FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Questions about SolydX and SolydK installation.
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Cory
Posts: 48
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 19:59
Location: NL mostly

FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby Cory » 21 Jan 2017 20:01

Hey guys,

Could anyone shed light on this or give me pointers where I (sh/c)ould have a look?

Lately my SolydX installation sort-of hangs every 10-15 seconds while FireFox is my main window: the system becomes unresponsive for some 1-2 seconds, then continues as normal for another 10-15 seconds, and so on. The keystrokes or mouse actions during these 1-2 seconds are buffered and executed once the system is back. (It seems to miss a keystroke sometimes - could very well be me, though.)

While running 'top' in a terminal window and looking at "how the results unfold before my eyes", FF takes up an awful lot of resources - periodically rising from around 25% to over 60%?!! I'm on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ with 6 GB Hyper-X memory on an MSI mainboard - it's not the most modern and fastest around, but should be able to handle this. That's what I thought, at least...
(Maybe I should minimize the number of windows and tabs in use? Two FF windows with 8 (4 pinned) and 4 tabs respectively, and vlc streaming a smallband radio stream isn't so bad, is it?)

Code: Select all

top - 20:43:39 up 11:32,  2 users,  load average: 0.72, 0.58, 0.60
Tasks: 184 total,   3 running, 181 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 33.8 us,  4.1 sy,  0.0 ni, 61.8 id,  0.2 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.2 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:   5868936 total,  3496708 used,  2372228 free,   408200 buffers
KiB Swap:        0 total,        0 used,        0 free.  1563396 cached Mem

  PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND     
 4456 cv        20   0 2128500 796856  92876 R  62.0 13.6  82:58.45 firefox-esr 
 3636 cv        20   0 1163708  59936  44608 S   5.3  1.0  26:20.02 vlc         
 1225 root      20   0  305480 134708  23332 R   5.0  2.3  11:15.93 Xorg        
 1528 cv         9 -11  520588  11548   8996 S   2.0  0.2  10:26.30 pulseaudio  
20901 cv        20   0  702772  25792  21064 S   1.3  0.4   0:00.45 xfce4-term+ 
20617 cv        20   0  570448  74604  30088 S   0.7  1.3   0:31.00 cli         
    3 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   6:48.40 ksoftirqd/0 
    7 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   0:48.40 rcu_sched   
   13 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   5:21.88 ksoftirqd/1 
 1486 cv        20   0  562940  27836  22456 S   0.3  0.5   0:42.98 xfwm4       
20871 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   0:00.15 kworker/1:3 
20920 cv        20   0   24872   2844   2348 R   0.3  0.0   0:00.20 top         
    1 root      20   0  111464   5328   2960 S   0.0  0.1   0:10.31 systemd     
    2 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.42 kthreadd    
    5 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kworker/0:+ 
    8 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 rcu_bh      
    9 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.80 migration/0 
   10 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:02.38 watchdog/0  
   11 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:04.57 watchdog/1  
   12 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.78 migration/1 
   15 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kworker/1:+ 
   16 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper     
   17 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.03 kdevtmpfs   
   18 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 netns       
   19 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 khungtaskd  
   20 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 writeback   
   21 root      25   5       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ksmd        
   22 root      39  19       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khugepaged  
   23 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 crypto      
   24 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kintegrityd 
   25 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 bioset      
   26 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kblockd     
   28 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kswapd0     
   29 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 vmstat      
   30 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 fsnotify_m+ 
   36 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthrotld    
   37 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ipv6_addrc+ 
   39 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 deferwq     
   78 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:12.10 khubd       
   79 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ata_sff     
   81 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ttm_swap    
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User avatar
ilu
Posts: 2602
Joined: 09 Oct 2013 12:45

Re: FF periodically stalling?!

Postby ilu » 22 Jan 2017 07:29

This very much depends on which tabs are open. There are sites that eat ressources beyond reason. I've seen a site that busy that it managed to go through several 100 MB of download volume per hour just by being open.
Do you have a security tool like uBlock Origin installed (I think it's Solydxk default nowadays). If not, install it, it will reduce hidden tracking and advertising activity in the browser. Does the problem go away?
Your hardware is quite old and kind of weak. So the next I'd check is: Bookmark your open tabs and close all of them, see what happens. Look at top. Does the problem go away? Then open one tab after the other and check again whether the problem returns.
Report back.

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Cory
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Joined: 22 Jan 2014 19:59
Location: NL mostly

Re: FF periodically stalling?!

Postby Cory » 27 Jan 2017 15:52

Thank you, ilu.

