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Old 06-28-2010, 06:46 PM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default slow karmic system

I have, actually from the beginning I installed Karmic problems which
seem to be related to disk access.
System: AMD Phenom II (4-core) 4 GB mem; large HD.
Looking at gkrellm I see that I have 1,6 GB free and 6,7GB of 8 GB free
swap space.
Nevrtheless the system constantly messes on the HD and I see the HD led
practically continuously on. I have Vmware running with only 1 xp guest
and of course when backup-c is active there is a lot of HD-traffic.
I cannot understand why for simple tasks like opening gedit and even now
when I'm typing the system sometimes freezes for several seconds and
after that I can type on.
After a reboot, the system is much quicker and "alerter" but after a few
days (the system is now > 5 days up) it slows.
I've read somewhere that there is something like a "swappiness" factor
that can be set but I have no idea what that means and I would very much
understand what I do as I don't like to follow recipes without knowing
the rationale.
Hope somebody can give me some clues.
Joep

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Old 06-29-2010, 12:30 AM
Gary Jarrel
 
Default slow karmic system

On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:46 AM, Joep L. Blom <jlblom@neuroweave.nl> wrote:
> I have, actually from the beginning I installed Karmic problems which
> seem to be related to disk access.
> System: AMD Phenom II (4-core) 4 GB mem; large HD.
> Looking at gkrellm I see that I have 1,6 GB free and 6,7GB of 8 GB free
> swap space.
> Nevrtheless the system constantly messes on the HD and I see the HD led
> practically continuously on. I have Vmware running with only 1 xp guest
> and of course when backup-c is active there is a lot of HD-traffic.
> I cannot understand why for simple tasks like opening gedit and even now
> when I'm typing the system sometimes freezes for several seconds and
> after that I can type on.
> After a reboot, the system is much quicker and "alerter" but after a few
> days (the system is now > 5 days up) it slows.
> I've read somewhere that there is something like a "swappiness" factor
> that can be set but I have no idea what that means and I would very much
> understand what I do as I don't like to follow recipes without knowing
> the rationale.
> Hope somebody can give me some clues.
> Joep
>
> --

I noticed exactly the same thing on my machine with Core i7 and 6GB
RAM. gEdit would be painfully slow, Eclipse takes ages to open, seems
ok after a restart but as time goes on the machine starts to slow
down. If I run up VM exactly the same thing happens.

If anyone has any pointers that would be much appreciated.

Gary

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Old 06-29-2010, 01:33 PM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default slow karmic system

Gary Jarrel wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:46 AM, Joep L. Blom <jlblom@neuroweave.nl> wrote:

>
> I noticed exactly the same thing on my machine with Core i7 and 6GB
> RAM. gEdit would be painfully slow, Eclipse takes ages to open, seems
> ok after a restart but as time goes on the machine starts to slow
> down. If I run up VM exactly the same thing happens.
>
> If anyone has any pointers that would be much appreciated.
>
> Gary
>
Well, Gary,
At least I'm not the only one.
It is definitively something in the way ubuntu handles disk access. And
I cannot imagine that the 16 to 18 GB of memory are not used as cache
before swapping is used. The strange thing is that 1.e GB of swapspace
is used which is somewhat less than the free space in memory.
I find this very strange. Maybe some of the kernel specialists can shed
some light on this problem.
Joep


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Old 06-29-2010, 05:06 PM
Frans Ketelaars
 
Default slow karmic system

On Tue, 29 Jun 2010 15:33:13 +0200, Joep L. Blom wrote:

> Gary Jarrel wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:46 AM, Joep L. Blom <jlblom@neuroweave.nl>
>> wrote:
>
>
>> I noticed exactly the same thing on my machine with Core i7 and 6GB
>> RAM. gEdit would be painfully slow, Eclipse takes ages to open, seems
>> ok after a restart but as time goes on the machine starts to slow down.
>> If I run up VM exactly the same thing happens.
>>
>> If anyone has any pointers that would be much appreciated.
>>
>> Gary
>>
> Well, Gary,
> At least I'm not the only one.
> It is definitively something in the way ubuntu handles disk access. And
> I cannot imagine that the 16 to 18 GB of memory are not used as cache
> before swapping is used.

