Strange start-up behavior - Ubuntu

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  1. Strange start-up behavior

    My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes. I
    haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been asked
    to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going on. I get
    that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.

    I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.

    I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing this
    post. 0% wa.

    Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find out
    what is really going on?

    Al

  2. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    Al wrote:

    > My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    > After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes. I
    > haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been asked
    > to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going on. I get
    > that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >
    > I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    > then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >
    > I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing this
    > post. 0% wa.
    >
    > Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find out
    > what is really going on?
    >
    > Al


    The system monitor will tell you which process is using ~100% CPU in the
    Processes tab. Have you looked there?

  3. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    Al wrote:

    > My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    > After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes. I
    > haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been asked
    > to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going on. I get
    > that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >
    > I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    > then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >
    > I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing this
    > post. 0% wa.
    >
    > Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find out
    > what is really going on?
    >
    > Al


    Type a "C" to sort the CPU column and take a look at what is using the most
    CPU when this happens. That will tell you what is running at the time.

    A man top will tell you ...

    wa -- iowait
    Amount of time the CPU has been waiting for I/O to complete.

    More than likely some cronjob is happening that is causing this hard drive
    activity when you first get to the desktop. Could be indexing files. Top
    should tell you.

    Cheers.


    --
    The world can't afford the rich.

    How to get help at Microsoft Support ...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C2SIZ5qsSQ

    Francis (Frank) adds a new "gadget" to his Vista box ...
    Download it here: http://tinyurl.com/2hnof6



  4. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    Al wrote:
    > My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    > After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes. I
    > haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been asked
    > to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going on. I get
    > that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >
    > I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    > then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >
    > I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing this
    > post. 0% wa.
    >
    > Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find out
    > what is really going on?
    >
    > Al
    >



    Just a guess but it could be the Update Manager looking for software
    updates.

    Do what NoStop suggested to find the exact process name, then use the
    man command to determine what it is.

    Since I never shut down my systems, I'm not aware of similar happenings.
    Cron takes care of the maintenance, and usually in the middle of the night.

    On developmental boxes that are power cycled or rebooted from time to
    time, I do notice some apparent extended activity, but these are usually
    slow PCs, and the complete system takes more time to fully load. Usually
    I turn them on and go do something else while they are booting.

    I refuse to wait on technology. I figure technology is here to serve me.
    If it can't yet serve, I don't waste time watching it. ;-)

    If I should return and see the system is not booted, then I probably
    have something to do.

    You might consider not wasting your time worrying about becoming
    infected. You have created a strong password, you don't switch user to
    Root, and you hide behind a NAT router, ... correct? ;-)


    --
    John

    No Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Trend Micro, nor Ford products were used in the preparation or transmission of this message.

    The EULA sounds like it was written by a team of lawyers who want to tell me what I can't do. The GPL sounds like it was written by a human being, who wants me to know what I can do.

  5. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:55:55 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:

    > Al wrote:
    >> My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    >> After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes.
    >> I haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been
    >> asked to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going
    >> on. I get that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >>
    >> I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    >> then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >>
    >> I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing
    >> this post. 0% wa.
    >>
    >> Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find
    >> out what is really going on?
    >>
    >> Al
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Just a guess but it could be the Update Manager looking for software
    > updates.


    My guess is tracker. Update manager seems to wait awhile and completes
    fairly quickly but tracker runs close on the heels of bootup and totally
    hogs the CPU for quite a long time. This happens just when Ubuntu is
    still trying to connect to the network, which can cause all kinds of odd
    network effects. On my system I get a lot of heavy wifi traffic and then
    the wifi card dies so thoroughly that I have to shut down and power back
    up to get it functional again.

    Al, we need to know what command is tying the system up. Using top, you
    should see something like this:

    PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND

    5045 root 15 0 295m 19m 9672 S 5.8 1.4 1:39.80 Xorg

    5811 user1 15 0 2360 1068 800 R 3.9 0.1 0:00.02 top

    1 root 15 0 2948 1852 532 S 0.0 0.1 0:01.07 init

    2 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kthreadd

    (etc.)

    The %CPU column shows percentage of CPU being used and COMMAND is the
    command we need to know to identify the offender. Applications are
    continuously resorted from most busy to least busy, which means that
    whatever is hogging the CPU will be on the very first line of the
    results.

  6. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    netcat wrote:
    > On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:55:55 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Al wrote:
    >>
    >>> My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    >>> After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few minutes.
    >>> I haven't started the browser or any other application. I have been
    >>> asked to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see what's going
    >>> on. I get that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >>>
    >>> I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity. I
    >>> then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >>>
    >>> I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing
    >>> this post. 0% wa.
    >>>
    >>> Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find
    >>> out what is really going on?
    >>>
    >>> Al
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Just a guess but it could be the Update Manager looking for software
    >> updates.
    >>

    >
    > My guess is tracker.




