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Thread: System stalling

  1. #1

    Angry System stalling

    Hi,

    I am running opensuse 12.1 64 bit with KDE 4.7, installed from the dvd

    I find that with some frequency, every 5 minutes or so, my system just freezes for 5-10 second and it remains unresponsive to any user input for that duration. This happens even if the system is almost idle (CPU 95% or more idle, RAM 50% or more free and swap space 100% free). The only action possible during the stalling periods is moving the mouse pointer around. In most occasions most running processes seem to stop completely (e.g. the seconds field on a clock stop updating). However the playing of media files carries on unaffected.

    As you can imagine this is driving me nuts, to put it mildly, especially when you're typing. The keystrokes are still being buffered (mouse clicks are also buffered it seems) although the screen doesn't update; all of sudden all the keystrokes come to effect at once.

    During these times the disk activity light on my laptop flashs.

    My hardware is comtemporary enough (Asus G73SW gaming laptop - intel i7 - Nvidia graphics, nouveau drivers - 2x500G hybrid HD) and includes a decent amount of RAM (8G). I am using btrfs for all partitions but /boot which uses ext4. My installation is pretty standard and the same goes for the services I am running. My swap partition is small, 2G, I figured that with 8G of RAM there wouldn't be much swapping taking place (most times system reports RAM 40-50% free).

    I have experienced similar phenomena with earlier versions of opensuse/KDE 4 as far back as 11.0 (maybe even earlier versions) running on different hardware but not with this badly.

    I monitor the system activity in krunner but get no clues to what may causing this effect. I am inclined to think that btrfs is the culprit because disk activity is always coincidental which would point to not being coincidental at all.

    Any suggestions besides re-installation using a different file system?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    -G- NNTP User

    Default Re: System stalling

    majormen wrote:

    > I find that with some frequency, every 5 minutes or so, my system just
    > freezes for 5-10 second and it remains unresponsive to any user input
    > for that duration.


    I experienced for some time something similar (although not as often as
    every 5 min) in 3 machines.
    After updating to KDE 4.8.1 recently it seems to have stopped in all of
    them.
    I do not know if this is related to KDE or some other updates since I
    installed 12.1.

    -G-


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West Virginia Sector 13
    Posts
    15,815

    Default Re: System stalling

    Flashing hard drive may indicate that there is a flaky sector and the machine is rereading it until the sums are right. That will cause a freeze until after multiple tries finally it reads.

    Run smart to see if it sheds any light. Or run a low level scan from the disk maker to check the disk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: System stalling

    Hi,

    With little info it is hard to find what is going on, but for CPU usage there is also a suspect:
    I may be wrong but it happened to me some times that a kde bug does make the CPU go to 100%

    It has to do with kmix:

    Kmix eating up all available CPU time on one core • KDE Community Forums

    Just try to go to system monitor and check if kmix is eating all the cpu, list the processes ordered by max cpu time.
    If that is the case then a simple:

    Code:
    killall -9 kmix
    rm -rf $(kde4-config --localprefix)/share/apps/kmix/
    rm -f $(kde4-config --localprefix)/share/config/kmix*
    kmix &
    like it is suggested in the previous post will do.

    Regards.

  5. #5

    Default Re: System stalling

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Flashing hard drive may indicate that there is a flaky sector and the machine is rereading it until the sums are right. That will cause a freeze until after multiple tries finally it reads.

    Run smart to see if it sheds any light. Or run a low level scan from the disk maker to check the disk
    Thanks for the tip.
    I run smart and it did report a read error in only one bad block. That block was located on my Win 7 system partition which I mount as a matter of course because that is where my Thunderbird inbox, which is shared between windows and suse, sits. I moved the TB inbox to another NTFS partition on another HD and unmounted the windows system partition with the bad block. So far that seems to have fixed my stalling problems.

  6. #6

    Default Re: System stalling

    Quote Originally Posted by majormen View Post
    Thanks for the tip.
    I run smart and it did report a read error in only one bad block. That block was located on my Win 7 system partition which I mount as a matter of course because that is where my Thunderbird inbox, which is shared between windows and suse, sits. I moved the TB inbox to another NTFS partition on another HD and unmounted the windows system partition with the bad block. So far that seems to have fixed my stalling problems.
    I think I was a bit to quick to rejoice. I am still experiencing stalling as described on my original post but not as often, at least for now.
    A smartctl test on my other HD came out clean. Therefore I conclude that the my problem is not related to bad blocks on HDs. It is however surprising that for almost a day the system performed without hicups after having umounted the NTFS partiton.

    The question remains open for anyone who would care to assist.

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