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I'm trying to figure out why sometimes HD lights and computer becomes very slow, but I cannot figure out the reason. Below is my iostat, vmstat and top -n 1. Any idea?

mladen@mladen-desktop:~$ iostat
Linux 2.6.35-32-generic (mladen-desktop)    08/04/13    _x86_64_    (4 CPU)

avg-cpu:  %user   %nice %system %iowait  %steal   %idle
          10.25    0.29    3.92   33.13    0.00   52.42

Device:            tps   Blk_read/s   Blk_wrtn/s   Blk_read   Blk_wrtn
sda             260.52      7352.33       345.60    9309737     437608

mladen@mladen-desktop:~$ vmstat
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- ----cpu----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa
 0  1      0 1468612 269668 1022136    0    0   898    42  721  820 11  4 52 33
mladen@mladen-desktop:~$ top -n 1

top - 10:14:36 up 21 min,  2 users,  load average: 1.94, 3.58, 3.05
Tasks: 210 total,   1 running, 209 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 10.2%us,  2.2%sy,  0.3%ni, 52.5%id, 33.1%wa,  0.0%hi,  1.7%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   4059096k total,  2586056k used,  1473040k free,   270688k buffers
Swap:        0k total,        0k used,        0k free,  1015740k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                                                                                                                                         
 2146 mladen    20   0  812m 164m  44m S    2  4.1   0:49.92 chrome                                                                                                                                                                          
 2147 mladen    20   0  323m  72m  23m S    2  1.8   0:17.23 skype                                                                                                                                                                           
 2304 mladen    20   0  209m 9896 7828 S    2  0.2   0:01.38 multiload-apple                                                                                                                                                                 
 2792 root      30  10  4124  876  608 D    2  0.0   0:02.70 updatedb.mlocat                                                                                                                                                                 
 3900 mladen    20   0 19432 1356  920 R    2  0.0   0:00.02 top                                                                                                                                                                             
    1 root      20   0 23884 2000 1264 S    0  0.0   0:00.86 init     
 <ommited 0 %CPU and 0% mem processes ommited */
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 8 '13 at 9:13

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I suggest that this question is more suitable for Superuser so I've flagged it to be moved there by the moderators. –  Simon Apr 8 '13 at 8:44
    
Looks like the disk (33.1% wa). Try using iotop to find the process responsible. –  parkydr Apr 8 '13 at 12:00

1 Answer 1

That snapshot shows a few points of note:

  • You have no swap. That's OK, but personally I like some swap, just in case
  • The machine isn't using all its RAM yet, but that's OK because it was booted only 21 minutes ago.
  • The daemon for updatedb is running (PID 2792): that's what's causing all your disk activity. updatedb is what helps the locate command to find things quickly. It is very busy, but should finish in a couple of hours.

I hope that helps

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