disk thrashing for over 15 hours, out of memory?

Asked by Matt Wilkie on 2009-01-02

since upgrading to ubuntu 8.10 (amd64) two or three times my system has lost responsiveness almost but not quite to the point of being frozen (but still completely unusable). Symptoms include:

- hard drive LED on constantly and audibly very busy
- mouse cursor very slow and jerky, up to several seconds between movement and response;
- screen does not redraw;
- [ctrl]-[alt]-[backspace] has no effect; neither does [ctrl]-[alt]-[F#] (where F# refers to F7, F8, F9, etc.);
- caps-lock and num-lock not working;
- no response to network requests from a windows laptop ("net use h: \\ubuntu-desktop\homes" fails);
- ping to ip from windows laptop is successful, but to hostname is not;
- ssh to from windows laptop to ip establishes enough of a connection to ask for a login name but times out after that;

On this latest event I waited over 15 hours for the apparent out of memory situation to resolve itself. At the end of that time the hard drive was still thrashing constantly and the computer unresponsive except for being able to respond a little to mouse cursor movement.

I turned the power off. On restart the system appears to be working normally. As best I can recall what was running at the beginning of the event:

user1 (inactive): firefox, two tabs open (1 playing an mp3, the other on gmail).
user2 (active): firefox, 1 tab (a flash game from lego.com); freecell solitaire, open office writer (as near as I can tell what initiated the event was starting OO).

The active user2 is a privilege limited account (my kids, initiated by fast user switching). User1 was the primary login (myself, admin user). This is a typical use situation for this computer, and has been for three of years. There is often a third desktop user logged in also.

Persistent user space applications that I know are installed (by looking at the application icons in the systray): Google Desktop Search, Dropbox, Tracker. (yes GDS and Tracker do the same thing. I'm trying to figure out which one I like best and want to keep).

Vital Statistics:

Ubuntu 8.10 amd64
Kernel 2.6.27-9-generic
Gnome 2.24.1
936mb ram
AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
99gb available disk space (of 290gb)
1GB of ram.

I believe the first ubuntu release installed on this computer was 5.10 but it may have been 6.04. It's been upgraded in-situ ever since.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Matt Wilkie
Solved:
2010-07-22
Last query:
2010-07-22
Last reply:
2009-06-29
Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #1

How do I pinpoint the cause of this problem? and fix it?

I tried to post the output of /var/log/messages for the last couple of days but the website doesn't seem to want to accept it. Here is a pruned version:

