Huge instability and insanely large memory footprint in 9.04
eapache at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 19:15:21 BST 2009
On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 7:46 AM, J. Lennard <lennard90 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi list,
> First I'm sorry to write what may appear as a rant, but I hope it is not
> considered so. I'm writing to express huge instability problems in Ubuntu
> 9.04. I migrated from ubuntu 8.04 (386) to ubuntu 9.04 (amd64) using a
> simple clean install.
It's not a rant as long as you detail your problems and don't yell "Ubuntu
Sucks" every sentence just because :)
First, I'd like to mention that I have *zero* proprietary drivers (nvidia
> blobs, etc) or extensions (flash) installed.
Good to know.
> I don't really know where to start. During past month, my machine
> constantly went to trashing mode where the hard-disk light is constantly on
> and I can't access anything or even swtich to linux console for several
> *minutes*. This has occured more than four times although all I usually run
> is a pdf viewer, an mp3 player, emacs, and firefox with simple html pages
> (not even gmail, flash, etc).
It sounds like you've run out of ram and started swapping, but with only
those apps open there's no way you should be using >1 GB of memory.
> I can't really understand how this can happen. Several times, and after a
> day or two of use, firefox, with *one* simple html tab open took 340+ MBs;
> that's insane. Evince took 120MB while only a single pdf file was open. Even
> Xorg was taking RAM around a hundread megabyte.
Firefox has some memory issues, however I believe they were actually worse
in the 2.0 version that shipped with Ubuntu 8.04. The good news is that 9.10
will ship with Firefox 3.5, which has resolved 99% of these issues.
Ram usage for X really depends on the driver. On my system, X takes ~120MB
on boot, but never grows significantly beyond that (proprietary ATI driver).
Without the proprietary driver it starts much lower, but climbs slowly over
time. The intel drivers in 9.04 are known to be generally terrible for
various reasons (also fixed in 9.10), so if you have an intel card then
that's the likely culprit.
I can't speak for evince.
> The second problem is that the GUI is *really* slow, and I use *zero*
> visual effects. Switching between workspaces is very sluggish where I see
> parts of firefox in my audacious window for about half a second while
> switching between workspaces. Switching between applications (alt+tab) is
> not smooth at all.
Again, if you have an intel card, I'd be tempted to blame it on the graphics
drivers. I wasn't closely following that part of the 9.04 cycle, so I can't
speak for why we ended up shipping a somewhat broken driver in a supposedly
stable release, but if someone with a bit more knowledge of what happened
wants to step in and explain, please do.
The third thing, which is disastrous and never occurred to me before using
> Ubuntu (and I've been using Ubuntu since Ubuntu 5) was constant and
> *systematic* audio skipping while doing *any* task. Heck, I swear simple
> switching between workspaces sometimes lead to several audio skipping.
That's weird. Pulseaudio has been around since 8.04, so this is definitely a
regression. I guess all you can do is file a bug (include your audio card
model) and hope it's fixed for Karmic.
I'm sorry, this is my worst Linux experience ever, but thankfully Ubuntu
> 8.04 works beautifully here that I'm thankful after all. It's really sad my
> favourite OS reached this level of instability and bloat, but hey, I at
> least have 8.04 till 2011, which I couldn't ask for more.
This is not a typical experience: 9.04 is the first Ubuntu release *ever *which
I am staying with for more than one cycle, simply because it has been so
stable for me :) I would say you simply had really bad luck with your
combination of hardware. It doesn't excuse the fact that regressions
shouldn't happen, but please don't assume that the distro as a whole has
reached that level of instability.
I hope you have better luck with 9.10 or 10.04.
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