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Old 07-29-2008, 01:13 PM
Leonard Smith
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

I've been using Ubuntu for about 1 1/2 years now, and I like the ease of
updates and upgrading. Since upgrading from Feisty to Gutsy, I have
encountered a problem with my laptop locking up due to a process seizing
100% of the CPU. I first noticed the issue while trying to setup VMWare
Player which worked great on Feisty. Whenever I had Firefox and VMWare
open at the same time my system locked up. I upgraded to Hardy and the
same problem surfaced. At first I thought it was Firefox and VMWare, but
I have noticed that compiz and evolution will take over at different
times.

Does anyone have any suggestions on tracking this thing down? I've tried
to find information on bugs, but I haven't had much luck.

Leonard Smith


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Old 07-29-2008, 05:20 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 08:13 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> Since upgrading from Feisty to Gutsy, I have
> encountered a problem with my laptop locking up due to a process seizing
> 100% of the CPU. I first noticed the issue while trying to setup VMWare
> Player which worked great on Feisty. Whenever I had Firefox and VMWare
> open at the same time my system locked up.

Interesting. Could it be RAM starvation? Firefox 2 tended to use lots of
RAM over time, and vmware does the same for principle reasons. How much
RAM do you have in the laptop, and how much of it did you assign to the
virtual machine(s)?

> I upgraded to Hardy and the
> same problem surfaced. At first I thought it was Firefox and VMWare, but
> I have noticed that compiz and evolution will take over at different
> times.

What does "take over" mean in this context?

> Does anyone have any suggestions on tracking this thing down? I've tried
> to find information on bugs, but I haven't had much luck.

I'm going to try to, but I make no promises


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Old 07-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Leonard Smith
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 19:20 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 08:13 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> > Since upgrading from Feisty to Gutsy, I have
> > encountered a problem with my laptop locking up due to a process seizing
> > 100% of the CPU. I first noticed the issue while trying to setup VMWare
> > Player which worked great on Feisty. Whenever I had Firefox and VMWare
> > open at the same time my system locked up.
>
> Interesting. Could it be RAM starvation? Firefox 2 tended to use lots of
> RAM over time, and vmware does the same for principle reasons. How much
> RAM do you have in the laptop, and how much of it did you assign to the
> virtual machine(s)?

I have 1.5GB of RAM and I usually give VMWare 256MB but no more than
512MB.

>
> > I upgraded to Hardy and the
> > same problem surfaced. At first I thought it was Firefox and VMWare, but
> > I have noticed that compiz and evolution will take over at different
> > times.
>
> What does "take over" mean in this context?

Nothing more than one of those processes consumes all of the CPU. If I
can restart the xserver I can get things back, or if I can get a
terminal I can shut it down. At times, I've had to reset the whole
computer.

>
> > Does anyone have any suggestions on tracking this thing down? I've tried
> > to find information on bugs, but I haven't had much luck.
>
> I'm going to try to, but I make no promises
>
>

Thank you. Anything is appreciated.

Leonard


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Old 07-29-2008, 06:48 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 12:54 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> I have 1.5GB of RAM and I usually give VMWare 256MB but no more than
> 512MB.

Hm, that seems not to be a problem then.

> > What does "take over" mean in this context?
>
> Nothing more than one of those processes consumes all of the CPU.

I see. So, to summarize for my understanding: firefox, vmware,
evolution, and compize will claim 100% CPU at different times? Do you
see any correlaton between those 4 incidents? I'm asking because in your
original mail you said that the 100% CPU usage happens "whenever" you
run firefox and vmware at the same time. So, I wonder if this is still
the case now that 2 other applications have joined into the issue.


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Old 07-29-2008, 07:01 PM
Leonard Smith
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 20:48 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 12:54 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> > I have 1.5GB of RAM and I usually give VMWare 256MB but no more than
> > 512MB.
>
> Hm, that seems not to be a problem then.
>
> > > What does "take over" mean in this context?
> >
> > Nothing more than one of those processes consumes all of the CPU.
>
> I see. So, to summarize for my understanding: firefox, vmware,
> evolution, and compize will claim 100% CPU at different times? Do you
> see any correlaton between those 4 incidents? I'm asking because in your
> original mail you said that the 100% CPU usage happens "whenever" you
> run firefox and vmware at the same time. So, I wonder if this is still
> the case now that 2 other applications have joined into the issue.
>

Yeah, let me clarify. I first noticed the problem with firefox and
vmware. I quit using vmware (as it was virtually unusable) and tried
virtualbox. Seemed fine, at first, but then started having the same
issue with it. Now I've noticed it happen anytime I have two or more
of these applications running at the same time.


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Old 07-29-2008, 07:49 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 14:01 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> Yeah, let me clarify.

Thanks

> I first noticed the problem with firefox and
> vmware. I quit using vmware (as it was virtually unusable) and tried
> virtualbox. Seemed fine, at first, but then started having the same
> issue with it. Now I've noticed it happen anytime I have two or more
> of these applications running at the same time.

Ok, I start to see the picture now.

Can you rule out completely that if you run any one of these program on
their own, the CPU issue does not occur?
Did you maybe test by first running each program without the others,
then running two of them in all possible pairings, and after that maybe
even three of them in the possible triplets?

I find it highly unlikely that arbitrary programs interact in such a
way, after all their address spaces are kept separate by the kernel.
IMHO the most likely culprit is one of the kernel modules. vmware has
one, your graphics driver module has one (since you run hardware
acceleration for compiz; if your card is not Intel, these drivers are
also proprietary, making them impossible to debug for kernel
developers). And Virtualbox also has one.

