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Thread: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

  1. #1

    Default Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    I have a problem that I can't find an answer for thru web searches. My two, Krusader and Dolphin, file managers are incredibly slow in opening any folder on my primary hard drive. This behavior just started. I can access everything from CLI without problem, and I can access other hard drives thru file managers without problems. It is only when I try to access partitions/folders on the primary drive that the file managers are slow (15+ minutes to respond). I am using Leap 15 and Plasma desktop (some ver 5.X but not the latest - I think 5.1). Based on other info below it may be a general GUI problem interacting with the primary, sda, drive.

    The primary drive is 1TB SSD that has four partitions (sda1 - /boot; sda2 - /swap; sda3 - /; sda5 - /home). The box has four other HD and they are working just fine. I have tried using the file managers in both normal user and root mode and it makes no difference. I have tried mounting sda with "default" parameters and with "acl,user_xattr" and it doesn't make a difference. The machine boots up normally so the slow response seems to be limited to a GUI file manager.

    Some other background. The machine ran just fine until 2 days ago. I upgraded vitrualbox to 6.1 and that seems to have caused some boot problems. It took a day to find out why dbus was not loading from systemd. The first problem was that fstab had lost the entry for sda - it was not mounting. Because of that I couldn't change fstab (or any file) on that drive (it wasn't mounting) I used and external mount, and by connecting to a raspberry pi, was able to fixed fstab (I keep a backup copy so I know the fixed fstab is correct for what was working previously). Once that was fixed the drive and all partitions would mount. However, the machine would not boot properly because of a virtualbox problem. In rescue mode I could get into a graphical desktop and the GUI file managers worked just fine. After some web searches I traced the problem to virtualbox-guest-dkms. I deleted that and also deleted all older versions of guest extensions and deleted older versions of virtualbox - only 6.1 is left on the machine. The machine boots just fine now. I had to run "/sbin/vboxconfig" to get virtualbox working again and I reinstalled the proper guest extensions. Machine still booting fine and all virtual machines working as expected. Life seemed good.

    However, when I went to use Krusader it would take way too long to access and partition/folder on sda. Same thing with Dolphin. From a terminal CLI I can navigate just fine - all folders/partitions working just fine.

    I should also mention that GUI gparted also takes a long time (>15min - less than 2 min before) to start up presumably because something in the GUI environment is preventing sda from responding quickly. Queries on sda by hdparm on CLI work just fine. In fact all programs and GUI interactions seem to work just fine like they did 2 days ago. Oh, one last thing: when using ksysguard it shows the krusader and dolphin threads with a "disk sleep" (or something similar) status for CPU load. In fact ksysguard shows an "unknown" for CPU load for all other threads/processes.

    Any idea on what could be going on? Ideas on what commands to run to gather information? I am very sure I didn't change any partition or boot parameters when troubleshooting the eventual virtualbox problem.

  2. #2
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    Question Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    Quote Originally Posted by rfmhunt View Post
    After some web searches I traced the problem to virtualbox-guest-dkms. I deleted that and also deleted all older versions of guest extensions and deleted older versions of virtualbox - only 6.1 is left on the machine.
    Is the openSUSE Leap 15.1 machine executing Oracle VirtualBox as a VM host or, is it running in a Virtual Machine?
    • If the former then, the VM host doesn't need any guest additions …
    • The “virtualbox-guest-dkms” is almost certainly not an openSUSE package … Where did you get it?

    Yes, yes, it's in the openSUSE repositories but, for Debian and Ubuntu systems

    Quote Originally Posted by rfmhunt View Post
    I had to run "/sbin/vboxconfig" to get virtualbox working again
    “vboxconfig” is only used for building VirtualBox host kernel modules – it needs the “virtualbox-host-source”, “kernel-devel” and “kernel-default-devel” packages.
    • Are you really using a custom VirtualBox kernel modules?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    @rfmhunt:

    For most of us, the only CLI tool we use to manage our Oracle VirtualBox hosts is “VBoxManage”.

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    Question Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    Quote Originally Posted by rfmhunt View Post
    The first problem was that fstab had lost the entry for sda
    You could have booted the Leap 15.1 Installation DVD and then, repaired the system.

    But, the issue seems to be, why did the /etc/ directory suddenly become corrupt?


    1. Is the drive for the “/” partition really OK?
    2. Do you have the “smartmontools” package installed?
    3. Does “smartctl --health /dev/sda” indicate any ageing issues with that drive?
    4. If not, you'll have to inspect deeper with “smartctl --all /dev/sda” …
    5. Are you setting up “fstab” and managing the drive partitions with the YaST module?
    6. Does the “/” partition use Btrfs?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    I should have added more info - sorry about that. Sda is formatted ext4, as are all other Linux drives (I have one NTFS for Win 7).

    The computer boots into Leap 15.1 and it is the host; virtualbox guests are WinXP, Win 7, Linux Mint, and OS/2. When I deleted virtualbox-guest-dkms what I really did was remove guest extensions from the virtualbox control application. I then checked to make sure it was not working by starting a virtual machine. I rarely use any VM since most everything can be done on the Linux host. I only updated virtualbox to be at the latest version not for any real need.

    After getting the machine to boot into a user account not in recovery mode I first verified that internet connectivity was good - how I originally found out dbus wasn't starting. I then tried to open a VM and got the error message that a kernal driver wasn't installed; the error box said to run "/sbin/vboxconfig" so that is what I did. Everything related to VMs seems to work now. I do remember that I had to run vbosconfig on a previous update so this was not unusual to me.

