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Thread: kswapd0 interupts media players

  1. #1
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    Default kswapd0 interupts media players

    I use suse 11.2 86_64 on a comp with Nvidia Geforce 8300 on the motherboard using 512 Mb from main memory, AMD X2 Dual Core 4600+ RAM 8 GB DDR2 Dual channel and have following problem - from time to time when play a video (streaming or playing a file with any video player - vlc, smplayer, kaffeine etc.) the sound suddenly disappears short afterwards everything freezes even mouse, the hard disk work as wild and after 5 minutes or so the players quit and everything comes alive again. Long time I could not see the process responsible for that because even screen freezes, once I had the luck and noticed a process kswapd0 appearing in time of such an event. I googled and there were similar complying connected with that daemon. I read it will be a good idea to minimize the amount of swap, which in my case is 2 Gb , I unmounted the entire swap and restarted and the OS remains only on RAM 7,5 GB . The event appeared again and there were significant different, it obviously was shorter in time (about a minute) and mouse freezes for short period of time, but again the player quits on the end of the event.
    Is there a way that the process could be managed in some way as it is very annoying appearing all of a sudden with no warning or something ? Of course if that memory shifting or cleaning is the main problem, again it happens only in case player works and not every time, it is random.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Quote Originally Posted by olegue View Post
    I use ... RAM 8 GB DDR2 Dual channel and have following problem - ... once I had the luck and noticed a process kswapd0 appearing in time of such an event.
    You have 8 GB of RAM and swap kicks in? It sounds like you need to start monitoring free RAM, because you may have a leaking process somewhere. I have noticed that sometimes the Xorg process runs away with RAM (>1.5 GB), so keep an eye out for that too.

    If the issue is repeatable, keep a terminal open with a running "top" and monitor the Mem and Swap lines at the top.
    Desk: AMD Phenom II X4 945 8GB RAM Radeon HD 3300 Arch Linux Xfce 4.8
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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    A bad or weak disk sector can cause these symptoms also.

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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Well I checked for bad sectors the HDD with Herien Boot CD. It took long time but at the end there were no errors according test. I also check memory it gave that everything is oki.

    If there is no problem with hardware and its function, what could cause that behavior of kswapd0 during playing video. I keep watching the memory status - on fresh restarts it gives 30-33% application usage and 5-6 % cache of the RAM , playing video cache goes up to 60-63% and the free memory is around 50 Mb. But that is the scenario if I do not play video, just the cache filled up slower in time.

    In case the event occurs the cached from 63% become cleaned to 6-7% I suppose that is what kswapd0 does - cleaning cache in memory.But why sometimes it happens suddenly and literately stops any other activity on computer and sometimes the cache is full but that event does not happen.

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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Quote Originally Posted by olegue View Post
    playing video cache goes up to 60-63% and the free memory is around 50 Mb.
    Something doesn't seem right with that. I don't play video on this box here, but I have 8 GB of RAM and a typical view of my RAM is something like this (after the box has been running for a couple of days or so):

    Code:
    Mem:   7934848k total,  1786596k used,  6148252k free,   105256k buffers
    Swap: 16771820k total,        0k used, 16771820k free,  1013540k cached
    That's 6 GB free, not 50 MB as you report.

    Is there a setting on your video player to limit the amount of read-ahead it does in memory? If you have a reasonably fast hard drive, I would set that way lower and leave your swap space untouched.
    Desk: AMD Phenom II X4 945 8GB RAM Radeon HD 3300 Arch Linux Xfce 4.8
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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Yes I feel that something is wrong but I do not know what exactly and how to control it. I had the luck to have an eye at the memory status at the moment sound disappeared on playing video file. The memory usage jumped from 33% to 99 % in a second for applications then everything freezed and when screen came alive back the application usage was back to 30 % and cache was 3 % all other was free . So the leak of memory is proven but circumstances leading to that are hidden and they happened random to me and I have no idea how to find them. I do not know how to limit the memory usage of video players to check if it works?

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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Quote Originally Posted by olegue View Post
    I do not know how to limit the memory usage of video players to check if it works?
    Which player do you use? Perhaps a multimedia guy will chip in with a tip or two.
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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    I prefer vlc and smplayer but actually i have tried all famous - mplayer, gnome player, kaffeine, kmplayer, dragon,xine and some other less known by me as xfmedia, whaam, parole. Well I know all of them a based either on mplayer or xine.

    I looked in vlc and smplayer preferences if there was a kind of memory settings but with no luck, perhaps the memory setting should be performed in some other way.

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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    Quote Originally Posted by olegue View Post
    perhaps the memory setting should be performed in some other way.
    Maybe we're barking up the wrong tree: could it be that your display driver freaks out when you're streaming video? Are you running the nv driver?
    Desk: AMD Phenom II X4 945 8GB RAM Radeon HD 3300 Arch Linux Xfce 4.8
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    Default Re: kswapd0 interupts media players

    I have checked in YAST but there are installed only nVIDIA drivers 190.xx . I rememeber there were "nv" rpm in previous OpenSuse versions - an opensource drivers for nvidia harware, but now there nothing neither installed nor existing in YAST software manager.