You could try reducing these module to the minimum: unload the vmware
module(s) and virtualbox module(s). Also, disable the proprietary driver
for X (if you use one. this is easiest done from menu System >
Administration > Hardware Drivers).

Then try to trigger the issue with one, two, three of the programs
running. I know it's a lot of work, but I have no idea how else to
systematically narrow it down.


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Old 07-31-2008, 01:19 PM
Leonard Smith
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 21:49 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 14:01 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> > Yeah, let me clarify.
>
> Thanks
>
> > I first noticed the problem with firefox and
> > vmware. I quit using vmware (as it was virtually unusable) and tried
> > virtualbox. Seemed fine, at first, but then started having the same
> > issue with it. Now I've noticed it happen anytime I have two or more
> > of these applications running at the same time.
>
> Ok, I start to see the picture now.
>
> Can you rule out completely that if you run any one of these program on
> their own, the CPU issue does not occur?
> Did you maybe test by first running each program without the others,
> then running two of them in all possible pairings, and after that maybe
> even three of them in the possible triplets?
>
> I find it highly unlikely that arbitrary programs interact in such a
> way, after all their address spaces are kept separate by the kernel.
> IMHO the most likely culprit is one of the kernel modules. vmware has
> one, your graphics driver module has one (since you run hardware
> acceleration for compiz; if your card is not Intel, these drivers are
> also proprietary, making them impossible to debug for kernel
> developers). And Virtualbox also has one.
>
> You could try reducing these module to the minimum: unload the vmware
> module(s) and virtualbox module(s). Also, disable the proprietary driver
> for X (if you use one. this is easiest done from menu System >
> Administration > Hardware Drivers).
>
> Then try to trigger the issue with one, two, three of the programs
> running. I know it's a lot of work, but I have no idea how else to
> systematically narrow it down.
>
>
Thanks, I haven't had time to much more, yet, because of work. Once I
get a bit I plan to work on it.

I also found this thread in the forums:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=768200&highlight=firefox+3
+hardy

It sounds a very similar to my experience. I'm reading through it for
hints, too.



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Old 07-31-2008, 10:22 PM
Leonard Smith
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 21:49 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 14:01 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> > Yeah, let me clarify.
>
> Thanks
>
> > I first noticed the problem with firefox and
> > vmware. I quit using vmware (as it was virtually unusable) and tried
> > virtualbox. Seemed fine, at first, but then started having the same
> > issue with it. Now I've noticed it happen anytime I have two or more
> > of these applications running at the same time.
>
> Ok, I start to see the picture now.
>
> Can you rule out completely that if you run any one of these program on
> their own, the CPU issue does not occur?
> Did you maybe test by first running each program without the others,
> then running two of them in all possible pairings, and after that maybe
> even three of them in the possible triplets?
>
> I find it highly unlikely that arbitrary programs interact in such a
> way, after all their address spaces are kept separate by the kernel.
> IMHO the most likely culprit is one of the kernel modules. vmware has
> one, your graphics driver module has one (since you run hardware
> acceleration for compiz; if your card is not Intel, these drivers are
> also proprietary, making them impossible to debug for kernel
> developers). And Virtualbox also has one.
>
> You could try reducing these module to the minimum: unload the vmware
> module(s) and virtualbox module(s). Also, disable the proprietary driver
> for X (if you use one. this is easiest done from menu System >
> Administration > Hardware Drivers).
>
> Then try to trigger the issue with one, two, three of the programs
> running. I know it's a lot of work, but I have no idea how else to
> systematically narrow it down.
>
>

I did find a problem. The GUI on my laptop locked up today, but I
managed to switch to a console run top. I couldn't pinpoint the
offending process(es), so I did the ctrl+alt+backspace to restart X. I
noticed in the process that the system was not using any swap. Did a
little checking and found out that it was having some trouble with UUID
on the swap partition listed in fstab. I made sure swap was off (swapoff
-a), reformatted the swap partition, and tried to turn swap back on
(swapon -a). Still had trouble with the UUID, so I edited fstab to point
swap to /dev/sda6 instead of the UUID. Bingo. The system recognized the
swap partition and started using a little bit. I watched it for a while
and seems to be working now.

I don't know whether this actually fixed the problem or not, but we'll
see.

Leonard


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Old 07-31-2008, 10:30 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On Thu, 2008-07-31 at 17:22 -0500, Leonard Smith wrote:
> I did find a problem. <snip> I
> noticed in the process that the system was not using any swap. Did a
> little checking and found out that it was having some trouble with UUID
> on the swap partition listed in fstab. <snip>

Well, that's at least something Just in case you hadn't found this
helpful page and come across more needs to play with UUIDs
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingUUID


> I don't know whether this actually fixed the problem or not, but we'll
> see.

Fingers crossed


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Old 07-31-2008, 11:04 PM
"Mumia W."
 
Default Compiz or Firefox

On 07/31/2008 05:22 PM, Leonard Smith wrote:
> [...] I made sure swap was off (swapoff
> -a), reformatted the swap partition, and tried to turn swap back on
> (swapon -a). Still had trouble with the UUID, so I edited fstab to point
> swap to /dev/sda6 instead of the UUID. Bingo. The system recognized the
> swap partition and started using a little bit. I watched it for a while
> and seems to be working now.
>
> I don't know whether this actually fixed the problem or not, but we'll
> see.
>
> Leonard
>
>

Whenever you run "mkswap" on a partition, its UUID is changed.



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