Possible solution for 'odd' pauses and delays while using computer

Hi Guys, me again.

You know how after a while, you just know something’s not right with your
computer? Kinda like your car, you can tell when it’s a quart low on oil, or
needs air in the tires…

Been that way with my main system since I installed 11.0… just felt ‘wrong’

Finally figured it out.

The new kernels (2.6.24+ and newer) have shifted to the ‘nohz’ setting,
touting better response times and less resource usage. Well, maybe for
‘them’. I’m running an Athlon X2 XP 4200+, very pleased with it…


I added the ‘nohz=off’ option to my grub boot line, and suddenly the random
pauses, long waits on disk I/O, little short freezes… have all gone away.

I was experiencing load levels in excess of 4.0 when doing mundane tasks
involving lots of disk I/O. My mouse would move, but no response from the
windows, no keyboard letters displayed (I use ‘focus follows mouse’, so it’s
easy to tell if system is not responding). Even my classic test of ‘does
numlock work’ was failing. If I waited long enough, the system would ‘come
back’, but a quick check showed that the system load was way higher than I
would expect. Strange.

This has fixed all that. I generally have a background process downloading
things from usenet, its speed has improved, while system load has dropped.
The system itself is snappy and responsive again. Hooray!

I therefore submit to the rest of you… try it, it might help reduce or
solve some of the perceived slowness and dragging of your systems. Certainly
made a difference here. (Even more so when combined with the Firefox 3 fix I
posted recently)

As a quick recap:

Add ‘nohz=off’ to your boot line in grub’s menu.lst. or just type it on the
boot options line next time you boot, see if it helps before making it always


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