    As afr as I can tell the drive is okay. I ran "hdparm -B /dev/sda" this morning and got an error message stating that hdparm could not be used on this drive and ioctl needed to be used instead (possibly because it is SDD?). I ran "smartctl -i -n standby /dev/sda" as another means of checking the state and the return was that the drive was idle and everything else that I saw looked fine. I will run "smartctl --health /dev/sda" when I get home and post results. I think if anything was really wrong with the drive there would be boot problems, which seem to be fixed by fixing virtualbox.

    As far as I know "/" is okay because the machine boots and from CLI I can access everything just fine, including "/etc". I have managed fstab from both CLI and Yast, just depends on what I am doing. The changes that I typically make seem to be written to the file the same thru either method.

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    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    Quote Originally Posted by rfmhunt View Post
    I then tried to open a VM and got the error message that a kernal driver wasn't installed;
    With the user “root”, “modprobe vboxdrv” should have been sufficient …
    Code:
     > lsmod | grep -i 'box'
    vboxpci                28672  0
    vboxnetadp             28672  0
    vboxnetflt             32768  0
    vboxdrv               483328  3 vboxnetadp,vboxnetflt,vboxpci
     >

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    Question Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    @rfmhunt:

    It's an SSD.
    • What's the result of (user “root”) “systemctl status fstrim.timer”

    Code:
     > systemctl list-unit-files | grep -i 'trim'
    btrfs-trim.service                                               static         
    fstrim.service                                                   static         
    btrfs-trim.timer                                                 masked         
    fstrim.timer                                                     enabled        
     >
    Assuming that, the systemd fstrim timer service is indicating that, fstrim is occasionally executing, check the systemd Journal around the time that the fstrim last executed.
    Alternatively, (user “root”) start the fstrim service manually: “systemctl start fstrim.service”.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    I cannot follow all this, but anyway I do not mind appearing stupid.

    This was noticed afyer an update.
    Are any other KDE applications affected? E.g. opening /etc/hosts in Kate.
    If so try using Yast to reinstall the “kio” files.

    If all else fails:
    Check that no alien repositories are not enabled with “zypper lr -Eu”,
    then “zypper dup”.
    --
    slàinte mhath,
    rayH

    ~ knowing the right answer is easier than knowing the right question.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    Thanks for all the feedback! You have given me some things to try tonight when I get home. I will update based on this.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Slow GUI file manager on primary drive

    Quote Originally Posted by rfmhunt View Post
    I should have added more info - sorry about that. Sda is formatted ext4, as are all other Linux drives (I have one NTFS for Win 7).

    The computer boots into Leap 15.1 and it is the host; virtualbox guests are WinXP, Win 7, Linux Mint, and OS/2. When I deleted virtualbox-guest-dkms what I really did was remove guest extensions from the virtualbox control application. I then checked to make sure it was not working by starting a virtual machine. I rarely use any VM since most everything can be done on the Linux host. I only updated virtualbox to be at the latest version not for any real need.

    After getting the machine to boot into a user account not in recovery mode I first verified that internet connectivity was good - how I originally found out dbus wasn't starting. I then tried to open a VM and got the error message that a kernal driver wasn't installed; the error box said to run "/sbin/vboxconfig" so that is what I did. Everything related to VMs seems to work now. I do remember that I had to run vbosconfig on a previous update so this was not unusual to me.

    As afr as I can tell the drive is okay. I ran "hdparm -B /dev/sda" this morning and got an error message stating that hdparm could not be used on this drive and ioctl needed to be used instead (possibly because it is SDD?). I ran "smartctl -i -n standby /dev/sda" as another means of checking the state and the return was that the drive was idle and everything else that I saw looked fine. I will run "smartctl --health /dev/sda" when I get home and post results. I think if anything was really wrong with the drive there would be boot problems, which seem to be fixed by fixing virtualbox.

    As far as I know "/" is okay because the machine boots and from CLI I can access everything just fine, including "/etc". I have managed fstab from both CLI and Yast, just depends on what I am doing. The changes that I typically make seem to be written to the file the same thru either method.
    You should open your VBox application and check which version is installed.
    I suspect you may still be running VBox 5.3, although AFAIK Oracle still supports it you should be making plans to upgrade to 6.1 (Download from Oracle VBox website) or 6.0 (from the openSUSE repositories), both which have substantial improvements over the older versions.

    The DKMS package is likely an indicator of your older VBox version, it's now included in the main VBox install and not as a separate package.

    You haven't said whether you removed the DKMS package from your HostOS or in a Guest, if you removed from the HostOS it wouldn't affect anything in the Guest but if your HostOS was somehow changed then installed versions in your HostOS and Guests might not be in sync anymore which could cause a "missing kernel module" error because kernel modules can be specific to versions.

    Beware that if you don't approach your troubleshooting with a plan, you could be spinning your wheels and maybe make things worse.
    You should ignore anything related to your Guests and maybe even VBox at first.
    Be certain your HostOS is fully updated and fully functioning (everything!) before you look at anything in VBox.
    When you look at VBox, inspect the VBox installation on your HostOS first, everything from verifying the version to the various settings.
    Only after your HostOS and VBox application is working to your satisfaction, you can open your first Guest and address anything that might need to be fixed...And particularly if you made certain changes to VBox running on your HostOS, you might need to also make changes to the Guest such as upgrading to a version that's the same as the main VBox app running on the HostOS, configuration changes, and maybe even re-installing Guest Additions (openSUSE will try to install Guest Additions automatically but if you have versioning problems that won't work).

    HTH,
    TSU
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