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#1 2011-01-12 06:52:25

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Hi I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this kind of post, sorry if it isn't.  Anyways I just switched from Ubuntu 10.10 to Arch Linux and I'm loving everything about it except for this one problem.  Which is that my computer becomes very unresponsive when im copying large amounts of files from one disk to another.  I've got a pretty powerful system an AMD phenom x6 1055t, 890 motherboard 4gb ram, 1.5 tb hdd.  Previously before switching to Arch Linux, I backed up my data on Ubuntu and I was doing a lot of disk transfers from an NTFS disk to an ext4 partition and I did not experience any slow down/freezes/unreponsiveness on my system even while doing large file transfers.

I was researching this problem and found serverl other posts about this problem,

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=71131
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=93960
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=70525

one of the posts suggested to change swappiness, and I did change it to 0, my results from cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness is 0, but still the problem persists sad.  Another posts suggested that it could be due to the kernel, my kernel atm is 2.6.36-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT with no kernel customizations,  i'm still somewhat of a linux newbie having just switched from 20 years of using windows to linux, and have only used linux for about 2 weeks, ive tried compiling kernels before but its always been hit or miss, so would only like to try recompiling kernel only as a last resort.

What I dont understand is why my ubuntu system did not suffer this syptom but Arch Linux does, I'm not trying to flame arch linux, only trying to figure out the cause so I can fix it, as I def want to stay with the "Arch Way" smile.  My ubuntu 10.10 system was using the vanilla kernel what chipped with the live cd, it was 2.6.35 if I remember correctly.  File transfers was done through nautillus, on my arch system i've tried all kinds of file managers (thunar, pcmanfm) also tried with cp and still the same slugginess, apps would take like 5-10 secs to load, browser becomes really slow to load any pages.

Please if someone can offer some advice, I would be really grateful, thx tongue

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#2 2011-01-12 06:58:50

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,856

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

You're on a 64-bit system, your Ubuntu install was most likely on a 32-bit.


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jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#3 2011-01-12 07:03:56

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Sorry forgot to mention my Ubuntu system was 64 bit.

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#4 2011-01-12 09:52:36

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,456

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Try:
ionice -c3 schedtool -D -e cp /src/blah /dest/blah

Background info:
man ionice
man schedtool

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#5 2011-01-12 10:14:28

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Update

tried using "ionice -c3 cp" also no effect, anyone any suggestions?

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#6 2011-01-12 10:17:09

dyscoria
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Registered: 2008-01-10
Posts: 1,007

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

You could try using the -ck kernel from AUR: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=32877

It includes BFQ patches also, which might help with your problem.


flack 2.0.6: menu-driven BASH script to easily tag FLAC files (AUR)
knock-once 1.2: BASH script to easily create/send one-time sequences for knockd (forum/AUR)

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#7 2011-01-12 10:39:48

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Is it possible to yaourt -S kernel26-ck, do I need to modify the pkgbuild?

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#8 2011-01-12 14:14:45

Mr. Alex
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Registered: 2010-08-26
Posts: 623

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Maybe it's 12309 which is "Fix Hard"?

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#9 2011-01-12 15:35:56

dyscoria
Member
Registered: 2008-01-10
Posts: 1,007

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

zenwong wrote:

Is it possible to yaourt -S kernel26-ck, do I need to modify the pkgbuild?

I don't know. I would read through the pkgbuild first. IIRC it's quite well commented.

Last edited by dyscoria (2011-01-12 15:36:22)


flack 2.0.6: menu-driven BASH script to easily tag FLAC files (AUR)
knock-once 1.2: BASH script to easily create/send one-time sequences for knockd (forum/AUR)

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#10 2011-01-12 15:47:24

SanskritFritz
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From: Budapest, Hungary
Registered: 2009-01-08
Posts: 1,619
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Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

dyscoria wrote:

You could try using the -ck kernel from AUR: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=32877

It includes BFQ patches also, which might help with your problem.

Sadly it won't. But zen-kernel in AUR includes the bfq io scheduler which definitely could help.

UPDATE: lol I'm stupid. Disregard that.

Last edited by SanskritFritz (2011-01-12 15:48:07)


zʇıɹɟʇıɹʞsuɐs AUR || Cycling in Budapest with a helmet camera || Revised log levels proposal: "FYI" "WTF" and "OMG" (John Barnette)

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#11 2011-01-12 17:04:15

perbh
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From: Republic of Texas
Registered: 2005-03-04
Posts: 765

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Just a li'l question - what are the relative copy-times using arch and ubuntu?
If arch is much faster copying - then there's your reason ...
Maybe 'nice' would help?

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#12 2011-01-13 04:19:31

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Hmm well I upgraded kernel to 2.6.37 using yaourt kernel26-ck works fine as far as i can tell, but problem still persists sad

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#13 2011-01-13 04:24:03

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

My ubuntu system was transferring from disk to disk at an average of 20 MB/s.  For Arch Linux I'm not sure as thunar or pcmanfm does not have a speed indicator, also I have not recompiled cp with the -g option.  When i get back from school today I will try to do more testing.