Jan 1 17:37:07 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 17:57:07 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 18:17:07 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 18:35:23 ubuntu-desktop pulseaudio[21841]: ltdl-bind-now.c: Failed to find original dlopen loader.
Jan 1 18:35:23 ubuntu-desktop pulseaudio[21843]: main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_NICE, (31, 31)) failed: Operation not permitted
Jan 1 18:35:23 ubuntu-desktop pulseaudio[21843]: main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_RTPRIO, (9, 9)) failed: Operation not permitted
Jan 1 18:37:07 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [366023.767388] hda-intel: IRQ timing workaround is activated for card #0. Suggest a bigger bdl_pos_adj.
Jan 1 18:40:22 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [366218.526147] npviewer.bin[26079]: segfault at ff9d0aa0 ip 00000000ff9d0aa0 sp 00000000fff8cbbc error 14
Jan 1 18:42:48 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [366364.779423] npviewer.bin[32326]: segfault at 354 ip 00000000f6f0a04b sp 00000000ffb3ef90 error 4 in libflashplayer.so[f68b7000+952000]
Jan 1 18:45:10 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [366506.622424] sr0: CDROM not ready. Make sure there is a disc in the drive.
Jan 1 18:45:10 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [366506.627338] sr0: CDROM not ready. Make sure there is a disc in the drive.
Jan 1 18:57:07 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 19:17:17 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 19:39:21 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 1 19:58:28 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504086] type=1503 audit(1230868679.308:5): operation="capable" name="sys_admin" pid=26514 profile="/usr/sbin/cupsd"
Jan 1 19:58:39 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504097] type=1503 audit(1230868679.308:6): operation="capable" name="sys_resource" pid=26514 profile="/usr/sbin/cupsd"
Jan 1 19:58:45 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504102] type=1503 audit(1230868679.308:7): operation="capable" name="sys_rawio" pid=26514 profile="/usr/sbin/cupsd"
Jan 1 19:58:56 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504343] soffice.bin invoked oom-killer: gfp_mask=0x1201d2, order=0, oomkilladj=0
Jan 1 19:59:02 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504347] Pid: 26514, comm: soffice.bin Tainted: P 2.6.27-9-generic #1
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504350]
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504350] Call Trace:
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504359] [<ffffffff802af87a>] oom_kill_process+0x9a/0x230
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504363] [<ffffffff802afd5f>] ? select_bad_process+0xef/0x130
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504366] [<ffffffff802aff35>] out_of_memory+0x195/0x270
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504370] [<ffffffff802b2d09>] __alloc_pages_internal+0x4d9/0x520
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504375] [<ffffffff802d58cd>] alloc_pages_current+0xad/0x110
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504377] [<ffffffff802ac617>] __page_cache_alloc+0x67/0x80
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504380] [<ffffffff802ada9d>] filemap_fault+0x9d/0x430
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504384] [<ffffffff802c2174>] __do_fault+0x64/0x440
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504389] [<ffffffff80237037>] ? ptep_set_access_flags+0x47/0x60
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504392] [<ffffffff802c310e>] handle_mm_fault+0x1ee/0x470
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504397] [<ffffffff805053cf>] do_page_fault+0x34f/0x750
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504401] [<ffffffff8026afaf>] ? hrtimer_start+0xdf/0x1b0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504406] [<ffffffff80253e79>] ? set_normalized_timespec+0x9/0x90
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504410] [<ffffffff802461f3>] ? hrtick_start_fair+0x173/0x190
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504415] [<ffffffff802104de>] ? __switch_to+0xce/0x490
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504418] [<ffffffff802441ab>] ? finish_task_switch+0x2b/0xf0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504421] [<ffffffff805006a4>] ? thread_return+0x37/0x3c3
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504425] [<ffffffff80386cd8>] ? apparmor_file_permission+0x28/0x30
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504428] [<ffffffff80502a7a>] error_exit+0x0/0x70
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504430]
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504431] Mem-Info:
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504433] Node 0 DMA per-cpu:
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504436] CPU 0: hi: 0, btch: 1 usd: 0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504438] CPU 1: hi: 0, btch: 1 usd: 0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504439] Node 0 DMA32 per-cpu:
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504441] CPU 0: hi: 186, btch: 31 usd: 34
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504443] CPU 1: hi: 186, btch: 31 usd: 53
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504446] Active:100308 inactive:103108 dirty:0 writeback:8 unstable:0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504447] free:1878 slab:12108 mapped:216 pagetables:9394 bounce:0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504449] Node 0 DMA free:3736kB min:32kB low:40kB high:48kB active:2336kB inactive:1620kB present:8448kB pages_scanned:5987 all_unreclaimable? yes
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504454] lowmem_reserve[]: 0 928 928 928
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504457] Node 0 DMA32 free:3776kB min:3880kB low:4848kB high:5820kB active:398896kB inactive:410812kB present:950480kB pages_scanned:1619359 all_unreclaimable? yes
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504461] lowmem_reserve[]: 0 0 0 0
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504464] Node 0 DMA: 17*4kB 43*8kB 18*16kB 23*32kB 6*64kB 1*128kB 1*256kB 1*512kB 1*1024kB 0*2048kB 0*4096kB = 3740kB
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504473] Node 0 DMA32: 272*4kB 5*8kB 8*16kB 1*32kB 8*64kB 5*128kB 1*256kB 0*512kB 1*1024kB 0*2048kB 0*4096kB = 3720kB
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504480] 1362 total pagecache pages
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504482] 46 pages in swap cache
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504484] Swap cache stats: add 1058309, delete 1058263, find 30463/69249
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504486] Free swap = 0kB
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.504487] Total swap = 2907724kB
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.510602] 245488 pages RAM
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.510605] 5849 pages reserved
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.510606] 2294 pages shared
Jan 1 19:59:03 ubuntu-desktop kernel: [370875.510607] 236862 pages non-shared
Jan 1 20:22:18 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --

h2g2bob (d-j-batley) said : #2

I'll bet there's a program eating all your memory and swapping in and out of ram. In fact, you look to have run completely out of ram and swap (Free swap = 0kB, above)!

