Responsiveness testing through dpkg

Tim Gardner tim.gardner at
Tue Apr 27 08:33:54 BST 2010

On 04/26/2010 10:45 PM, Chase Douglas wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm interested in doing some desktop responsiveness testing, and I've
> found that when I have a large number of packages to install/update it
> kills my desktop responsiveness not only during installation, but also
> for quite a bit of time afterwards. Desktop responsiveness is a rather
> nebulous issue, one that occurs in different situations on different
> hardware in different ways. However, apt-get/dpkg seem to do a good
> job of causing desktop slowdowns across many configurations :).
> What I would like to do is find a good test case I can run on bare
> hardware (not in a VM with snapshot capabilities) that is
> reproducible. I think doing a reinstallation of a set of packages, say
> ubuntu-desktop, would work well. Is there a safe way to do this?
> Thanks
> -- Chase

I think dpkg is triggering the fsync problem. Andy and Surbhi have some 
information on that.

Have you considered generating some kind of steady state background load 
using bonnie or stress? I'd think those kind of loads are more likely in 
the real world, whereas the dpkg scenario is relatively rare for most folks.

Tim Gardner tim.gardner at

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