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MacOS Monterey performance issues, bug found and fix identified

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I've been having a range of issues on my M1 Mac Mini since upgrading from Big Sur to Monterey. One was severe, caused by the new feature 'Virtual Private Relay'.

Though that was resolved by turning the feature off, I've still been plagued by severe lag. In fact, it goes way beyond lag and can't be blamed on the viewers (it is affecting the official Linden viewer, Firestorm and Catznip, and as you'll see probably any and all others as well). What happens is that the viewer starts to take more and more memory, indicating a memory leak somewhere, and then the dreaded Kernel_task kicks in. This is part of the operating system, designed to protect the hardware from excessive load. But it effectively freezes the viewer and you find that you can't type, teleport, walk, sit - do anything. The best and often only way out is to quit the viewer. It's much worse in busy sims, as you would expect.

I've finally come across some information which points to a fix, and it is working so far for me: https://eclecticlight.co/2021/11/15/montereys-memory-leak-and-how-to-avoid-it/

The post explains how a new feature in Monterey - the ability to resize, recolour and customise the mouse pointer (sometimes referred to as the 'cursor') - is creating memory leaks especially in apps where you frequently shift back and forth between the pointer function / icon and the text insertion function / icon. Browsers, for example. Or SL viewers. We're doing this ALL the time. Wave the pointer around and it changes to the hand icon and back to the arrow again and again and again. No wonder I was having issues!

This may not affect you at all. If you haven't customised the pointer, you're fine. Just remember not to do so until the bug is squashed.

Here's the fix, from that website:



The workaround is simple: open the Accessibility pane, select Display at the left, then the Pointer tab. Set the Pointer size there to Normal, and click on the Reset button to undo any colour customisation.

Once you have done that, quit all open apps and at least log out as the user. To be certain, a restart is recommended. No further memory leak from this cause should then occur.


You can keep an eye on the kernel_task using Activity Monitor (a built-in tool) or 3rd party tools such as iStat, which comes with a handy menu bar thingy, so you can keep track of things while in full-screen mode. Basically, as a rule of thumb, if the kernel_task is using more CPU resources than your viewer, then you're in trouble and likely to experience a freeze or complete lockdown.

Please pass this information on to other Mac users. For more on the virtual private relay issue, see this thread: https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/480358-macos-viewer-issues/#comment-2386374


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