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Old 07-04-2004, 11:01 PM   #1
Bonk
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Question Constant disk activity...


I'm new to Fedora but not entirely new to unix in general (used QNX for ages). But I'm certainly far from an advanced user... anyway here's my question:

Why does The Fedora Core 2 installation cause continual disk activity on my system? My poor old hard disk won't take this much longer...

(AthlonXP 2500, 512MB ram, 8 GB Western Digital) The swap partition remains empty, plenty of physical memory left but the hard disk keeps going and going...
 
Old 07-04-2004, 11:11 PM   #2
sh1ft
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I'm sure its because during install your transfering over 5 gigs of stuff onto your hard disk. Seems pretty logical to me..... Unless I misunderstood your question?
 
Old 07-04-2004, 11:23 PM   #3
Bonk
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No, no, no... the install was completed days ago, of couse the disk will be busy during install.

The disk is active continually with small disk accesses, where QNX or windows pretty much leave the disk alone when the machine is idle, something is accesing the disk constantly in a way that will surely wear out the hardware... if it contimues I'll simply have to abandon Fedora and go back to FreeBSD or QNX, though what I wanted was the best possible platform for MySQL... QNX will do I guess but I've just got everything configured now and am hesitant to do it all again.

Thanks for the reply though!

Do all Linux distributons behave like this? I'd try Slackware but if its going to be the same I'll go back to FreeBSD or QNX...

Last edited by Bonk; 07-04-2004 at 11:51 PM.
 
Old 07-04-2004, 11:43 PM   #4
dah'dee
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That doesn't sound normal. What does ps auxw tell you? The only thing that I can think of would be rebuilding the slocate database which is started by cron.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 12:06 AM   #5
Bonk
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I've been watching the process list but have not been able to identify a culprit.
I'm hesitant to post the whole list here... here's an edited list (hopefully I'm not giving away the store here):

