System slows down considerably at a certain time every day [SOLVED]

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ajay1989
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System slows down considerably at a certain time every day [SOLVED]

Post by ajay1989 »

Hi all,
I have been using LM 19.1 about 4 months now and its great. But recently I am facing this issue where the system just slows down at a fixed time (11: 00 AM Indian standard time) for about 20 minutes and opening any application takes way too much time. The system monitor does not show anything out of the ordinary but itself takes too long to open. What could be the problem. I had earlier thought the problem was due to newer kernel (5.00.17) I installed for my wacom tablet..but reverting back to 4.15 does not solve the issue. Any Help is appreciated.
Last edited by ajay1989 on Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Pjotr
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

When the slowdown starts, run the terminal command top

It should show the culprit.
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gittiest personITW
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by gittiest personITW »

My Timeshift tends to do its hourly backup on the hour - 10am, 11am, midday etc.
Could it be that?
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

gittiest personITW wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:59 am
hourly backup
In almost all cases, that would be massive overkill....
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by gittiest personITW »

Just stopped the hourlies. Finally the system is pretty much how it should be now.
If you see any of my previous posts (and you have replied to quite a few - thank you), you'll see that I have a great knack for tinkering and not always getting it right.
I think, personally, it is time to stop tinkering but I just can't stop myself.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by AndyMH »

Just stopped the hourlies
Good! I run timeshift daily and I think that's over the top :)
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by gittiest personITW »

Might get a few more months out of the old Timeshift drive.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

gittiest personITW wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:42 am
If you see any of my previous posts (and you have replied to quite a few - thank you), you'll see that I have a great knack for tinkering and not always getting it right.
I think, personally, it is time to stop tinkering but I just can't stop myself.
That's actually a pretty good description of the average Linux user..... :lol:

My salvation has been to make a distinction between my computers: "work horses" that should always run reliably and stable on the one hand, and unimportant "play boxes" on the other hand. I restrict my wild and crazy experiments to the play boxes.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by gittiest personITW »

That would be the sensible thing to do.

Sometimes though I just wonder what would happen if I ...........
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by ajay1989 »

Today I started my laptop at 11:08 AM and it ran fine. But an hour later the problem reappeared. Though by reverting back to 4.15 has reduced the intensity of the slowdown. Here is a screenshot i took using top command.
Image

Also, the cpu load display light (forgive me I'm a noob) at the side of laptop is continuously on..for about 20-25 minutes. I can't seem to find what the issue is from the top result
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

What desklets / applets did you install in your Cinnamon (if any)?
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rene
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by rene »

ajay1989 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:45 am
Also, the cpu load display light (forgive me I'm a noob) at the side of laptop is continuously on..for about 20-25 minutes. I can't seem to find what the issue is from the top result.
No doubt rather HDD access light. Your top display shows an updatedb run active. This taking 20-25 minutes seems excessive and exactly 11:00 seems to not match, but a busy drive would indeed mean a significant slowdown on things such as opening applications, as you describe.

updatedb's purpose is to update the database that the (command line) locate command uses to speed up searches. I personally find locate to not be useful, it needing to wait for an updatedb run to be aware of changes, and disable it outright. You could as well, at least to confirm it's the problem:

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -x /etc/cron.daily/mlocate
sudo rm /var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db
If you feel you want to re-enable later, simply:

Code: Select all

sudo updatedb
sudo chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/mlocate
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

rene wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:15 am
I personally find locate to not be useful, it needing to wait for an updatedb run to be aware of changes, and disable it outright.
Are there any practical disadvantages to simply removing mlocate altogether?

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge mlocate
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by rene »

Not as far as I'm personally aware no.

Last time I suggested disabling mlocate xenopeek's reply was that "various GUI tools also use locate", but as far I could see none installed by default on any edition --- and come to think of it, seeing as how one that does use it likely has a dependency on mlocate, purging it completely may be preferred from a newling perspective; it'll then be reinstalled en re-enabled automatically if something gets installed that actually wants the bloody thing...
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

rene wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:42 am
Not as far as I'm personally aware no.

Last time I suggested disabling mlocate xenopeek's reply was that "various GUI tools also use locate", but as far I could see none installed by default on any edition --- and come to think of it, seeing as how one that does use it likely has a dependency on mlocate, purging it completely may be preferred fro a newline perspective; it'll then be reinstalled en re-enabled automatically if something gets installed that actually wants the bloody thing...
Thanks. I'll start an experiment on my machines....

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge mlocate
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by ajay1989 »

Pjotr wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:23 am
by Pjotr » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:18 pm
I'm using albert, safeeyes, redshift, sticky notes, pomodoro, BAMS.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by ajay1989 »

rene wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:15 am
ajay1989 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:45 am
Also, the cpu load display light (forgive me I'm a noob) at the side of laptop is continuously on..for about 20-25 minutes. I can't seem to find what the issue is from the top result.
No doubt rather HDD access light. Your top display shows an updatedb run active. This taking 20-25 minutes seems excessive and exactly 11:00 seems to not match, but a busy drive would indeed mean a significant slowdown on things such as opening applications, as you describe.

updatedb's purpose is to update the database that the (command line) locate command uses to speed up searches. I personally find locate to not be useful, it needing to wait for an updatedb run to be aware of changes, and disable it outright. You could as well, at least to confirm it's the problem:

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -x /etc/cron.daily/mlocate
sudo rm /var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db
If you feel you want to re-enable later, simply:

Code: Select all

sudo updatedb
sudo chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/mlocate

Thanks. I'll try this and post the result tomorrow
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by Pjotr »

ajay1989 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:56 am
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:23 am
by Pjotr » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:18 pm
I'm using albert, safeeyes, redshift, sticky notes, pomodoro, BAMS.
Disable them all and test again. When improvement: re-enable them one by one in order to find the culprit.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by xenopeek »

To try and rule out whether this is caused by mlocate's updatedb, you can run this command on the terminal:
time (sudo updatedb -v | wc -l)
Type your password as prompted. Share the output of the command here (you can select and copy text from the terminal through its Edit menu). For me it shows over half a million files processed in under 3 seconds though that's on a SSD (but an aging 8 year old beasty).

I doubt mlocate is to blame for 20 minute system delay. If you do see above command taking 20 minutes do please also share the output of these three commands (run one at a time):

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxzr
cat /etc/updatedb.conf
mount
That may help us point at things to investigate further in relation to a slow updatedb, if indeed updatedb is taking 20 minutes.

Personally I would advocate against removing or disabling mlocate, even if it is found to cause the slow down—it's the underlying cause in that case that needs identifying and solving. As for programs that use mlocate the one that springs to mind is Xfce's Catfish, which optionally depends on mlocate but doesn't require it. I frequently use locate to find files in system directories as it's infinitely faster than find and doing updatedb, if needed, is just a few seconds.
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Re: System slows down considerably at a certain time every day

Post by rene »

If updatedb is the culprit then said "underlying cause" is probably a lot of timeshift backups it's trawling through. And then again, having myself told updatedb to go take a hike for more than a single decade by now, calling it itself "the underlying cause" is still fine by me as well. The use-case for that thing has never managed to make any sort of sense to me; if I know what something's called I either know where it is already or it's new enough that it's not yet in the database to start with; a simple find helps in that case and foregoes the need for daily rounds of timed disk thrashing...
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