Have you tried turning off swap with "sudo swapoff -a"? This means memory-mad processes die earlier when you run out of real memory.

You might also want to look into ulimit, which can limit processes memory.

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #3

I'll look into those two programs/settings and see what I come up with.

This morning my machine locked up solid, different symptoms: only one user logged in (me); running programs: Firefox (3 tabs), System Monitor, and System Messages. I let it sit for the day and went to work. This evening once again the machine responded to ping-by-ip but not hostname. Both keyboard and mouse were completely unresponsive. The screen saver did not kick in, neither did display power saving mode. There was no hard drive activity. Power off, restart, and everything looks okay, for the moment.

The tabs open in Firefox were http://www.uttara.ca/blog/scripting/record-internet-radio-with-vlc, this question, and http://www.cbc.ca/. This session had been active for a day or so. This time what seemed to wake up the memory-eating gremlin was attempting to start VLC media player: screen redraws became very delayed, mouse movement was sluggish. It took 5 minutes to close Firefox, and I had to Force Quit. In system monitor both CPU usages ramped up to >95% and swap memory usage climbed at a steady slant. The machine became unresponsive and I gave up.

There are no messages whatsoever in /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages for the time period between 8 this morning and 9 this evening/

/var/log/messages:
Jan 6 07:11:24 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 6 07:31:30 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 6 07:52:06 ubuntu-desktop -- MARK --
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop syslogd 1.5.0#2ubuntu6: restart.
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Inspecting /boot/System.map-2.6.27-9-generic
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Cannot find map file.
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Loaded 72538 symbols from 86 modules.

/var/log/syslog:
Jan 6 07:55:53 ubuntu-desktop console-kit-daemon[6140]: WARNING: The program /usr/lib/ConsoleKit/run-session.d/pam-foreground-compat.ck didn't exit within 15 seconds; killing it
Jan 6 08:00:43 ubuntu-desktop ntpd[4828]: kernel time sync status change 4001
Jan 6 08:02:21 ubuntu-desktop /USR/SBIN/CRON[24736]: (root) CMD ([ -x /usr/sbin/update-motd ] && /usr/sbin/update-motd 2>/dev/null)
Jan 6 08:04:13 ubuntu-desktop anacron[24734]: Updated timestamp for job `cron.daily' to 2009-01-06
Jan 6 08:10:44 ubuntu-desktop /USR/SBIN/CRON[24742]: (root) CMD ([ -x /usr/sbin/update-motd ] && /usr/sbin/update-motd 2>/dev/null)
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop syslogd 1.5.0#2ubuntu6: restart.
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Inspecting /boot/System.map-2.6.27-9-generic
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Cannot find map file.
Jan 6 20:57:19 ubuntu-desktop kernel: Loaded 72538 symbols from 86 modules.

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #4

swapoff seems to have made the system a little more stable. Thank you for the suggestion. Now when a misbehaving app like vlc uses up all the memory the process if killed in fairly short order and I can resume using the computer without resorting to the power switch.

I'd still like to know what went wrong in the first place though. As I've said, I've been using these apps and this computer for several years without this kind of trouble before.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #5

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #6

Based on advice of johanbr on #ubuntu-ca I ran strace on a program which reliably [sic] uses up all the ram and crashes: k9copy. The strace log is 22mb. I'll post the head and tail later. Johanbr said the process keeps re-reading the X keyboard settings over and over again and asked if I have an unusual keyboard configuration -- I don't believe so.

System > Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard preferences says keyboard "Dell" with USA layout. It is actually an IBM model SK-8820, however that model is not available in the IBM section. There are two dell models with similar model numbers: SK-8125, SK-8135.

