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Old 03-01-2004, 04:09 PM   #1
HoosTrax
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A lot of hard disk activity?


I keep on hearing a lot of hard disk activity after I've logged into Linux for a few minutes. GKrellM isn't displaying much CPU, process, or disk activity, but I call definitely hear the HD grinding away. I've never noticed this in Win, even if I leave the firewall off, so I don't think that's what's causing it. Plus, I've checked to see if any other users are logged onto my computer, nothing unusual.
 
Old 03-01-2004, 04:46 PM   #2
DrOzz
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did you try running :
top
in a termianl and see if you can see anything unusual...

and since i can't physically hear it myself, i will just throw out the idea that you may have a "loud" harddrive, and it might be slowy dieing, or simply just some physical problem rather than an app (or whatever else) accessing it ..
 
Old 03-01-2004, 04:58 PM   #3
HoosTrax
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I highly doubt that there's anything wrong with the HD itself. The computer's fairly new, and the disk is perfectly quiet in XP unless I'm actively writing to it.

It would seem that all of my memory has being used up, so maybe it's using the swap space, which is causing the noise? I don't really know enough about swap to say for sure...

Here's what top shows:

Code:
 17:56:52  up  1:08,  2 users,  load average: 0.06, 0.29, 0.42
74 processes: 72 sleeping, 2 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states:  cpu    user    nice  system    irq  softirq  iowait    idle
           total   12.1%    0.0%    1.9%   0.0%     0.0%    0.0%   85.8%
Mem:   246924k av,  237516k used,    9408k free,       0k shrd,   34144k buff
       119864k active,              76204k inactive
Swap:  522072k av,   98288k used,  423784k free                   78696k cached
                                                                                                                             
  PID USER     PRI  NI  SIZE  RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM   TIME CPU COMMAND
 6137 root      15   0  158M  23M 12216 S     8.5  9.8   1:53   0 X
 8246 hoostrax  16   0 11360  11M  8084 R     4.7  4.6   0:02   0 gnome-terminal
   12 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.1  0.0   0:06   0 kjournald
 8282 hoostrax  16   0  1120 1120   896 R     0.1  0.4   0:00   0 top
    1 root      16   0   404  372   356 S     0.0  0.1   0:03   0 init
    2 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 keventd
    3 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 kapmd
    4 root      34  19     0    0     0 SWN   0.0  0.0   0:00   0 ksoftirqd/0
    6 root      25   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 bdflush
    5 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:01   0 kswapd
    7 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 kupdated
    8 root      20   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 mdrecoveryd
   88 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 khubd
 4979 root      15   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 kjournald
 5613 root      16   0   724  460   460 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 dhclient
 5661 root      15   0   572  548   496 S     0.0  0.2   0:03   0 syslogd
 5665 root      15   0   392  384   332 S     0.0  0.1   0:02   0 klogd
 5686 rpc       16   0   516  448   448 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 portmap
 5706 rpcuser   18   0   692  600   600 S     0.0  0.2   0:00   0 rpc.statd
 5745 root      18   0   464  392   392 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 hcid
 5750 root      17   0   388  328   328 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 sdpd
 5755 root      18   0     0    0     0 SW    0.0  0.0   0:00   0 krfcommd
 5780 root      17   0   408  360   360 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 apmd
 5820 root      16   0   608  572   572 S     0.0  0.2   0:00   0 smartd
 5837 root      16   0  2980 1480  1392 S     0.0  0.5   0:00   0 cupsd
 5880 root      20   0  1044  876   876 S     0.0  0.3   0:00   0 sshd
 5896 root      15   0   688  572   572 S     0.0  0.2   0:00   0 xinetd
 5926 root      16   0  2068 1524  1388 S     0.0  0.6   0:00   0 sendmail
 5935 smmsp     15   0  1896 1448  1412 S     0.0  0.5   0:00   0 sendmail
 5947 root      17   0 20576 1964  1964 S     0.0  0.7   0:00   0 spamd
 5957 privoxy   18   0   908  568   568 S     0.0  0.2   0:00   0 privoxy
 5967 root      16   0   376  340   324 S     0.0  0.1   0:00   0 gpm
 5978 bin       16   0   988  580   552 S     0.0  0.2   0:00   0 cannaserver
 
Old 03-01-2004, 06:39 PM   #4
JaseP
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It might possibly be crond or anacron running some service on your machine,... But I don't see them running on your top report... Of course I don't know if they'd show up...

Plus that wouldn't explain Windoze acting up.
 
Old 03-02-2004, 11:03 AM   #5
HoosTrax
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Well, that's just it, it isn't acting up in Windoze . In Win, I'm rarely using more than 30% of the physical memory. Right now, I've switched into BlackBox, and it's showing that I've used up all of my physical memory and part of the swap. I would have thought that if I were running BlackBox, I might be using up fewer resource than when I was in Gnome/KDE, but I'm not noticing much difference.
 
