[ubuntu-uk] Strange high CPU usage problem

Rossen Stoyanchev rstoyanchev at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 24 09:29:07 UTC 2011


Apologies if this isn't the right place. Having started as a Ubuntu user in 7.04 I find myself completely baffled by the this one.

Every now and then an application starts using a lot of CPU. This is typically when running Flash or Java typically in a browser but I'm not completely sure about what triggers. The strange thing is that once the problem occurs all applications become affected. Even simple things like opening a file browser or dragging windows around spikes the CPU to 100% for 10-15 seconds or longer. It's like a gradual melt-down with the system becoming unusable even for simple tasks. The only solution at that point is powering off the laptop completely, which takes a long time since all processes are now really slow to close down.

Needless to say a very debilitating problem to have and I'm baffled as to how to narrow things down. I know how to look up CPU usage by process with top but when all applications begin to exhibit this behavior that's pretty much useless.


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