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #7

$ head -100 k9copy-strace.txt

Process 13422 attached - interrupt to quit
read(12, "mega> \t: \"\341\275\242\" U1F62 # GREEK S"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "AND OXIA\n<Multi_key> <apostrophe"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "omega> \t: \"\341\275\247\" U1F67 # GREEK "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \"\341\275\254\" U1F6C # GREEK CAPITAL L"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OMEGA WITH DASIA AND PERISPOMENI"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "iota> <U1F01> \t: \"\341\276\201\" U1F81 #"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "li> <Greek_alpha> \t: \"\341\276\202\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " ALPHA WITH PSILI AND OXIA AND Y"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ad_psili> <Greek_alpha> \t: \"\341\276\204\""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "# GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSIL"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "TAL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ITAL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <combining_grave> <U0314>"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "eek_ALPHA> \t: \"\341\276\214\" U1F8C # GR"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OXIA AND PROSGEGRAMMENI\n<Multi_k"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "<dead_iota> <Multi_key> <asciiti"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ft> <Greek_ALPHA> \t: \"\341\276\217\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OGEGRAMMENI\n<dead_iota> <dead_gr"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "REEK SMALL LETTER ETA WITH DASIA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "eta> \t: \"\341\276\224\" U1F94 # GREEK SM"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "enleft> <Greek_eta> \t: \"\341\276\225\" U"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "D PERISPOMENI AND YPOGEGRAMMENI\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "U1F97 # GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA W"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " WITH PSILI AND VARIA AND PROSGE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "MENI\n<dead_iota> <dead_grave> <M"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "cute> <dead_psili> <Greek_ETA> \t"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "0314> <Greek_ETA> \t: \"\341\276\235\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "GEGRAMMENI\n<dead_iota> <Multi_ke"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "<asciitilde> <U1F29> \t: \"\341\276\237\" "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "iota> <Multi_key> <parenleft> <G"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "L LETTER OMEGA WITH DASIA AND VA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <dead_acute> <U1F60> \t: \""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SMALL LETTER OMEGA WITH DASIA AN"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EGA WITH DASIA AND OXIA AND YPOG"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SMALL LETTER OMEGA WITH PSILI AN"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\" U1FA8 # GREEK CAPITAL LETTER"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " PROSGEGRAMMENI\n<Multi_key> <Gre"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_key> <parenleft> <Greek_OMEGA> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, ": \"\341\276\254\" U1FAC # GREEK CAPITAL "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\n<Multi_key> <Greek_iota> <acute"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <Multi_key> <asciitilde> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EGA> \t: \"\341\276\257\" U1FAF # GREEK CA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ETTER ALPHA WITH PERISPOMENI\n<de"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ER ETA WITH OXIA AND YPOGEGRAMME"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "dead_diaeresis> <Greek_iota> \t: "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " U1FE1 # GREEK SMALL LETTER UPS"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \t: \"\341\277\254\" U1FEC # GREEK CAP"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\"\341\277\270\" U1FF8 # GREEK CAPITAL LE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER N\n<Mul"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ESIS\n<Multi_key> <underbar> <par"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ti_key> <U227C> <U0338> \t: \"\342\213\240\""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \"\342\221\255\" U246D # CIRCLED NUMBER "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "8 # CIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\201\222\" U3052 # HIRAGANA LETTER GE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " U3193 # IDEOGRAPHIC ANNOTATION "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "key> <parenleft> <2> <4> <parenr"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "renleft> <KP_3> <KP_1> <parenrig"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "3279 # CIRCLED HANGUL THIEUTH A\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OGRAPH STUDY\n<Multi_key> <parenl"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\n<Multi_key> <parenleft> <4> <KP"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "U\n<Multi_key> <parenleft> <kana_"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "B39 # HEBREW LETTER YOD WITH DAG"..., 4096) = 3348
read(12, "", 4096) = 0
close(12) = 0
munmap(0x7f0711cb4000, 4096) = 0
select(8, [7], [7], NULL, NULL) = 1 (out [7])
writev(7, [{"\2\24\4\0\246\1\0\0\0\10\0\0000@@\0\3\24\2\0\246\1\0\0"..., 32}], 1) = 32
select(8, [7], [], NULL, NULL) = 1 (in [7])
read(7, "\1\0\0105\3\0\0\0!\0\0\0\1\0\1\1\377\377\377\377\0\0\0"..., 4096) = 76
read(7, 0x2597594, 4096) = -1 EAGAIN (Resource temporarily unavailable)
open("/usr/share/X11/locale/compose.dir", O_RDONLY) = 12
fstat(12, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=36156, ...}) = 0
mmap(NULL, 4096, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_ANONYMOUS, -1, 0) = 0x7f0711cb4000
read(12, "# $Xorg: compose.dir,v 1.3 2000/"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-1/Compose\t\tes_ES.ISO8859-1\niso"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-15\niso8859-2/Compose\t\tro_RO.IS"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "TF-8/Compose\t\tde_CH.UTF-8\nen_US."..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "p_AN.UTF-8\npt_BR.UTF-8/Compose\t\t"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "se:\t\tde_LU.ISO8859-1\niso8859-15/"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-10/Compose:\t\tlg_UG.ISO8859-10\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "g5HKSCS\nzh_TW.big5/Compose:\t\tzh_"..., 4096) = 4096
close(12) = 0
munmap(0x7f0711cb4000, 4096) = 0
access("/usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose", R_OK) = 0
open("/usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose", O_RDONLY) = 12
close(12) = 0
geteuid() = 1000
getegid() = 1000
open("/home/matt/.XCompose", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/X11/locale/compose.dir", O_RDONLY) = 12
fstat(12, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=36156, ...}) = 0
mmap(NULL, 4096, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_ANONYMOUS, -1, 0) = 0x7f0711cb4000
read(12, "# $Xorg: compose.dir,v 1.3 2000/"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-1/Compose\t\tes_ES.ISO8859-1\niso"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-15\niso8859-2/Compose\t\tro_RO.IS"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "TF-8/Compose\t\tde_CH.UTF-8\nen_US."..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "p_AN.UTF-8\npt_BR.UTF-8/Compose\t\t"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "se:\t\tde_LU.ISO8859-1\niso8859-15/"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "9-10/Compose:\t\tlg_UG.ISO8859-10\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "g5HKSCS\nzh_TW.big5/Compose:\t\tzh_"..., 4096) = 4096
close(12) = 0

