Slow performance on Hoary/Gutsy

sktsee sktsee at tulsaconnect.com
Sun May 4 16:39:05 UTC 2008


On Sun, 2008-05-04 at 16:09 +0200, Torbjörn Österdahl wrote: 
> Obviously the version I installed last week was 8.04 Hardy Heron. Hoary
> Hedgehog was 5.04, if I remember things correctly. Typo.
> 
> Torbjörn
> 
> 
> On Sun, 2008-05-04 at 08:57 -0500, Anna EdwARds wrote:
> > If i were you, i would back up anything of any importance and
> > reinstall 7.04 if you can find it and wait untill the next lts
> > (following old pattern it should be 8.06) and then stick with lts
> > editions. If you want a 7.04 disk i have plenty to spair just give me
> > a shout. 
> > 
> > _____________________________ 
> > Sent from my phone using flurry - Get free mobile email and news at:
> > http://www.flurry.com 
> > 
> > --- Original Message --- 
> > Date: Sun May 04 06:23:21 PDT 2008 
> > From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Torbj=F6rn_=D6sterdahl?= 
> > To: ubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com 
> > Subject: Slow performance on Hoary/Gutsy 
> > --- 
> > 
> > I have a very slow performance on my system. The machine is somewhat
> > aged; it is a Nvida Nforce 2 with a AMD Athlon XP 2000+ CPU and 1GB
> > RAM. I have used Ubuntu since version 5.04, I do not know if I just
> > need to take this degradation into account? With Hoary I did a new
> > install for the first time since April 2005. Previously I always used
> > the upgrade option. After the install I noticed that the harddrive is
> > identified with as a serial ATA drive, although I am confident that
> > this old drive is does not have a serial ATA interface. Could this be
> > the reason for slow performance? DMA seem to be enabled from what I
> > can see. 
> > 
> > I am grateful for all sorts of advice before I resort to buying some
> > new hardware. 
> > 
> > sudo hdparm -i /dev/sda 
> > 
> > /dev/sda: 
> > 
> > Model=ST3120024A , FwRev=3.33 , SerialNo=3KA1EJGH 
> > Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs RotSpdTol>.5% } 
> > RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4 
> > BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=8192kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=?16? 
> > CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=234441648 
> > IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120} 
> > PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4 
> > DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 
> > UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5 
> > AdvancedPM=no WriteCache=enabled 
> > Drive conforms to: ATA/ATAPI-6 T13 1410D revision 2:
> > ATA/ATAPI-1,2,3,4,5,6 
> > 
> > * signifies the current active mode 
> > 
> > dmesg|grep sda 
> > [ 33.856254] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 234441648 512-byte hardware sectors
> > (120034 MB) 
> > [ 33.856271] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off 
> > [ 33.856274] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00 
> > [ 33.856296] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache:
> > enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA 
> > [ 33.856357] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 234441648 512-byte hardware sectors
> > (120034 MB) 
> > [ 33.856369] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off 
> > [ 33.856373] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00 
> > [ 33.856391] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache:
> > enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA 
> > [ 33.856396] sda:<4>Driver 'sr' needs updating - please use bus_type
> > methods 
> > [ 33.871214] sda1 sda4 < sda5 sda6> 
> > [ 33.891302] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk 
> > [ 51.277416] Adding 1951856k swap on /dev/sda5. Priority:-1 extents:1
> > across:1951856k 
> > [ 51.836651] EXT3 FS on sda1, internal journal 
> > [ 52.590173] EXT3 FS on sda6, internal journal 
> > 

The device node name change from /dev/hda to /dev/sda results from the
libata library handling the SATA, and/or PATA devices on your system.
It's pretty much a cosmetic change as libata supports most PATA devices
just fine. Usually it's really old drives, or mainboards with quirky
controllers that can be problematic. 

My drive is a Seagate (ST380215A) also, and the output I get from hdparm
and dmesg is practically identical to what you posted, and I've not
suffered any performance hit using libata. Of course, I haven't upgraded
to hardy yet, so I may be in for unpleasant surprise when I do. :/

I think the most likely cause for the performance loss is that one or
more processes have malfunctioned and are eating up CPU cycles, or
causing excessive IO. Here's a few suggestions in no order to help
troubleshoot the problem.

1. Run top, say, 10 minutes after rebooting to see if any process is
hoarding the cpy or causing excessive io.

2. make sure the swap file is on. "swapon -s" should list the active
swap.

3. Install bootchart to audit the system's boot sequence. 

4. Have a sane host name. If you give your machine a host name like
myhostname.com, a lot of apps are going to spend a lot of time doing
lookups and timing out because it isn't a valid registered name with
DNS. Just set the hostname to a name without a domain, or to something
like myhostname.site in the /etc/hosts file.

5. Compare performance between booting with a Gutsy LiveCD vs. a Hardy
LiveCD. Mount your hardisk and perform timing tests with hdparm -Tt

6. Turn off Desktop effects if they are enabled.

That should get you started. Hopefully, other list members wiil chime in
with other suggestions.

-- 
sktsee







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