Yeah, I figured so... about time to upgrade, even for what I thought a lightweight platform that is SolydX. Just looked it up, my homebuilt system (MSI K9A2GM-FIH, AMD Ahtlon 64 X2 5200+) is close to nine (9) years old already. For the last year (or 2?) I notice glitches and brief stalls in windowed video content also. Full screen I hardly useable, as the onboard video isn't the greatest around anymore either.

UO is installed indeed - "my companion in keeping my browsing experience uncluttered and focused" ;-)
I do have webmail and agenda pinned as tabs, they probably check for updates every so many seconds. I'll have to cut down on open (active content) windows indeed.

Which makes this question obsolete in a sense, and marked [SOLVED].
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Zill
Posts: 1850
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Location: Lincolnshire, UK

Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby Zill » 27 Jan 2017 17:19

I run the 32-bit main edition of SolydX (XFCE) on an old desktop with a 2.40GHz dual-core Intel Celeron E3200 and 2GB RAM. Even with four Firefox tabs, Thunderbird and Chromium open and VLC playing a movie, my system is still reasonably snappy:
top.png
top.png (104.86 KiB) Viewed 2340 times
The only significant difference I can see is that I always install a swap partition and, on my SolydX system, this is a 4GB partition (double the RAM). I know that there are plenty of users who argue that swap is not necessary with modern systems - but I use it and it has never let me down! ;-)

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ilu
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Joined: 09 Oct 2013 12:45

Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby ilu » 27 Jan 2017 18:39

Your system should work reasonably well and your memory usage is fine.
But something is happening in those open tabs and, if I were you, I'd try to catch it. I don't think checking for mail and having an agenda open causes firefox to spike in that way. But that's easily tested by closing all tabs but the one you want to check - or the other way round, closing some until the spiking stops.

Ah, and I forgot to ask about your firefox addons. Some legitimate ones went fishy as of late.

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Cory
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Location: NL mostly

Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby Cory » 28 Apr 2017 07:03

Just to let you know how things evolved here lately: no significant changes to the system, just the regular updates.

However yesterday I noticed that an open WeTransfer tab (FF window max'ed to 1680x1050, with a window open waiting for files to add) caused a sharp drop in system responsiveness for 1 second every 3-5 seconds or so - which is the approximate refresh time of the background content.
Activity: 2x FF (3 + 8 tabs), KeePass, DocViewer, Thunar (3 tabs).
Shouldn't be that bad...
Closing the WeTransfer tab solved the slowed down responsiveness.

Every once in a while I also notice that video (VLC, or YT on websites) is stuttering for some seconds, as if it is waiting for buffers to load - or clear.

Somewhere, somehow, something isn't right. I think I'm going to replace replace my system someday soon (I might try to find a decent 2nd-hand AM2+ motherboard).
Are you Solyd-ified yet?


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ilu
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Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby ilu » 28 Apr 2017 12:19

In the top output you posted FF is using 63% of cpu - is that still the case? Thats A LOT. Some tab or some addon is doing something that keeps the cpu busy and the only way to find out is closing and opening the tabs one by one and doing the same with addons if necessary. That WeTransfer stuff is just a website, not an addon?

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Cory
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Joined: 22 Jan 2014 19:59
Location: NL mostly

Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby Cory » 28 Apr 2017 21:14

@ilu: yes, https://wetransfer.com - every 3-5 seconds the background graphic refreshes or is replaced with something new.

I did notice however that of lately the SolydX default theme "changed behaviour": windows that are not active have become semi-transparent(*). Or have I been missing something obvious for months? Quite possibly...
Anyway, with an old AMD Radeon 3200 (?) graphics adapter embedded, I imagine that's a lot of work to do.

(*) given this situation I am looking at now: 2 FF threads (both windows max'ed to 1680x1050), 1 KeePass thread (window approx. 1/3 of desktop aperture size 1680x1050). When I activate KP, the rearmost FF is faintly visible through the foremost FF.
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ilu
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Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby ilu » 29 Apr 2017 12:30

Cory wrote:windows that are not active have become semi-transparent ... When I activate KP, the rearmost FF is faintly visible through the foremost FF.
Not for me (I don't have keepass. but that shouldn't matter). No idea what's doing that.

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Cory
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Joined: 22 Jan 2014 19:59
Location: NL mostly

Re: FF periodically stalling?! [SOLVED]

Postby Cory » 03 May 2017 17:35

For example:

Image

Here you see the default SolydX desktop graphics covered by a "semi-transparent" FF (SolydXK forum, me posting a reply hence the Smilies), and the top-most window is File Manager (not transparent because the active window). Visible also is the panel, where unused space is also transparent.

I take it this transparency is part of the theme that's been chosen - I don't even know how themes are taken care of, I'm only a nitwit user :oops:
It doesn't bother me, though (to be more specific: the transparency doesn't, the nitwit state however does). Just curiosity made me bring this up and venture off-topic...
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