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How do I fix the error "Cannot allocate colormap entry "?

djc2
djc2 asked
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
I am running Linux 2.0.30 (Redhat 4.2) with the Diamond Stealth Video 3D 2200 (2MB RAM) video card. When I have a few applications running, including netscape, and 7 tkgoodstuff icons, I often get the error "Cannot allocate colormap entry <colorname>" if I try to start a new application. For example, if I try to start emacs with a green background, it gives me a couple of colormap error messages, and then fires up with a gray background.

Is there any software fix to this?

Thanks.
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Commented:
This is Netscape striking again! Try starting Netscape like this:

netscape -install

this reserves a color map for netscape. unfortunately it makes the screen blink when you go in and out of the Netscape window.

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Commented:
I tried netscape -install, but that messed up the colors even worse. It did more than make the screen blink. The netscape window colors themselves were messed up, as were the colors of pretty much anything else on the screen. Do I have any other options? I've never run into this before on other linux machines with different video cards. Did I choose a bad video card?
Thanks

Commented:
No, I am not aware of any other options, I think you should try to isolate the problem, for me it looks like the culprit is Nestcape, but what about if you don't use Netscape? How do the other applications work?
I don't think there is anything wrong with your card, I believe is an unfortunate combination of greedy programs that want all the colors for themselves.
This is not a Netscape problem.

The X server has a colormap. Any application now may use the predefined colors in this map, or may use a private map (-install option to netscape). If an application grabs colors in this colormap and following applications would do again and again, the X server complains "Cannot allocate ...". I.g. the application then switches to black/white model (better than nothing :-).

A workaround for applications is to use a private colormap. This must be done by the application. Unfortunately this results in blinking, flashing colors when changing the focus to an other application, but the application having the focus, should have its own, right, colors.

To avoid the problem you must either remove the programs which
grab "too much" colors in the X servers colormap, or force them to use their private colormap (if possible).
AFAIK there is no tool to get information about the colormap in the way:  which application uses which color. (tell me if you find one:-).


Author

Commented:
Give 110 points to ahoffman, whose answer was better (B), but I already offered 150 to jlm.

Commented:
I agree ahoffmann's answer was much better than mine, unfortunately you should have rejected my answer if it was not satisfactory, nobody will take insult for an unaccepted answer!
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