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Old 11-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #1
dgoddard
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Registered: Jan 2007
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Mouse & Keyboard intermittantly responsive


Problem:
Computer becomes unresponsive tothe mouse and keyboard on an intermittant basis.

Details:
About 5 to 15 % of the time the computer is unresponsive to the mouse and keyboard. Regardless of what application is currently being used or is open but not in active use, the computer will not respond to input for a period of time. The keystrokes or mouse clicks and movments are being stored up but there is no response until whatever is taking up the computer's resources gets through. Sometimes these excursions are short just 1 to 5 seconds, other times longer. Sometimes there is a period of unresponsiveness with interspersed bursts of responsiveness.

For example,during such a period 20 to 50 characters might be typed but rather than appearing on the screen as the keys are struck there will be a pause and suddenly 5 will appear then another pause and 10 will appear, etc.. Then, when the episode of unresponsiveness is over, the computer will go back to displaying characters as they are typed.

Movement of the cursor on the screen either by key stroke or mouse movement or clicks gets really confusing.

It appears fairly obvious that the cpu is intermittantly busy with some other task that has higher priority than the keyboard or mouse.

It appears that the problem exists regardless of which (if any) applications are running.

The help that is needed.
For diagnostic purposes, it would be nice to have something like the MS Windows Task Manager ability to monitor all current processes in real time so I could see what the offending process was. If Ubuntu has such a feature I am unaware of it and how to access it.

If there is a simple way to increase the priority of the mouse and keyboard, I am not aware of how that is done.

Other Details:
-- The problem seems to equally affect the keyboard, the mouse pad and the USB mouse.
-- The USB mouse is a microsoft wheel mouse.
-- Disconnecting the USB mouse has not effect on the problem.
-- The degree to which the problem manifests is substantially variable sometimes going long periods between episodes and other times interrupting my work every minute or so.
-- The computer is a Dell studio 1535 laptop obtained about 2 months ago
-- The computer did not do this when I first got it
-- The process of getting it to work with a USB modem seems to have been responsible for disabling both the sound and the wirless capabilities and there is known to be a problem with Modem drivers and Ubuntu but the exact nature of that problem and what to do about it is beyond me.
-- Dell's promised "ubuntu support" has proven worthless as they now claim it is only for "hardware issues" and they somehow reason that does not include driver issues (this is based on my experience with several utterly inadequate Dell support personnel).
 
Old 11-17-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
irishbitte
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Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Brighton, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy, Ubuntu Jaunty, Eeebuntu, Debian, SME-Server
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System -> Administration -> System Monitor

is something like what you are looking for. I'm betting either you have an old machine, faulty RAM, or installed something silly!

Oh and BTW, if it doesn't do what it said on the tin, INSIST that they replace it! The customer is always right!

Last edited by irishbitte; 11-17-2008 at 03:01 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 04:24 PM   #3
dgoddard
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that was a bust

Quote:
Originally Posted by irishbitte View Post
System -> Administration -> System Monitor

is something like what you are looking for.
Well that was a bust, I used the monitor and noting showed up as ursurping the computer's resources. I had to do it several times as the system monitor list always ran off the top or bottom of the screen, nevertheless, through several experiences of unresponsiveness I was able to watch what was using resources and nothing was taking more than a tiny percentage of capacity. Somehow whatever is casuing the problem is escaping the System Monitor's attention.

Any Ideas where else to look for the problem?
 
Old 11-23-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
irishbitte
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Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Brighton, UK
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Well, remember when you run system monitor, you are running it as a normal user, without superuser (root) privileges. Try the following at a terminal:
Code:
ps axjf | grep 1000
This will print a process tree in the terminal for user 1000 (thats me.):

Code:
 
