My old (32bit) computer gets more and more sluggish - it may be hardware… The harddrive LED is nearly constantly alight and I have to wait minutes even for bringing another window in the foreground. I tried the top command and I received the following:
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
** 3289 root 39 19 98448 97296 1972 R 97.02 4.881 4:06.53 xz **
4369 root 20 0 13068 9724 4928 D 1.325 0.488 0:00.93 rpm
2239 uli 20 0 313696 98056 74352 S 0.662 4.919 0:02.83 krunner
** 4390 uli 20 0 8384 3908 3356 R 0.662 0.196 0:00.19 top **
393 root 20 0 8180 5240 1548 S 0.331 0.263 0:02.53 haveged
1973 root 20 0 111060 56940 27268 S 0.331 2.856 0:10.51 X
2673 uli 20 0 168456 56676 47788 S 0.331 2.843 0:02.61 konsole
4132 root 20 0 0 0 0 I 0.331 0.000 0:00.07 kworker/0:1
4372 uli 20 0 168820 57888 48996 S 0.331 2.904 0:00.81 konsole
1 root 20 0 39336 7244 5472 S 0.000 0.363 0:03.62 systemd
What is this xz which uses up 97% cpu? the command
Yes, I wrote that I did a zypper dup - only 2 console windows open and it took a long time, even switching from one window to the other. But why is it blocking everything else on the computer to the point where it is nearly unusable. The computer was never so sluggish as today!
Probably decompressing a large .rpm file (package). Yes, xz can use a lot of cpu cycles. I used to notice that updating was slow when I had a 32-bit system, though that would have been with openSUSE 32.1 or earlier. I don’t think I ever tried Tumbleweed on that box.
If your machine is really sluggish,
Maybe your machine is really low on resources.
A thrashing hard drive can be an indication of memory starvation and excessive swapping.
Run top or htop to view how much of your memory is being used.
top or htop will also display CPU usage as well what other processes are eating up resources.
You can also use the Free tool to analyze your overall memory usage, and how much might be locked up in buffers.
Also, if you are transitioning from a heavy workload which caused large amounts of memory to be allocated to buffers, I provide a command that clears your memory buffers… short of rebooting your machine, this can immediately free up your memory for a new major workload.
Thank you, tsu, you are right, my old computer is a bit low on resources:
total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem: 1993464 949668 332404 176040 711392 643660
Swap: 2103292 830464 1272828
I run Tumbleweed since this is the only supported software from openSUSE on 32bit machines and it might be a bit too much. However it was not (yet) as bad as today. I have planned in a replacement for this laptop for this year but I wondered if there is something that can be done to improve the performance. Next time I will boot into LXDE (now it is KDE) to see how much better this will be.