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Old 03-03-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
Joe Soap
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Debian Wheezy - xorg has a high cpu load


I'm running Debian Wheezy and recently, after a normal software upgrade via Apt-get, I noticed that screen refreshes when using GIMP was extremely slow. Another thing that happened was that the GIMP toolbox icons didn't display. Also, in the top menu bar of Gnome, the sound icon disappeared.

A google revealed that similar problems were related to either KDE or Nvidia. I don't use KDE and, to the best of my knowledge, my PC does not have an Nvidia card.

Some time after the problem described above had appeared, I did another regular upgrade and the problem disappeared. I did notice, while running the upgrade, that some xorg/xserver files were marked for upgrade.

I thought all was well, but I was wrong. A subsequent upgrade once again caused everything graphic to slow down to a crawl. And that is the status at the moment.

If I run another distro from a live CD (e.g. Knoppix) the problem disappears, but that doesn't solve my problem because I don't want to install another distro. I want a pure Debian installation.

Has anybody had a similar problem? Is there a solution available?

Any help/advice/pointers in the right direction will be appreciated. Naturally I will gladly post any further info that could help to diagnose and solve the problem
 
Old 03-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
shefla
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Hi Joe Soap,

I think the first step is to identify which process is consumming a lot of cpu / memory.
You can use the task manager of your desktop environment.
Otherwise from a terminal, you can use below tools:
- top
- ps
- free

Regards
 
Old 03-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #3
Joe Soap
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It's xorg. I use top and xorg is virtually always in the top 5, usually at number 1 or 2 with double figure CPU usage.
 
Old 03-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #4
goumba
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Do you know what video card you do have?

DOes the problem persist across reboots?
 
Old 03-03-2013, 11:41 PM   #5
Joe Soap
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Graphics card: This is what I get from lspci:

01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Radeon 2100 (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])

The problem does persist across reboots.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
goumba
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You can try the Catalyst drivers from AMD. It seems like the newest version which supports your chipset is 10.2.

Before you try that, do you have the firmware package installed? Without it, xorg is likely using the vga/vesa driver, which may be the cause of your problem.

Last edited by goumba; 03-04-2013 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Was thinking of the old X2100
 
Old 03-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
Joe Soap
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Hi,

Thanks for the answer.

The thing is that everything was working fine until I did an apt-get upgrade. A later upgrade appeared to fix everything before an even later upgrade broke it again.

When I load a live distro like Knoppix, everything work as expected.

What is the firmware package that you're referring to and how can I check whether it's installed?
 
Old 03-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
Soderlund
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Is it firmware-linux-nonfree from the non-free repository? At least it has fixed a bunch of computers for me. But I'd just enable the non-free repository and download the firmware-linux package, which delegates both the free and non-free firmware.

(That is if they have the same name in Wheezy as in Squeeze.)

To check if you have them:
Code:
dpkg -l | grep -i <package-name>
 
Old 03-04-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
goumba
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The firmware is the non-free package. Many Radeon firmware files are included. I always did as the above poster and installed both as they covered several pieces of hardware. Give it a shot.
 
Old 03-05-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
Joe Soap
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You guys rock! I installed the suggested package, rebooted and everything works great. Thanks a lot.
 
  


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