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#14 2011-01-13 09:39:33

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Downloaded iotop and it states that I'm averaging 80-100 MB/s write throghput, ive also noticed that the sluggishness is not so pronounced with the new 2.6.37 kernel, but still there is lagginess.  Anything else to try guys?  Oh yea also forgot to mention I'm using the BFQ IO scheduler.

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#15 2011-01-13 10:05:27

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,456

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

On 64-bit, it's been a huge problem for ages apparently.

If Ubuntu works, then I'd use the Ubuntu kernel. See e.g. maverick kernel.

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#16 2011-01-13 10:29:52

zenwong
Member
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 11

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Well yea the easy solution would be to just switch back to Ubuntu of course tongue  I'd still like to find out the underlying cause tho, in addition I might not always be able to change to Ubuntu, perhaps maybe at work.  Been doing a lot of reading on this issue, and apparently its still ongoing, anyways thanks for all the help guys.

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#17 2011-01-15 12:13:19

sva_h4cky0
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From: Surabaya, Indonesia
Registered: 2009-03-25
Posts: 109
Website

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

brebs wrote:

On 64-bit, it's been a huge problem for ages apparently.

If Ubuntu works, then I'd use the Ubuntu kernel. See e.g. maverick kernel.

Can you please create PKGBUILD for it? thanks


"Am I not good enough for you?"

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#18 2011-01-15 12:19:27

graysky
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From: The worse toilet in Scotland
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,647
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Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Rather than making a PKG for the maverick kernel, I'd rather see vimdiff on the ARCH .config and then Ubunutu .config if it is related to the kernel's config.  I'm running kernel26-ck on my box and I don't see a freeze anymore for what it's worth.


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#19 2011-05-01 07:27:56

Markus00000
Member
Registered: 2011-03-27
Posts: 302

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

I'm experiencing the same issue on a 32-bit system. Kernel is 2.6.38.

Even when copying from the hard disk (ext4) to an extremely slow USB stick (<4 mb/s write, FAT), the system becomes almost completely unresponsive. At the same time CPU load, RAM usage and disk activity are all very low.

The same goes for duplicating a file on a USB hard disk (ext4) and for copying files to it from the internal disk (ext4).

ionice slighty improves the situation, but the system can still be called unusable.

EDIT: Using the "deadline" scheduler makes the system a bit more responsive.

EDIT: After additionally adding the two lines under "swappiness", the system seems to be as responsive while copying as one would expect from its (rather low) system specs. Everything still gets slower while copying but the system remains usable.

Last edited by Markus00000 (2011-07-26 11:42:41)

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#20 2011-07-26 11:25:16

akurei
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From: Bochum, NRW, Germany
Registered: 2009-05-25
Posts: 152
Website

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

I can confirm that with the deadline scheduler the system is more responsive. The problem still persists, though. But it's much more comfortable to work now while copying.

EDIT: have you guys set

vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs = 1500

in /etc/sysctl.conf?

I set mine to 500 and now I have no problems (yet?).
EDIT: Mhh now firefox froze again for about one minute when copying a few GB of ogg files to a vfat android phone via USB.

Last edited by akurei (2011-07-26 14:47:35)

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#21 2011-07-26 15:52:44

brando56894
Member
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: 2008-08-03
Posts: 623

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

I have this problem also with Arch 64, I figured the slowdown was due to using the testing builds of KDE 4.7, but I guess not. I'll try these suggestions.

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#22 2011-07-26 16:01:07

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,079

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

There is another 20+ reply thread for a similar/same issue.  https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=112846

Check it out and see if any solutions have been offered. I am not merging the thread simply because it would get too confusing with the replies intertwined between threads.


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There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

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#23 2011-07-26 16:31:14

akurei
Member
From: Bochum, NRW, Germany
Registered: 2009-05-25
Posts: 152
Website

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

@Inxsible Nope, no other solutions.

It is not HW dependant, either.

ngoonee wrote:

Common issue with 64-bit systems, no-one has ever been able to actually track down the cause I believe. Not sure if -bfs will help you (I think it didn't for me, but I still use it though, and I don't have those sorts of loads anymore).

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 60#p732360

Last edited by akurei (2011-07-26 16:38:32)

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#24 2011-07-27 19:34:43

ChoK
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-10-01
Posts: 340

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

This is a kernel bug and ubuntu is also affected, maybe they deployed some kind of workaround but this problem has been going on for age.

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=12309
https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10549
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/131094


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#25 2011-09-11 17:54:25

akurei
Member
From: Bochum, NRW, Germany
Registered: 2009-05-25
Posts: 152
Website

Re: Computer extremely unresponsive/freezes when copying

Sorry, I posted in the wrong thread, so I will just link from my answer here.

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 70#p987770

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