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #8

$ tail -100 k9copy-strace.txt

read(12, "ulti_key> <parenleft> <Greek_alp"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "K SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH DASIA "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "D VARIA\n<Multi_key> <grave> <par"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "Multi_key> <parenleft> <Greek_AL"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "I\n<Multi_key> <parenright> <Gree"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "e> <dead_psili> <Greek_epsilon> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " <Greek_EPSILON> \t: \"\341\274\232\" U1F1"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "te> <dead_dasia> <Greek_EPSILON>"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_key> <acute> <U1F20> \t: \"\341\274\244\" "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ITH PSILI AND PERISPOMENI\n<Multi"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "> \t: \"\341\274\253\" U1F2B # GREEK CAPIT"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "K CAPITAL LETTER ETA WITH PSILI "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "TTER IOTA WITH PSILI AND VARIA\n<"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "lti_key> <apostrophe> <dead_dasi"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "<dead_psili> <Greek_IOTA> \t: \"\341\274"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "CAPITAL LETTER IOTA WITH DASIA A"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "i_key> <asciitilde> <parenleft> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "MALL LETTER OMICRON WITH PSILI A"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " # GREEK CAPITAL LETTER OMICRON "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "CAPITAL LETTER OMICRON WITH DASI"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "REEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON WITH D"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "POMENI\n<Multi_key> <asciitilde> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\341\275\233\" U1F5B # GREEK CAPITAL LET"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "mega> \t: \"\341\275\242\" U1F62 # GREEK S"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "AND OXIA\n<Multi_key> <apostrophe"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "omega> \t: \"\341\275\247\" U1F67 # GREEK "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \"\341\275\254\" U1F6C # GREEK CAPITAL L"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OMEGA WITH DASIA AND PERISPOMENI"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "iota> <U1F01> \t: \"\341\276\201\" U1F81 #"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "li> <Greek_alpha> \t: \"\341\276\202\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " ALPHA WITH PSILI AND OXIA AND Y"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ad_psili> <Greek_alpha> \t: \"\341\276\204\""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "# GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSIL"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "TAL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ITAL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <combining_grave> <U0314>"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "eek_ALPHA> \t: \"\341\276\214\" U1F8C # GR"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OXIA AND PROSGEGRAMMENI\n<Multi_k"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "<dead_iota> <Multi_key> <asciiti"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ft> <Greek_ALPHA> \t: \"\341\276\217\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OGEGRAMMENI\n<dead_iota> <dead_gr"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "REEK SMALL LETTER ETA WITH DASIA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "eta> \t: \"\341\276\224\" U1F94 # GREEK SM"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "enleft> <Greek_eta> \t: \"\341\276\225\" U"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "D PERISPOMENI AND YPOGEGRAMMENI\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "U1F97 # GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA W"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " WITH PSILI AND VARIA AND PROSGE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "MENI\n<dead_iota> <dead_grave> <M"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "cute> <dead_psili> <Greek_ETA> \t"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "0314> <Greek_ETA> \t: \"\341\276\235\" U1F"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "GEGRAMMENI\n<dead_iota> <Multi_ke"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "<asciitilde> <U1F29> \t: \"\341\276\237\" "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "iota> <Multi_key> <parenleft> <G"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "L LETTER OMEGA WITH DASIA AND VA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <dead_acute> <U1F60> \t: \""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SMALL LETTER OMEGA WITH DASIA AN"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EGA WITH DASIA AND OXIA AND YPOG"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SMALL LETTER OMEGA WITH PSILI AN"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\" U1FA8 # GREEK CAPITAL LETTER"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " PROSGEGRAMMENI\n<Multi_key> <Gre"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_key> <parenleft> <Greek_OMEGA> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, ": \"\341\276\254\" U1FAC # GREEK CAPITAL "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\n<Multi_key> <Greek_iota> <acute"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "_iota> <Multi_key> <asciitilde> "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "EGA> \t: \"\341\276\257\" U1FAF # GREEK CA"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ETTER ALPHA WITH PERISPOMENI\n<de"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ER ETA WITH OXIA AND YPOGEGRAMME"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "dead_diaeresis> <Greek_iota> \t: "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " U1FE1 # GREEK SMALL LETTER UPS"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \t: \"\341\277\254\" U1FEC # GREEK CAP"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\"\341\277\270\" U1FF8 # GREEK CAPITAL LE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "SCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER N\n<Mul"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ESIS\n<Multi_key> <underbar> <par"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "ti_key> <U227C> <U0338> \t: \"\342\213\240\""..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " \"\342\221\255\" U246D # CIRCLED NUMBER "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "8 # CIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\201\222\" U3052 # HIRAGANA LETTER GE"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, " U3193 # IDEOGRAPHIC ANNOTATION "..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "key> <parenleft> <2> <4> <parenr"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "renleft> <KP_3> <KP_1> <parenrig"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "3279 # CIRCLED HANGUL THIEUTH A\n"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "OGRAPH STUDY\n<Multi_key> <parenl"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "\n<Multi_key> <parenleft> <4> <KP"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "U\n<Multi_key> <parenleft> <kana_"..., 4096) = 4096
read(12, "B39 # HEBREW LETTER YOD WITH DAG"..., 4096) = 3348
read(12, "", 4096) = 0
close(12) = 0
munmap(0x7f06fa169000, 4096) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, NULL, [], 8) = 0
+++ killed by SIGKILL +++
Process 13422 detached

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #9

From System > Preferences > Keyboard I changed the keyboard to Generic 101 key and applied system wide.
K9copy still consumes all available ram, or I presume it would if I let it. I killed it from System Monitor after it used >900mb and still hadn't shown a splash screen or window.

athomson (a10008051) said : #10

Matt,

I had an identical issue on 8.0.4. It was the Adobe Reader Firefox plugin causing this. Apparently after reading a PDF using the plugin, the Adobe Reader after some amount [random] time, goes into a "frenzied" state, consuming as much resources as it can. The simple solution was to disable/remove this plugin from Firefox. Reboot, to make sure you really cleaned up any of the Adobe Reader processes hanging around.

Andy

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #11

I don't have the Adobe Reader Firefox Plugin, at least it's not reported as being present when typing "about:plugins" in the FF location bar. I do have the Reader application installed though. I'll try and remove it and see what happens.

Ole Laursen (olau) said : #12

I filed a bug about this long time ago with the hope that someone would fix the general problem (faulty processes can cause thrashing):

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/27441

Thought you might be interested. Someone added a bit of info about how to track down a faulty process.

Matt Wilkie (maphew) said : #13

a couple of dist-upgrades later, and the problem appears to have been solved.