I guess you mean 1.6 to 1.8 GB of (free) memory

> The strange thing is that 1.e GB of swapspace
> is used which is somewhat less than the free space in memory. I find
> this very strange. Maybe some of the kernel specialists can shed some
> light on this problem.
> Joep

Well, I am not a kernel specialist but these links may be interesting:

http://kerneltrap.org/node/3000
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_leak

Might be a good idea to see if the problem also exists in Ubuntu 10.04
(maybe install to a USB stick to test).

Good luck!

-Frans


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Old 06-29-2010, 06:25 PM
NoOp
 
Default slow karmic system

On 06/28/2010 11:46 AM, Joep L. Blom wrote:
...
> After a reboot, the system is much quicker and "alerter" but after a few
> days (the system is now > 5 days up) it slows.
> I've read somewhere that there is something like a "swappiness" factor
> that can be set but I have no idea what that means and I would very much
> understand what I do as I don't like to follow recipes without knowing
> the rationale.
> Hope somebody can give me some clues.
> Joep
>

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq

But it sounds to me like you have an app that has a memory leak. I'd run
top or htop in a terminal over the 5 days and monitor your memory usage.



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Old 06-29-2010, 09:46 PM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default slow karmic system

NoOp wrote:
> On 06/28/2010 11:46 AM, Joep L. Blom wrote:
> ...
>> After a reboot, the system is much quicker and "alerter" but after a few
>> days (the system is now > 5 days up) it slows.
>> I've read somewhere that there is something like a "swappiness" factor
>> that can be set but I have no idea what that means and I would very much
>> understand what I do as I don't like to follow recipes without knowing
>> the rationale.
>> Hope somebody can give me some clues.
>> Joep
>>
>
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq
>
> But it sounds to me like you have an app that has a memory leak. I'd run
> top or htop in a terminal over the 5 days and monitor your memory usage.
>
>
>
Garry,
As usual your suggestions are invaluable!
I looked in the link you gave and found there a little script to empty
your swap and bring it all in memory. The amazing thing is that using
that script my free memory goes to 50 % and my free swap space is 100 %.
The system is quick. The only thing is the eventual memory leakage. I
will not yet run ntop or htop continuously as it takes gives an overhead
and it is more useful - in my eyes - to use free and record its output
over a longer time. That gives you memory 'snapshots' and it can easily
be implemented in a cron job.
After I started VMware player free memory drops to 25 % and Free swap
drops to 99 %. I will see if that is the process with memory leaks.
But thanks very much for the link,
Joep


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Old 06-29-2010, 10:28 PM
NoOp
 
Default slow karmic system

On 06/29/2010 02:46 PM, Joep L. Blom wrote:
> NoOp wrote:
...
>> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq
>>
>> But it sounds to me like you have an app that has a memory leak. I'd run
>> top or htop in a terminal over the 5 days and monitor your memory usage.
>>
>>
>>
> Garry,
> As usual your suggestions are invaluable!
> I looked in the link you gave and found there a little script to empty
> your swap and bring it all in memory. The amazing thing is that using
> that script my free memory goes to 50 % and my free swap space is 100 %.
> The system is quick. The only thing is the eventual memory leakage. I
> will not yet run ntop or htop continuously as it takes gives an overhead
> and it is more useful - in my eyes - to use free and record its output
> over a longer time. That gives you memory 'snapshots' and it can easily
> be implemented in a cron job.
> After I started VMware player free memory drops to 25 % and Free swap
> drops to 99 %. I will see if that is the process with memory leaks.
> But thanks very much for the link,
> Joep
>
>

Another quick & easy way to clear swap is:

$ sudo swapoff -a
$ free
[you'll see it clear]
$ sudo swapon -a
[that will turn it back on]

I've had cases where swap was used (primarily when using virtualbox) and
then doesn't seem to clear after the app is closed. Can't pin it down
just yet, but swapoff/swapon seems to do the trick.


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