My ubuntu is slow as hell

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by bonedriven, May 16, 2012.

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  1. bonedriven
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    bonedriven Registered Member

    I installed ubuntu 12.04 on Virtual box. At the beginning it went well, after a few system updates and software installation now it's only crawling. Where do I start to diagnose the problem?

    I'm new to linux. In the last 3 months I've tried ubuntu and mint. Every time I had a problem (stuck at boot, and all other kinds of weird problems) with linux, all I can do was reinstallation. The longest time the linux could run normally was 7 days, until a new reinstallation.

    It is totally frustrating.
  2. Hungry Man
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    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Well... you're running it in a VM so this isn't exactly surprising.
  3. funkydude
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    funkydude Registered Member

    Yes it is, it usually runs fine with low resources.

    Well you can start by telling us what VM you're using, if your CPU supports VT-x/AMD-V, and if you've enabled it in your VM. If you have, make sure you've allowed it to use more than one CPU core.
  4. Hungry Man
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    Hungry Man Registered Member

    I've never had good luck with any OS in a VM. Maybe that's just me.
  5. vasa1
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    vasa1 Registered Member

    But performance seems to degrade over time. How is that explained?
  6. Gullible Jones
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    Gullible Jones Guest

    Umm. Do you have IO APIC enabled for the virtual machine? Because IO APIC in VirtualBox can mess up all kinds of OSes.

    (It's also worth noting that, when Linux crashes randomly or fails to boot, the first resort is usually to boot with the 'noapic' kernel option.)

    Also, Ubuntu comes with several daemons that can hog CPU power; it's possible one of them is making a nuisance of itself. I would run top and sort processes by CPU usage (shift+p). Chances are you'll find update-apt-xapian or such going berserk.

    (If OTOH you think this is a disk I/O hogging issue, you could try iotop.)

    Edit: also, more basic stuff - Ubuntu has similar requirements to Windows 7 in terms of hardware. Make sure you're allocating enough memory for it; 512 MB of RAM is not enough.
  7. vasa1
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    vasa1 Registered Member

    Like running for about 2 min per day?
  8. funkydude
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    funkydude Registered Member

    ?? Not from my experience. Not only has it been smooth sailing across many many OS's, it's also required to be on if you want to run more than 1 core.

    Maybe you're thinking of a different feature?

    edit: Also what CPU are you running?
  9. tlu
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    tlu Registered Member

    Did you install the VB guest additions? Without them any guest is slow.
  10. vasa1
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    vasa1 Registered Member

    But OP says things start off well and then performance degrades over days. So why do things run well at the beginning but not later on?
  11. tlu
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    tlu Registered Member

    You're right, that's strange. Nevertheless it's important to know if the guest additions are installed.
  12. bonedriven
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    bonedriven Registered Member

    Thank you guys.

    My CPU support VT core or sth(sorry I don't know the term). But I gave the os 1 core only, coz this ubuntu is 32bit version (I don't know if it's relevant). The memory is 1GB for the Virtual machine.

    I'm not sure but it seems the slowdown came after I installed Chrome and Cinnamon.

    Talk about the desperation when my linux gets a problem...especiall every time it's not a same problem...I don't even know where to start to fix.

    Meanwhile, my main OS windows 7 has been running like 2 years without a real problem. I don't know how they are gonna convince the average joes who are much noober than me to use linux.

    EDIT: I restarted the virtual ubuntu, then there's an error popped up saying sth failed to start or sth. I clicked ok and found the machine ran so much faster. Later I found I lost status bar. No time, no internet connectivity icon, no input method, no logout, no system settings button, nothing there anymore.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  13. jitte
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    jitte Registered Member

    You could always give FreeBSD a try, you've already got the daemon. ;)

    j/k
  14. bonedriven
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    bonedriven Registered Member

    Is FreeBSD easier than Linux?

    No I just found the daemon was pretty cute. :D

    p.s. You may wonder why I am still struggling with linux. I am building a bootable usb disk to use in the university, since I don't like the OS in the pc of our university...I am building it in virtual machine, then use Remastersys to back it up to an ISO, then install it in the pendrive...But it always doesn't last long...
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  15. jitte
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    jitte Registered Member

    It wouldn't be that much different for someone familiar with Linux but for someone who isn't installing it from scratch is anything but user friendly.

    It dumps you at the command prompt after install and you have to compile everything, from X, to a desktop or windowmanager, on up. I'm familiar with it, with 7 years experience running FreeBSD, and it takes me about 24 hours of watching screen after screen of text scroll by before I've got all my apps installed and everything configured like I want it.

    You'd be much better off trying to get your Linux distro ironed out. Don't give up on it.


    Edit: If you're just looking for a Linux distro you can run from a USB stick you might want to check out Puppy Linux. It runs as root by default and is considered to be a "toy OS" by a lot of people so isn't without it's faults, but runs in RAM so you wouldn't have to mess with a VM, has a lot of apps already installed and is about as easy as it gets when it comes to running or setting up Linux. You can save your files and progress to the same USB stick and remaster a CD of it too.

    I keep a USB stick of it handy if I need to access my SD card drive, as FreeBSD isn't recognizing it.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
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