    linux:/home/one # lsmod
    Module Size Used by
    joydev 14400 0
    st 47916 0
    ide_gd_mod 36592 0
    ide_cd_mod 36080 0
    snd_usb_audio 117472 3
    snd_usb_lib 26024 1 snd_usb_audio
    snd_rawmidi 32064 1 snd_usb_lib
    snd_pcm_oss 60032 0
    snd_mixer_oss 22728 1 snd_pcm_oss
    snd_seq 78560 0
    snd_seq_device 10460 2 snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
    snd_hda_codec_nvhdmi 7432 1
    snd_hda_codec_realtek 318124 1
    snd_hda_intel 37280 4
    snd_hda_codec 111112 3 snd_hda_codec_nvhdmi,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
    snd_hwdep 11216 2 snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec
    snd_pcm 117808 5 snd_usb_audio,snd_pcm_oss,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
    snd_timer 32152 2 snd_seq,snd_pcm
    snd 97608 26 snd_usb_audio,snd_usb_lib,snd_rawmidi,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_timer
    snd_page_alloc 12600 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
    lp 13764 0
    ir_kbd_i2c 9720 0
    edd 13232 0
    ip6t_LOG 7980 12
    xt_tcpudp 4104 64
    xt_pkttype 2248 3
    ipt_LOG 7660 26
    xt_limit 4076 38
    vboxnetadp 8448 0
    vboxnetflt 19184 0
    nfsd 355840 5
    nfs 405152 5
    lockd 95636 2 nfsd,nfs
    fscache 52048 1 nfs
    nfs_acl 4072 2 nfsd,nfs
    auth_rpcgss 56928 2 nfsd,nfs
    sunrpc 267144 24 nfsd,nfs,lockd,nfs_acl,auth_rpcgss
    exportfs 6120 1 nfsd
    vboxdrv 1811500 2 vboxnetadp,vboxnetflt
    af_packet 28680 0
    cpufreq_conservative 10360 0
    cpufreq_userspace 4364 0
    cpufreq_powersave 2152 0
    powernow_k8 19340 1
    ip6t_REJECT 6856 3
    nf_conntrack_ipv6 26632 4
    ip6table_raw 3720 1
    xt_NOTRACK 2248 4
    ipt_REJECT 4136 3
    xt_state 2920 22
    iptable_raw 3560 1
    iptable_filter 4520 1
    ip6table_mangle 5000 0
    nf_conntrack_netbios_ns 3400 0
    nf_conntrack_ipv4 14232 18
    nf_conntrack 101952 5 nf_conntrack_ipv6,xt_NOTRACK,xt_state,nf_conntrack_netbios_ns,nf_conntrack_ipv4
    nf_defrag_ipv4 2856 1 nf_conntrack_ipv4
    ip_tables 24536 2 iptable_raw,iptable_filter
    ip6table_filter 4552 1
    ip6_tables 26072 4 ip6t_LOG,ip6table_raw,ip6table_mangle,ip6table_filter
    x_tables 30768 11 ip6t_LOG,xt_tcpudp,xt_pkttype,ipt_LOG,xt_limit,ip6t_REJECT,xt_NOTRACK,ipt_REJECT,xt_state,ip_tables,ip6_tables
    fuse 87984 3
    loop 22292 0
    dm_mod 101544 0
    tuner_simple 18420 1
    tuner_types 18536 1 tuner_simple
    tuner 27048 1
    tvaudio 33952 0
    tda7432 7228 0
    nvidia 9647368 48
    bttv 155732 0
    ir_common 53772 2 ir_kbd_i2c,bttv
    i2c_algo_bit 8396 1 bttv
    v4l2_common 23400 4 tuner,tvaudio,tda7432,bttv
    videobuf_dma_sg 17004 1 bttv
    videobuf_core 24044 2 bttv,videobuf_dma_sg
    btcx_risc 6416 1 bttv
    gspca_spca561 14024 0
    gspca_main 32072 1 gspca_spca561
    videodev 46848 6 tuner,tvaudio,tda7432,bttv,v4l2_common,gspca_main
    v4l1_compat 19020 1 videodev
    amd64_edac_mod 39392 0
    ohci1394 38340 0
    tveeprom 15212 1 bttv
    v4l2_compat_ioctl32 12776 1 videodev
    i2c_nforce2 10256 0
    forcedeth 68564 0
    usblp 17608 0
    edac_core 60788 1 amd64_edac_mod
    k8temp 6440 0
    shpchp 43620 0
    pci_hotplug 39640 1 shpchp
    ieee1394 121024 1 ohci1394
    pcspkr 3720 0
    sg 40128 0
    ppdev 12368 0
    parport_pc 46856 1
    parport 46544 3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc
    sr_mod 20964 0
    wmi 9600 0
    kvm_amd 51036 0
    kvm 238864 1 kvm_amd
    asus_atk0110 16264 0
    cdrom 48232 2 ide_cd_mod,sr_mod
    floppy 73576 0
    thermal 25160 0
    button 8360 0
    fan 6352 0
    processor 56932 1 powernow_k8
    thermal_sys 21888 3 thermal,fan,processor
    ext4 426040 2
    crc16 2504 1 ext4
    jbd2 115712 1 ext4
    ide_pci_generic 5484 0
    amd74xx 8080 0
    ide_core 148064 4 ide_gd_mod,ide_cd_mod,ide_pci_generic,amd74xx
    ata_generic 6508 0
    pata_amd 16748 0
    linux:/home/one #

    I made some probes with mp4 720p video file using vlc to play it changing only video output drivers. In all cases it gave close results 28-30 % CPU 14-15% Xorg 12-14% Compiz and 17-20% Pulsevideo , only with OpenGL gave 75-80% CPU 5-6% Xorg 7-8 % Compiz and 5-6% Pulseaudio . In every case the free memory stayed in the range 45 - 120 Mb, application 35% and cache 64 %.

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