Re: "why is my Linux so damn slow?"

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On Saturday, February 12, 2011 07:51:25 am M. Fioretti wrote:
> Greetings,
> 
> when I upgraded from Fedora 12 to Fedora 14, about twenty days ago,
> the system (which wasn't doing really well even before the upgrade)
> became almost unusable. The problem is, very likely, upstream of
> Fedora, but I would like to understand where exactly is and if/how
> Fedora in some way amplifies it. I've posted all details here:
> 
> http://freesoftware.zona-m.net/help-request-why-is-my-linux-so-damn-slow

You have a very interesting problem.

Given the amount of RAM, and given the result of the top command,
from the URL, you are not having a memory to disk swap problem.

May I ask, what is the "purpose" of this system?  Is it a server?
With the amount of memory, I have no idea how much disk space,
and processes running, can I assume it is a server?

If we suspect X/nVidia -and- the system is a server, can we boot
in runlevel 3 (i.e., boot without X) to see if the system runs slow?

When was the last time this system was booted?

When the system is initially booted, does the system start slow,
or does the system run "fast" for awhile, and then slow down?

Is the system slowing down account specific?
Does the system run slow when marco is not logged in?
Do you have another account you can log in as?

Is the slowness caused when certain applications are running?

According to the top command, firefox had 24.6% of the CPU,
and python and java and another python and httpd and mysqld and ...
were all running.  Firefox is at the top of the top output.

Can you quit Firefox and make sure Firefox is really stopped.
After quitting Firefox, please do killall firefox to make sure.
Please do ps aex | grep [f]irefox to make sure firefox is stopped.

I wonder if Firefox is visiting a website that causes Firefox problems.
The top output shows Firefox has TIME+ of 96:00.54--I'm not sure
the units for 96:00.54, is that 96 minutes, 96 hours, or what?
I would like to rule Firefox out, as a possible cause of the slowness.

Can you please boot the system, with the network off?
I am curious to see if network traffic is causing the slowness.
Perhaps some network service is being attacked from the Internet.
I would actually like to see the number of bytes in/out on your interfaces.

I don't know anything about your iptables rules...do they give a hint on
network activity?  Are services available to the Internet that shouldn't be?
If your system is a server, perhaps you are suffering a brute force attack 
against some service or services.  Can you do iptables -L -v
Do any iptables rules show unusual byte/packet counts?

I neglected to ask if you checked system logs?
Is there anything special in /var/log/messages or /var/log/secure or
/var/log/cron or ... I would do a ls -ltr /var/log to see the size of your
logs and see which logs are being written to most.  I don't run httpd.
Where are the log files for httpd kept?  Are those log files in /var/log/httpd?
I would also check subdirectories of /var/log for log files for services.

The purpose of the above questions is to gather more information.
Hopefully, something  will stand out that points to the problem.

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