4-core slow due to disk access

Rashkae ubuntu at tigershaunt.com
Mon Apr 26 14:49:08 UTC 2010

Joep L. Blom wrote:
> I have in Karmic (2-6.31-20) a nasty problem for which I cannot find a 
> solution.
> My system: AMD Phenom II 4 -core 4 GB of memory, 1 HD 250 GB and 2 
> external USB disks (resp 250GB and 1 TB), which are irrelevant for the 
> problem. I have an 8 GB swap-space.
> After starting the system it's speed is acceptable but not superfast. I 
> have e few applications running (terminal, Thunderbird, Firefox and 
> gkrellm). I see in gkrellm that I have now 2 GB free and and ~ 1 GB of 
> swap-space in use.
> Normally I have vmware running with Windows XP but I have that 
> temporarily closed.
> I can see that I use from 1-5 % processortime (over 4 cores), 7 users (I 
> have a few terminals started) and 447 processes.
> But when I start a program it takes even > 1q second to start calculator 
> and switching folders in Thunderbird, takes sometimes minutes.
> In the gkrellm monitor I see a constant disk use for what?? (I have 2 Gb 
> free). I cannot imagine that the system is constantly swapping.
> I have this problem since I started the system (Aug-09) and the slowing 
> progresses over time so I need to restart at least every 10 days,
> Has anybody ideas and will it be better with 10.4 LTS?
> Joep

You have 1 GB of swap *used* on start-up of a 4GB system?  You must have 
Vmware configured to reserved ungodly amounts of memory for a VM, 
(though you say that's closed)...

can you share the output of free and cat /proc/meminfo ?

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