[ubuntu-uk] Strange high CPU usage problem

Rossen Stoyanchev rstoyanchev at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 24 12:05:25 UTC 2011


Thanks for your responses. I will try to answer in one rather than individually.

I have a Dell M2400 laptop, Nvidia graphics card (http://dell.to/fqyD5M).
I run updates regularly.
I am currently using the proprietary nvidia graphics driver. 
I was using nouveau previously but suspend wasn't working with it.

The key to the problem is it affects all other processes and it doesn't go away by simply killing a specific process. What happens usually is I kill or stop firefox-bin, plugin-container, chrome and all other apps until the CPU calms down completely. However I can't start any new apps (e.g. nautilus) without seeing the CPU go to steady 100% for 10-15 seconds even for simple things. The only way out is to shut down and reboot. 

Because of this pattern it makes me think there is a bug in some lower-level service (like accessing the file system or graphics) that applications rely on but I'm not sure how to pin it down.

I will try to look out more for patterns but it happens a lot when watching flash video (e.g. parleys.com) for extended periods of time, sometimes when using skype video. Recently I noticed a fairly isolated case when running a CPU-intensive Java build process (no browsers open at all).


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