Code:
       PID %CPU %MEM   VSZ  RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND
         1  0.0  0.1  2440  464 ?        S    Jul01   0:01 init [5]
         2  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SWN  Jul01   0:00 [ksoftirqd/0]
         3  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW<  Jul01   0:00 [events/0]
         4  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW<  Jul01   0:00 [khelper]
         5  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW<  Jul01   0:00 [kacpid]
        19  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW<  Jul01   0:00 [kblockd/0]
        20  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [khubd]
        31  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [pdflush]
        32  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [pdflush]
        34  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW<  Jul01   0:00 [aio/0]
        33  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [kswapd0]
       139  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [kseriod]
       178  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:04 [kjournald]
      1150  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        SW   Jul01   0:00 [kjournald]
      1534  0.0  0.1  2344  620 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 syslogd -m 0
      1538  0.0  0.0  2512  440 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 klogd -x
      1559  0.0  0.1  2512  580 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 portmap
      1579  0.0  0.1  2940  724 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 rpc.statd
      1607  0.0  0.1  2736  572 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 rpc.idmapd
      1701  0.0  0.1  2084  744 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 smartd
      1711  0.0  0.1  2972  464 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 acpid
      1912  0.0  0.3  4724 1472 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 sshd
      1927  0.0  0.2  2924  912 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 xinetd -stayalive  -pidfile xinetd.pid
      1941  0.0  1.1  5420 5420 ?        SL   Jul01   0:00 ntpd -U ntp -p /v ntpd.pid
      1960  0.0  0.6  8532 2800 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 sendmail: accepti ng connections
      1969  0.0  0.5  7096 2376 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 sendmail: Queue r unner@01:00:00 for clientmqueue
      1980  0.0  0.1  2628  468 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gpm -m /dev/input /mice -t imps2
      2002  0.0  0.1  1908  652 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 crond
      2084  0.0  0.8  5648 3648 ?        S    Jul01   0:01 xfs -droppriv -da emon
      2097  0.0  0.6 11196 2744 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 smbd -D
      2102  0.0  0.4  8596 2080 ?        S    Jul01   0:01 nmbd -D
      2121  0.0  0.1  1832  616 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 atd
      2141  0.0  0.2  2740  908 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 dbus-daemon-1 --s ystem
      2157  0.0  0.0  2016  312 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 mdadm --monitor - -scan
      2187  0.0  0.0  3216  352 tty1     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y1
      2193  0.0  0.0  1992  352 tty2     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y2
      2199  0.0  0.0  2056  424 tty3     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y3
      2205  0.0  0.0  2768  352 tty4     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y4
      2211  0.0  0.0  2436  352 tty5     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y5
      2217  0.0  0.0  1832  348 tty6     S    Jul01   0:00 mingetty tt y6
      2223  0.0  0.4 11572 2208 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gdm-bina ry -nodaemon
      2400  0.0  0.6 12072 2772 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gdm-bina ry -nodaemon
      2411  1.0  5.0 94148 22884 ?       S    Jul01  49:43 X :0 -audit 0 -auth /XXX/:0.Xauth -nolisten tcp vt
      2443  0.0  2.0 20724 9480 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gnome-session
      2500  0.0  0.1  4660  704 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 ssh-agent Xclients
      2510  0.0  1.6 11860 7588 ?        S    Jul01   0:01 gconfd-2 5
      2513  0.0  0.1  2428  876 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gnome-keyring-daemon
      2515  0.0  0.6  8260 2772 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 bonobo-activation-server --ac-activate --ior-output-fd=1
      2517  0.0  1.6 13944 7284 ?        S    Jul01   0:11 metacity--sm-client-id=default1
      2519  0.0  1.8 21712 8584 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gnome-settings-daemon --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_Se
      2526  0.0  0.2  3468 1200 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 fam
      2605  0.0  3.3 25748 15100 ?       S    Jul01   0:06 gnome-panel --sm-client-id default2
      2607  0.0  3.7 38504 17020 ?       S    Jul01   0:03 nautilus --no-default-window --sm-client-id default3
      2609  0.0  1.3 18348 6164 ?        S    Jul01   0:02 magicdev --sm-client-id default4
      2611  0.0  1.5 18744 7188 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 eggcups --sm-client-id default6
      2613  0.0  1.0 13628 4656 ?        S    Jul01   0:01 pam-panel-icon --sm-client-id default0
      2615  0.0  4.2 31944 19244 ?       RN   Jul01   0:17 python rhn-applet-gui --sm-client-id default5
      2616  0.0  0.1  2772  504 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 pam_timestamp_check -d root
      2619  0.0  0.6 18324 3140 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 gnome-vfs-daemon --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_VFS_Dae
      2645  0.0  1.8 18852 8156 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 clock-applet --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_ClockApplet
      2647  0.0  0.1  2860  688 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 mapping-daemon
      2650  0.0  1.4 18856 6736 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 notification-area-applet --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME
      2652  0.0  1.9 21348 9012 ?        S    Jul01   0:00 mixer_applet2 --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_MixerApple
      2659  0.0  2.2 21064 10124 ?       S    Jul01   0:04 wnck-applet --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_Wncklet_Fact
      4654  0.0  0.2  5728 1176 ?        S    Jul02   0:00 sh mysqld_safe --datadir=/XXX --pid-file=/XXX
      4687  0.0  3.6 213472 16716 ?      S    Jul02   0:00 mysqld-max --basedir=/XXX --datadir=/XXX --user=mysq
      6309  0.0  0.2  2928 1064 ?        S    Jul03   0:00 esd -terminate -nobeeps -as 2 -spawnfd 27
      6754  0.0  0.4  8080 2108 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 cupsd
     29446  0.3  2.8 23320 12668 ?       S    Jul04   4:07 gnome-system-monitor
     29453  0.0  0.8 12956 3620 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 system-config-services
     29454  0.0  0.2  5792 1084 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 userhelper -w system-config-services
     29455  0.0  2.8 23616 13108 ?       S    Jul04   0:01 python system-config-services
     30583  0.0  1.5 18828 6828 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30586  0.0  1.7 19364 7748 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30587  0.0  1.6 19232 7620 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30588  0.0  1.6 19044 7568 ?        S    Jul04   0:02 httpd
     30589  0.0  1.5 18828 6968 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30590  0.0  1.6 19172 7528 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30591  0.0  1.6 19232 7620 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30592  0.0  1.5 18828 6964 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30593  0.0  1.6 19204 7588 ?        S    Jul04   0:00 httpd
     30624  0.0  0.8 11808 3644 ?        S    00:55   0:00 smbd -D
     30655  2.3  2.6 26152 11820 ?       S    01:52   0:00 gnome-terminal
     30656  0.0  0.1  2508  604 ?        S    01:52   0:00 gnome-pty-helper
     30657  0.0  0.2  4992 1340 pts/2    S    01:52   0:00 bash
     30669  0.0  0.1  3268  756 pts/2    R    01:52   0:00 ps auxw
 