Old 03-02-2004, 11:56 AM   #6
Jelle
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1: if you have just started up your machine, anacron may want to run the scheduled tasks that were not run when the computer was off. If this happens to be updatedb (which updates the locate database) you will hear a lot of disk grinding.

2. as for the memory hogs: weed out the services you don't need. I see sendmail, and a nfs server running, (i am sure there are others) that may not be needed. Turn those off.

3. Read the manpage (or info) for top. I believe there is a key to make Top sort the list based on memory usage.This may show the memory hog, if it is one process causing it. Also have a look at lsof to list the open files on your system.

Does your box have the same behaviour when you boot up in single user mode (issue init 2 as root will do it too)?
 
Old 03-02-2004, 12:52 PM   #7
JaseP
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Keep in mind that Windoze memory management (if you can call it that) works differently than Linux. Having a lot of free physcial memory isn't as much of a priority as it is in Windoze. Usually, if you are seeing slowdowns on the same hardware, it's because you are running a lot of services in the background.

I'm betting that it's crond or anacron running services that weren't run before that is causing the HD to slow down and make noise. Also,... is the HD a Western Digital??? They are pretty noisy drives.
 
Old 03-02-2004, 09:29 PM   #8
DrOzz
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how bout stop thinking about how memory management works in windows, and read what i said in the below link :
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...631#post475631

and you'll quickly see that your probably not using up all your memory
 
Old 03-03-2004, 08:37 AM   #9
bigearsbilly
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swap

Is it noisy all the time? or does it sometimes stop?
was that 'top' taken during a noisy period?

I suspect your linux distribution has some background tasks going on.


with 256Mb RAM you should, generally use swap space about, say
once a month. I had 256Mb ( now 512 ;-P ) and never swapped.

You aren't using all your memory. That's what memory is for.
No point having empty memory, now is there?

Linux doesn't throw anything out of memory unless it has too.
It keeps files, and such like in memory to prevent re-reading the same document from disk.
so if you open a document, movie, mp3 or whatever twice, the second time may not need a disk read.
not unlike like cached web pages in your browser.

It deletes cache'd stuff when it is old and unused.

billy
 
Old 03-03-2004, 12:20 PM   #10
Tiyogi
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I just ran a "top" report and it shows 3 users.
What does this 3 users mean? This is stand aone unit and not network connection.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 05:49 PM   #11
JaseP
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Keep in mind that "users" also refer to the owners of a process that is running. For example, if root is running a process (one that is set up to be running for the benefit of all users) then root will count as a user. Also, the user account running the top report will count as a user. In addition, there may be other processes running at less than root authority that will also count in the report.

If you want to see something else interesting, do a who from a console and you usually get 2 versions of yourself.
 
Old 03-04-2004, 01:35 PM   #12
Jelle
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Those other users are little red men that keep your computer running by poking it with pitchforks. Other, less sane, people refer to these men as 'daemons'. Everybody else just call them what they are: little red men.

Sometimes they have to login to your computer, for instance to send you an email that you should not download that much pr0n because the filesystem is nearly full.
I you are worried about them, tell us their names and we can tell you if they are harmfull or not. You can tell that from their name indeed. I can tell from your name that you will not be fooled by this story, so therefore it must be true. It is, as a matter of fact.
 
Old 03-04-2004, 06:24 PM   #13
HoosTrax
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Ok, the good news is, I did what Drozz suggested (free -m) and it looks like I'm only using about half of my memory.

But on to the bad news. I tried a little experiment which involved unhooking the ethernet cable a few minutes after I had logged in and noticed the excessive disk activity. As soon as I had unplugged the ethernet, the disk activity stopped (from listening to it and watching the HD indicator light) but my computer suddenly became incredibly slow (~ 30 secs to open a terminal).

Then I tried rebooting the computer into Linux, this time without the ethernet connection. No heavy disk activity and the computer was operating at normal speed.

I'm not sure what this all means. I did try "who" and "netstat" before removing my box from the LAN and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Plus, the firewall was up and I haven't opened any e-mail attachments.

Can I get any recommendations for anti-virus software and a software firewall that alerts me to inbound/outbound connections?
 
Old 03-04-2004, 07:10 PM   #14
HoosTrax
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Here's an update on the situation. I think I may have solved the problem. What I did was play around with the Red Hat GUI firewall app. I set the firewall to up, and unchecked "trusted" for everything, so now nothing is listed as "trusted".

Before, I had the eth0 as "trusted" and I think I may have also done something to the iptables with FireStarter.

Anyways, now the HD is quiet as can be and the activity indicator light on the front panel of the machine isn't constantly blinking anymore. Plus, the machine seems to have speeded up a bit, judging from the time it takes to use find. Wonder if I had somehow misconfigured the iptables ?
 
Old 03-04-2004, 07:36 PM   #15
aeolus
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you can enter linux rescue mode,does noise still exist?or run fsck and check hd
 
  


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