OpenSuse 12.1 freezes while copying data

Hi,

I have recently installed OpenSuse 12.1 on my desktop which has i5 cpu and 16 gb ram but whenever I start data copying session (using cp command or via gui) the system freezes and does not allow me to do anything. Once I go to another terminal and kill the copying session then everything becomes normal. It looks like the copying operation is eating up all memory.

Has anyone encountered this issue and is there any fix available?

Thanks…Ramesh Daryani

This is of course very unusual. Many eople are doing cp commands all the time I assume.

Is this regardless where you copy from/to? What sorts of combinations sdid you test? Is this on avery, even a small cp of a say 100 bytes file?

Perhaps you could add some detail

Eg: I’m copying from my /home > my USB Pen drive or

I’m copying from my /home > my windows ntfs partition

or whatever…

I am observing something very similar when copying one or more files with total of more than 1GB to an SD card:

The info dialoge in the tray says that copying is progressing much faster than I would expect, but for the last few perecent the whole system freezes up for 30-120 minutes or so.

“Freeze” = mouse pointer won’t move; Ctrl-Alt-F1 does not respond

Well, a few times when I actually waited, things like Ctrl-Alt-F1 still work, but take about 15minutes to show an effect. However, even once the console shows up it is not useable, since every keypress takes ages to arrive. However, if the system is left alone for an hour or so, all seems normal again and the file was copied allright on the SD card.

I tried it a few times and waited. Even htop does not show any significant system load; besides IOwait.

My system is openSuse 12.1 on a Dell m4500 with Intel dual-core with hypethreading (i.e. 4 cores shown by htop) and an SSD. I did the copying with Dolphin, I did not yet try the commandline’s cp. The only unusual configurations I am aware of is putting /tmp, /var/tmp, /var/lock, /var/run and ~/tmp on tmpfs to ease the strain on the SSD, which is mounted with the options discard, noatime and nodiratime.

I’m having similar issues, but mine seem to be somehow related to
Firefox or Chrome. Any time I copy a large amount(not huge, say 350MB)
of data to a thumb drive (gui KDE), it is sloooow, but if I have either
of the two browsers open, the system appears to freeze, but will just be
functioning very slowly. If I close the web browser, things go back to
normal (more or less), although closing it takes several minutes of
waiting. My mouse is affected intermittently. It may or may not move and
clicks are delayed in terms of minutes.

It is possible that Dolphin also causes similar but less noticeable
problems.

I did a clean install (aside from my home dir) have 4GB of ram and a
dual core cpu, so I don’t think it’s a matter of having under powered
equipment, or anything like that. I’ve tried the thumb drive connected
to a port on the mobo and in a PCI usb hub, both with the same results.

I’d love to find a solution because it really sucks not being able to
browse while I’m copying 2GB (or more) of files that take 20-30 minutes
anyway.

On 06/02/12 09:16, STurtle said::
>
> I am observing something very similar when copying one or more files
> with total of more than 1GB to an SD card:
>
> The info dialoge in the tray says that copying is progressing much
> faster than I would expect, but for the last few perecent the whole
> system freezes up for 30-120 minutes or so.
>
> “Freeze” = mouse pointer won’t move; Ctrl-Alt-F1 does not respond
>
> Well, a few times when I actually waited, things like Ctrl-Alt-F1 still
> work, but take about 15minutes to show an effect. However, even once the
> console shows up it is not useable, since every keypress takes ages to
> arrive. However, if the system is left alone for an hour or so, all
> seems normal again and the file was copied allright on the SD card.
>
> I tried it a few times and waited. Even htop does not show any
> significant system load, besides IOwait.
>
> My system is a Dell m4500 with Intel dual-core with hypethreading and
> an SSD.
>
>


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On 2012-02-13 02:50, Snorkelson MacBurp wrote:

> I did a clean install (aside from my home dir) have 4GB of ram and a dual
> core cpu, so I don’t think it’s a matter of having under powered equipment,
> or anything like that. I’ve tried the thumb drive connected to a port on
> the mobo and in a PCI usb hub, both with the same results.

This is not normal, but i have no idea why it could be. It people affected
can come with a group of common circumstances, a report could be made.

For example, are all of you using 12.1, kde, and writing to a flash device?
Slow write is to be expected, but unresponsive system is not.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

I have experienced this when I first installed 12.1
KDE
Large file to Pen drive. My browser becomes unresponsive.

