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Very strange behavior recently, system moving in slow motion

User avatar adamno
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Hey all. I'm not sure what to make of this.

I've been on Neon for about 6 months and it's been fine. I haven't made any under the hood changes or kernel upgrades or anything. About a month ago I started noticing some minor but frequent performance hiccups, like the system would briefly slow down and get a little choppy. These seemed to get worse over time.

Within the last few days it has gotten really bad. Once every few hours of computer use, my system is getting very bad hangs. Sometimes my mouse cursor will go into 20x slow motion and drift verrrry slowly off in whatever direction it was going. At this point I have almost no control over the computer. I can't drop to a TTY, some key inputs work sometimes but they're 30 seconds delayed. Mouse can still barely control direction, it's like's in thick syrup. Usually by this point, my system completely grinds to a halt and I eventually have to hard reset. One time I left it sitting frozen for about 5 minutes, then suddenly it just unfroze like nothing ever happened. Very weird. When it's locked up, the hard drive LED on my case is going crazy.

It does seem like watching video content worsens the problem, both in Firefox and Chrome.

I've purged and updated Nvidia drivers.. I've tried tinkering with the compositor settings. I have no idea what could be causing this or how to diagnose. I've monitored ksysguard and I see no abnormal resource utilization leading up to these freeze ups. I don't have a clue what logs to look at, or if these hang-ups are even producing logs.

I wouldn't rule it out, but it doesn't quite "feel" like a hardware problem. It's a pretty severe software problem if it is one. Any thoughts what could be causing such unusual behavior?

Thanks
lamka02sk
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First try checking iotop, what program uses HDD the most.
Check the CPU usage.
Check CPU and GPU temperatures (though I don't think this would cause the HDD LED go crazy)
Do you have enough RAM? Check for memory leaks in system monitor, because if system starts to swap, it gets slow a lot.
It could be also failing HDD but it is a small probability.
FInally if none of these will find the problem, try running memtest overnight to check the RAM.
User avatar Eric Adams
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Personally, I would open Ksysguard and see what the system utilization is. Is your CPU at or near 100% usage? Memory? Check the process list to see what processes are using system resources. If there are ones that are using most of the CPU, memory or disk try killing them to see if it improve performance. You can usually track down a software issue like a memory leak in this way. Good luck and post back for more help.
User avatar adamno
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Hi... thanks all. Yes I did check ksysguard and no I haven't really seen any out of the ordinary resource utilization. I did suspect low RAM, but I have 16GB and I rarely use more than half of it.

I think I might be onto something though. I noticed the issue started around the same time I installed Wire messenger, and since disabling it from auto-start, I haven't had the same problem. However, tonight I installed Anbox, and every time I open it, I get this:

Image

When I open the application, my whole desktop gets flickery and choppy. I've been noticing some flickery behavior with other applications lately too. I'm wondering if maybe kwin is borked or something?

 
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