Old 07-05-2004, 03:16 AM   #6
PhilBayfield
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So a hard drive performing its intended function is going to wear it out...? I don't think you really need to worry about that... Infact biggest wear on the drive is the on/off cycle and a drive thats on and in use 24/7 is much more likely to outlive a drive thats turned on and off on a regular basis. Your continual hard drive activity does sound rather strange though, linux shouldnt need to use the swap much/at all with 512 ram (with several things running at the moment my memory usage is about 400 Mb) and even if the swap was in use it wouldnt be continually accessing it...
 
Old 07-05-2004, 06:18 AM   #7
Bonk
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Um no, its intended function is not to be accesesed repeatedly while the system is idle.

I am familiar with how the MTBF is related to the number of power cycles, I know hardware rather well - I maintain mass spectrometers, laser spectroscopy systems etc... please show me the courtesy of not talking down to me and I'll do the same...

Notice I am using an old WD, this drive has aleady performed well under constant use in a windows server - I always disable powersaving and tell the OS I'm using never to spin down the disks...

Please read again, it is not using the swap partition at all, lots of physical memory remains free...

Now where were we?

Oh yes, does anybody have any useful suggestions about this constant disk activity?
(without that self-important swagger please...)

Last edited by Bonk; 07-05-2004 at 06:40 AM.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 AM   #8
dah'dee
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Nothing obvious there except possibly smartd. I've never tried running it but it *is* supposed to be monitoring the disk and could be causing the chatter.

You could try running iostat to see what partitions are getting hammered and then lsof to see if it's all coming from a particular process.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 10:31 AM   #9
Bonk
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Ah, thanks very much, I was suspicious of smartd myself. Thanks for the good suggestions, I'll try what you suggest when I get a chance later today.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 11:03 AM   #10
PhilBayfield
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Quote:
I am familiar with how the MTBF is related to the number of power cycles, I know hardware rather well - I maintain mass spectrometers, laser spectroscopy systems etc... please show me the courtesy of not talking down to me and I'll do the same...
lol yer whatever, u missunderstood the point so nm

Last edited by PhilBayfield; 07-05-2004 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 03:24 PM   #11
Bonk
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No I didn't, please read more carefully before posting, thanks.
 
Old 07-05-2004, 04:04 PM   #12
Bonk
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Well its not smartd, MySQL or the httpd I stopped them all and it continues, I guess I'll go by the process of elimination, if disabling everything does not do it then time to dump the OS i guess...
 
Old 07-05-2004, 08:56 PM   #13
Bonk
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I've done a little searching and this seems to be a relatively common problem with Fedora.

e.g.:
Quote:
One last thing that's bugging me: constant disk whirring/clunking. I assume this is Nautilus keeping an eye out for media changes or something, but still ... grrr!
http://www.andrewsavory.com/blog/archives/2003_11.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=const...+fedora+core+2

I have not found anybody with solution yet. I even adjusted accounting in the Kernel - no dice...
 
Old 07-06-2004, 11:52 AM   #14
Basslord1124
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I agree with others, turning your system on/off will kill it quicker....BUT, for a HDD that's only 8GB I'd think constant activity will kill it quickly too. Sucker must be quite old.

I don't seem to notice much HDD activitity with Fedora. Just little bits here and there when being idle. I get about the same with XP Pro running idle. Now, if the light was constant for a while then I might be concerned.
 
Old 07-06-2004, 03:42 PM   #15
Bonk
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Quote:
I agree with others, turning your system on/off will kill it quicker....
AACCKKK!!!! I did not disagree with that... check the reference to MTBF (mean time between failure above...) <sigh>

It is not steady disk access but continual short accesses that are unnecessary... I'll probably just end up going back to QNX, I can't see any resolution to this if it is considered acceptable.
 
  


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