted:
>>> > Hi,
>>> >
>>> > I've searched high and low but couldn't find a satisfactory answer to
>>> > the question: why do all KDE/Plasma apps warn "Failed to establish
>>> > shared memory mapping, will fallback to private memory -- memory usage
>>> > will increase"?
>>> >
>>> > I have /dev/shm mounted (tmpfs) and /dev/shm has drwxrwxrwt mode bits,
>>> > /run/shm is a symbolic link to /dev/shm
>>> >
>>> > What I find curious is that when I start the same app as root it
>>> doesn't
>>> > show the warning, but I can't for the life of me understand why I can't
>>> > establish shared memory as a user and can as root?
>>> >
>>> > /dev/shm contains file that have pulse-shm in their name, and ipcs -a
>>> > shows me many shared memory segments?
>>> > So why can't KDE apps establish shared memory?
>>> This /may/ be a result of some sort of security measures your distro has
>>> setup.  Unfortunately you didn't mention the distro and version you're
>>> running, but I've not seen such warnings here, on Gentoo/~amd64.
>>> Also, you didn't mention what version of kde/plasma.  With many distros
>>> switching to kde-frameworks-5 and plasma-5, while others are still on
>>> kde4, and even where the switch to 5 has taken place, individual apps may
>>> remain kde4 based for the time being, this could be important, as well.
>>> FWIW, kde4 here, tho I have most of a minimal kde-frameworks-5/plasma-5
>>> installed for easier testing, lacking only the few bits that can't be
>>> installed along with the kde4 versions, so I can keep what's configured
>>> and working, while quickly switching to the new versions for testing when
>>> I have time.
>>> As for the warning itself, I don't believe it actually refers to shm.
>>> KDE (at least kde4, and kde3 before it, and I'd guess plasma5 does
>>> something similar) normally starts up using a special initialization
>>> sequence that starts one process and then forks several others off it,
>>> doing it in such a way that they can share the same library (elf *.so
>>> shared objects) address space, etc, thus allowing shared libraries with
>>> faster launching and lower memory usage, even where security measures
>>> such as memory-space randomization would normally force separate
>>> applications to use their own separately randomized library addresses for
>>> the same libraries, making it impossible to share the same library
>>> address space and increasing memory usage.
>>> I'd guess that this isn't working in your case for whatever reason, very
>>> possibly due to additional security measures taken by your distro.  If
>>> so, it really doesn't have anything to do with tmpfs or /dev/shm and its
>>> permissions, but rather, with whatever additional security measures your
>>> distro is enforcing.
>>> --
>>> Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
>>> "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
>>> and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman
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>> --
>> If 'but' was any useful, it would be a logic operator
> --
> If 'but' was any useful, it would be a logic operator

If 'but' was any useful, it would be a logic operator
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