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Old 11-10-2004, 06:18 PM   #1
CritterZ
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Registered: Nov 2004
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Question XDM/KDE unknown disk activity?


Warning: Noob question....

Just broke my Linux cherry (yeah, yeah - so, I'm a late bloomer), and installed Woody (3.0r3) Non-US, on a PII 333MHz generic box w/ 512MB, and a 6GB disk.

After having a problem getting X up using a Diamond Stealth 64 DRAM card, a quick swap out to a slightly newer STB Velocity 4400 w/ RivaTNT, and things are golden. This is pretty nice stuff, folks!

Before heading on to update, and install other toys like firewall, mozilla etc, there is a nuisance that needs fixing.... and, hopefully someone here has a quick clue.

System boots fine, xdm fires up, I log in and have a very snazzy KDE desktop. Woo-hoo!

While my gleaming new little 'nix box is sitting 'idle', and I'm playing on another system trying to concentrate on other matters, like RTFM'ing, the Debian box happily hits its system disk.... every 10-11 seconds. Like a little kid whacking a drum needing attention. Brrrrrrrrrrt-chuck! Brrrrrrrrrrt-chuck!

Firing up kpm to see who's doing what, it appears based on cpu usage, that klipper is the fella waking up to do stuff... whatever that is. Any suggestions as to how to silence my little beastie, or pursue it?

Thanks, loads !
 
Old 11-10-2004, 06:42 PM   #2
CritterZ
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update....

Well, it's not klipper, or kicker.... axed 'em both, and it's still chuckin' on the disk. That pretty much leaves the X process??

Thanks, agian !
 
Old 11-13-2004, 02:05 AM   #3
Ironi
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Registered: May 2003
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Ok, first of all, you don't want to go killing random processes. That's pretty much a universal rule regardless of what OS you use. If you're not sure about something, look it up on Google (start with queries akin to debian klipper, linux kicker, etc).

Incidentally, Kicker is KDE's panel application and Klipper its clipboard app; you don't want to kill either one.


As for visually determining what is actually causing those disk accesses... there doesn't seem to be any tool that will allow you to do just that. My guess is that it's benign; swapping, file system journalling, the "update" process syncing the disk(s) periodically, etc.

However, it is possible that it's not harmless. Connecting a fresh installation of Debian to a network without stopping various network services or enabling a firewall is a great way to get your box compromised very quickly. Rule that out first, then when you know more about Debian and Linux, go hunting for the cause of those annoying disk accesses.

HTH. Good luck.
 
Old 11-13-2004, 10:09 AM   #4
TLV
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Re: XDM/KDE unknown disk activity?

Quote:
Originally posted by CritterZ
While my gleaming new little 'nix box is sitting 'idle', and I'm playing on another system trying to concentrate on other matters, like RTFM'ing, the Debian box happily hits its system disk.... every 10-11 seconds. Like a little kid whacking a drum needing attention. Brrrrrrrrrrt-chuck! Brrrrrrrrrrt-chuck!
Welcome to Linux. You won't regret it

I assume it's the harddisk making the sound... There is a tool that will give you details about what processes are access the disk, but the name has slipped my mind. Maybe someone else knows.

On the top of my head, it could be two things.

1) The commit-interval for your filesystem. Journaling filesystems frequenly do some disk-activity to be able to recover in the event of something weird happening. The commit-interval can be changed with a mount parameter, these are specified in /etc/fstab. One way to test it could be to umount one partition (asuming you don't have everything in one mount-point) and then remount it with a different commit-interval.

2) Something is causing a something to be written to a log file. Check /var/log/syslog and/or /var/log/messages and the timestamps there. I had the "problem" of my firewall logging stuff there, and at the same time my Windows box (connected to the same network) sending strange packages on the network...

Hope this may give you a starting point at least...

/TLV
 
  


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