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Thread: Linux Ubuntu slowness
face picon face BY : Sean Breheny email (remove spam text)

Hi all,

I have a Toshiba laptop (Celeron M processor, 1.5GHz, 512MB ram, 80GB
hard drive) on which I recently installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron (I
originally had XP on it, I wiped it clean and installed Ubuntu). At
first it seemed to work wonderfully. However, in the last several
weeks, it will often take forever to do the simplest tasks. For
example, playing a Youtube video in Firefox, it will often halt for a
few seconds several times during the video, despite the fact that it
has buffered the data well beyond the point where it is in the video.
Also, when I am just opening files from the hard drive (PDF, XLS, even
text), it will often sit there for perhaps even several minutes while
the hard drive chugs away before it finally opens the file. It often
does this while loading web pages, too. Most of these times the
display will go "grey" and become unresponsive until it finishes
chugging, and then it will go back to full color and work normally.
Sometimes it will stay grey indefinitely and I will have to kill the
Firefox process.

I am not a Linux expert but I was able to use pidstat to see what
processes were using the hard drive so much. In the cases where
Firefox was active and very slow, it was Firefox itself which was
doing a whole lot of reading from the HD (surprisingly, it was doing
almost no writing to the HD).

I installed one round of Ubuntu updates a few weeks ago and it didn't
help. Now I see that more updates are available and I will try those.

Searching on Google hasn't turned up anything for me yet.

Any ideas?


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