But have not noticed it recently (but I upgraded kde) (and I didn’t do much copying to pen drives recently)
Let me try some tests and report back.

I can’t reproduce this now I have kde4.8

On 2012-02-13 05:16, caf4926 wrote:
>
> I can’t reproduce this now I have kde4.8

Well, maybe it was something that affected kde and they corrected it. Maybe
they tied animations to write operations, it would make sense to me.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

Hello everybody,

I am also facing same problem as mentioned by sTurtle, but for small files less than 500Mb so there’s no problem if it is more than 1GB it hangs and i have to wait untill copying is finished from one hard disk to another (locally installed) hardisk, my version is 12.1, KDE 4.7.2 , Sys.Specs.: Intel core i7-2600k, 16GB ram, 2x1TB HDD, Nvidia 560Ti, Is it due to KDE? so how can i update KDE ?

thanks n regards

I don’t think anyone reported this with HD’s but rather with USB thumb drives and SD memory cards.

Let me report the same problem with a blue-ray/DVD writer at a system with Intel core i5-2500. On my old core 2 duo with a DVD-writer I had no problems of that kind.
Both systems with openSUSE 12.1, KDE 4.7.2, k3b; but the new one 64bit, the old one 32bit.

Sorry my mistake caf4926.

thanks n regards

I updated to KDE 4.8 now to see whether it affects the problem. The answer is mixed: the problem persists for me, albeit at a lesser degree.

My system only becomes severely sluggish, but does not freeze up as before. A click can still take up to a minute to show an effect (especially when switching between applications), but at least the mouse pointer always keeps moving. Switching to a text console via Ctrl-Alt-F1 always responded within 30 seconds during my tests and gave me a non-sluggish console then.

(Thanks to caf4926 for pinpointing me to the KDE 4.8 update thread.)

I was away for a week, so this might be completely after everybody even forgot the problem ever existed.

After rereading the above, I am still unsure about the copying. I tried to pinpoint this to the cp command in my first reaction in post #2 above, and as nobody complained or corrected, I thought we are all talking about doing a cp command. But I am very much in doubt now when people talk about versions of KDE that may make a difference.

When this problem is still of interest, can people then please explain what they do when they talk of “copying”?

The problems described here sounds like my problem described here:
http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/applications/472569-copying-very-very-cpu-intensive.html

I tried it with a cp command from a bash shell window now, and the problem was bad as it had always been, a complete freeze of the system about a minute after copying of 1,2GB to an SD-card had started (i.e. mouse-pointer does not move and then disappears; key-presses show no effect, but are dealt with once the system resumes). The system then continued normally shortly before the cp command finished, which tool about 6 Minutes in total.

So it seems the update to KDE 4.8 did not affect this problem for me at all (it did make KDE more responsive in general). Sorry for the red herring. :embarrassed:

@STurtle, thanks for the confirmation of the problem being there with cp. I guess that we can conclude then that it is desktop (and desktop version) independent.

Not that that brings us to a final conclusion :frowning: , but it helps…

BTW @atskler mentioned another thread, but in that thread it seems that both (or at least one) of the file systems invoved is encrypted. And that eats CPU. Is that also the case here?

Maybe it’s caused by well known kernel dirty data issue?

When you are copying large amount of data from faster drive to slower one, your memory gets filled with dirty data (write cache).

Once dirty limit (as set in sysctl) is reached, all writing processes are stopped until data is flushed.

Most distributions use small dirty buffer for better responsiveness (5 or 10% or memory) - so after writing less than 1GB to USB dirty limit is usually reached and all writing processes have to wait.

I am unsure if it can cause mouse pointer stalls (mouse pointer isn’t writing anything…) but such freezes occured even on my 11.4 x64 suse with xfce. So I doubt it’s a 12.1 KDE problem.
Rather linux problem. Recently I’ve set my dirty ratio to 100% (yes, 100!) and upgraded kernel to 3.2.6 and I think it’s better.

Please note you will have to alter pm profiler to change dirty ratio permenently.
You can see actual dirty ratio and dirty mem state in /proc

One tip:

  1. do a top and iotop while copying
  2. if there are kworkers eating cpu and system resources, then
  3. see my post #13](http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/applications/472569-copying-very-very-cpu-intensive-2.html#post2441891) here: Copying is very very CPU intensive