Computer is slowing down

John R. Sowden jsowden at
Sat Dec 7 21:06:02 UTC 2013

On 12/07/2013 03:50 AM, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Saturday 07 December 2013 06:49:51 John R. Sowden did opine:
>> On 12/04/2013 01:54 AM, John R. Sowden wrote:
>>> I have been using the same computer (Pentium 4 3.0GHz 1GB RAM (shared
>>> 875 MB for non-video use) 1.5GB swap, 13.10 xubuntu/xfce desktop) for
>>> several years, and its been working fine.  Click on an icon, the
>>> program executes right away, etc.
>>> In the last year, the system seems to have been slowing down.  It
>>> takes 2-3 seconds from a click on an icon until the program starts to
>>> execute (not up and running).  I am wondering if xubuntu is getting
>>> bigger and bigger, taking more ram (I assume that is the issue)
>>> without letting us know that requirements are changing.  I also am
>>> wondering if more non-essential programs are being added to the
>>> install that are running in ram, that are not necessarily needed.
>>> Any thoughts?
>>> John
>> Ok, lots of ideas, so after some checking, here goes:
>> question re: root dir: 19 directories, no files, 5 links to init.rd,
>> vmlinuz, vmlinuz.old, libnss.  these seem current
>> (latest version).
>> have I run top? no (thought that was sys monitor in console mode): 179
>> tasks running, most sleeping, 896MB ram, 179MB free.
>> which cpu: 32 bit pent 4
>> run "df -h": sda7 (mounted at root) 94% used 1.2GB free
> This is bad, what partition is it, as in mount point?
>> could not find how to read SMART data (looked in gparted-no)
>> System Monitor: (with firefox running and thunderbird running)
>> cpu1 5%, cpu2 11% memory 55% flat line (no change), swap: 6% flat
>> line-no change
>> processed: running evolution (isn't that a mail program?-I don't use
>> it). why is 'pulse audio "h=very high priority?  all processes show 0%
>> cpu (doesn't seem right)
>> ---------------------
>> what I am questioning is: what's changed.  My use hasn't, so all I can
>> think of of code bloat, uh, I mean program upgrades.  Does ubuntu let us
>> know about additional ram requirements with new versions or other
>> upgrades?
>> I think that is about it.  Thanks for all the input.
>> John
> Cheers, Gene
I ran sudo apt-get autoclean and sudo apt-get autoclean from the ubuntu 
support page referenced in one of the answers.   it mainly got rid of a 
lot of perl lib files (hope that is not a problem).
then I ran df -h  results:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda7        20G   17G  2.0G  90% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev            426M   12K  426M   1% /dev
tmpfs            88M  1.1M   87M   2% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            438M  164K  438M   1% /run/shm
none            100M   28K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sda8        15G  8.0K   15G   1% /media/secure
/dev/sda9       4.2G  128M  4.1G   4% /mnt/e

which partition is /sda7? I assume that is a partition name (device=sda, 
partition 7)


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