 6107  6437  6437  6437 ?           -1 Ssl   1000   0:00      \_ x-session-manager
 6437  6495  6495  6495 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:00          \_ /usr/bin/seahorse-agent --execute x-session-manager
 6437  6504  6437  6437 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:00          \_ gnome-settings-daemon
 6504  6512  6437  6437 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:01          |   \_ /usr/bin/pulseaudio --log-target=syslog
 6512  6515  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          |       \_ /usr/lib/pulseaudio/pulse/gconf-helper
 6437  6529  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          \_ /bin/sh /usr/bin/compiz --sm-client-id default0
 6529  6599  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:05          |   \_ /usr/bin/compiz.real --ignore-desktop-hints --replace --indirect-rendering --sm-client-id default0 core ccp
 6599  6709  6709  6709 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:00          |       \_ /bin/sh -c /usr/bin/compiz-decorator
 6709  6710  6709  6709 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          |           \_ /bin/sh /usr/bin/compiz-decorator
 6710  6712  6709  6709 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          |               \_ /usr/bin/gtk-window-decorator
 6437  6531  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:02          \_ gnome-panel --sm-client-id default1
 6437  6532  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          \_ nautilus --no-default-window --sm-client-id default2
 6437  6605  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          \_ bluetooth-applet --singleton
 6437  6609  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          \_ update-notifier
 6437  6628  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:01          \_ nm-applet --sm-disable
 6437  6629  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00          \_ python /usr/share/system-config-printer/applet.py
    1  6434  6107  6104 ?           -1 S     1000   0:01 /usr/lib/libgconf2-4/gconfd-2 12
    1  6436  6107  6104 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon -d --login
    1  6503  6503  6503 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:00 dbus-daemon --fork --print-address 20 --print-pid 22 --session
    1  6527  6527  6527 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:01 gnome-screensaver
    1  6540  6540  6540 ?           -1 Ssl   1000   0:00 /usr/lib/bonobo-activation/bonobo-activation-server --ac-activate --ior-output-fd=16
    1  6574  6503  6503 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd
    1  6611  6611  6611 ?           -1 Ssl   1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs//gvfs-fuse-daemon /home/dave/.gvfs
    1  6624  6503  6503 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/bin/obex-data-server --no-daemon
    1  6627  6503  6503 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/notification-daemon/notification-daemon
    1  6631  6631  6631 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-volume-manager/gnome-volume-manager --sm-disable
    1  6633  6633  6633 ?           -1 Ss    1000   0:00 gnome-power-manager
    1  6635  6503  6503 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-burn --spawner :1.4 /org/gtk/gvfs/exec_spaw/0
    1  6644  6503  6503 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-trash --spawner :1.4 /org/gtk/gvfs/exec_spaw/1
    1  6647  6540  6540 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-applets/trashapplet --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_Panel_TrashApplet_Factory --oaf-ior-fd=19
    1  6657  6540  6540 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-data-server-2.22 --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_Evolution_DataServer_CalFactory:1.2 --oaf-ior-fd=24
    1  6776  6540  6540 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-applets/multiload-applet-2 --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_MultiLoadApplet_Factory --oaf-ior-fd=24
    1  6779  6540  6540 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-applets/mixer_applet2 --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_MixerApplet_Factory --oaf-ior-fd=33
    1  6782  6540  6540 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00 /usr/lib/fast-user-switch-applet/fast-user-switch-applet --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_FastUserSwitchApplet_Factory --oaf-ior-fd=39
    1  7031  6540  6540 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/2.22/evolution-alarm-notify --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_Evolution_Calendar_AlarmNotify_Factory:2.22 --oaf-ior-fd=22
    1  8204  6437  6437 ?           -1 Sl    1000   1:38 /usr/lib/firefox-3.0.4/firefox
    1  8372  6437  6437 ?           -1 Sl    1000   0:01 gnome-terminal
 8372  8379  6437  6437 ?           -1 S     1000   0:00  \_ gnome-pty-helper
 8372  8380  8380  8380 pts/0     8662 Ss    1000   0:00  \_ bash
 8380  8662  8662  8380 pts/0     8662 R+    1000   0:00      \_ ps axjf
 8380  8663  8662  8380 pts/0     8662 R+    1000   0:00      \_ grep 1000
Now if I just run

Code:
ps axjf
without the "| grep 1000" bit, I get all processes for all users, daemons included. Scrolling through this, I will see any unusual processes, especially from unusual users. For example, scrolling through mine, i found a user with UID 33, which I found unusual. Then I can run:

Code:
getent passwd | grep 33
which gives me:

Code:
www-data:x:33:33:www-data:/var/www:/bin/sh
which I turn out to be happy with, since www-data is the apache server daemon user, and I have an apache server running on this machine to serve a few test pages, so thats ok.

It's a laborious process, and no doubt someone has a better idea, but you may find that something like compiz or similar services / daemons are really killing your system, and you may need to change some settings to optimise your machine.

Come back if you need any help.

Last edited by irishbitte; 11-23-2008 at 10:01 AM.
 
Old 11-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #5
dgoddard
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Registered: Jan 2007
Posts: 69

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishbitte View Post
........
Come back if you need any help.
Well the first help I am going to need is a brief tutorial on how to read this critter

Running the command ps axjf got me the following:
----------
$ ps axjf
PPID PID PGID SID TTY TPGID STAT UID TIME COMMAND
0 2 0 0 ? -1 S< 0 0:00 [kthreadd]
2 3 0 0 ? -1 S< 0 0:00 \_ [migration/0]
and something over 100 more lines as above.

(Sorry, but this forum software removes extra spaces so the columns don't line up )
----------
The first thing I would need to know is which column shows me what is taking up the most resources of the cpu, or is otherwise usurping the ability of the keyboard and mouse to respond. It would also be beneficial to know what all those column headers stand for. I realize that they are all mnemonics, but without even knowing what they stand for, I don't stand much of a chance of knowing what they are trying to tell me.
 
  


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