    Which "Tracker"? ;-)

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker...ambiguation%29

    * Motion tracking computer systems which follow the motions of an
    actor to allow those motions to be used in computer animation.
    * Tracker, music software
    * Tracker, a computer program that simulated the behavior of ants
    and ant evolution, written by David Jefferson and Chuck Taylor at
    UCLA to prove concepts of emergence
    * Netmail tracker, autonomous netmail processing software in FidoNet
    and compatible networks
    * Tracker, a search utility for Unix-likes
    * BitTorrent tracker, a server that directs the BitTorrent downloads
    and uploads
    * OpenTracker is the file manager and desktop in the BeOS
    * An issue tracking system or bug tracking system for computer software.



    --
    John

    No Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Trend Micro, nor Ford products were used in the preparation or transmission of this message.

    The EULA sounds like it was written by a team of lawyers who want to tell me what I can't do. The GPL sounds like it was written by a human being, who wants me to know what I can do.

  7. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 01:46:04 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:

    > netcat wrote:
    >> On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:55:55 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Al wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    >>>> After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few
    >>>> minutes. I haven't started the browser or any other application. I
    >>>> have been asked to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see
    >>>> what's going on. I get that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that
    >>>> is.
    >>>>
    >>>> I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity.
    >>>> I then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >>>>
    >>>> I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing
    >>>> this post. 0% wa.
    >>>>
    >>>> Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find
    >>>> out what is really going on?
    >>>>
    >>>> Al
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>> Just a guess but it could be the Update Manager looking for software
    >>> updates.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> My guess is tracker.

    >
    >
    >
    > Which "Tracker"? ;-)
    >
    > From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker...ambiguation%29


    Just ask Synaptic. It'll be the package named "Tracker". :-)


    >
    > * Motion tracking computer systems which follow the motions of an
    > actor to allow those motions to be used in computer animation.
    > * Tracker, music software
    > * Tracker, a computer program that simulated the behavior of ants
    > and ant evolution, written by David Jefferson and Chuck Taylor at
    > UCLA to prove concepts of emergence
    > * Netmail tracker, autonomous netmail processing software in FidoNet
    > and compatible networks
    > * Tracker, a search utility for Unix-likes * BitTorrent tracker, a
    > server that directs the BitTorrent downloads
    > and uploads
    > * OpenTracker is the file manager and desktop in the BeOS * An issue
    > tracking system or bug tracking system for computer software.



    "Tracker is an advanced framework for first class objects with associated
    metadata and tags. It provides a one stop solution for all metadata, tags,
    shared object databases, search tools and indexing."

    It is left as an exercise to figure out what that means. :-)

  8. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    netcat wrote:
    > On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 01:46:04 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >
    >> netcat wrote:
    >>> My guess is tracker.
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Which "Tracker"? ;-)
    >>
    >> From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker...ambiguation%29
    >>

    >
    > Just ask Synaptic. It'll be the package named "Tracker". :-)
    >



    Not in my Synaptic, nor apt-cache:

    john@ubuntu6.06:~$ sudo apt-cache showpkg tracker
    W: Unable to locate package tracker

    You must be using a version newer than Dapper?

    I also don't find it in Debian Etch.


    >> * Motion tracking computer systems which follow the motions of an
    >> actor to allow those motions to be used in computer animation.
    >> * Tracker, music software
    >> * Tracker, a computer program that simulated the behavior of ants
    >> and ant evolution, written by David Jefferson and Chuck Taylor at
    >> UCLA to prove concepts of emergence
    >> * Netmail tracker, autonomous netmail processing software in FidoNet
    >> and compatible networks
    >> * Tracker, a search utility for Unix-likes
    >> * BitTorrent tracker, a server that directs the BitTorrent downloads
    >> and uploads
    >> * OpenTracker is the file manager and desktop in the BeOS
    >> * An issue tracking system or bug tracking system for computer software.
    >>

    >
    >
    > "Tracker is an advanced framework for first class objects with associated
    > metadata and tags. It provides a one stop solution for all metadata, tags,
    > shared object databases, search tools and indexing."
    >
    > It is left as an exercise to figure out what that means. :-)
    >



    I dunno either. Doesn't quite fit any of the Wiki definitions.

    It also doesn't sound like something the OP would be using, unless it is
    a standard install on newer versions of Ubuntu.

    If you see it running on your PC -- and you didn't install it -- then I
    betcha that is the reason.


    --
    John

    No Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Trend Micro, nor Ford products were used in the preparation or transmission of this message.

    The EULA sounds like it was written by a team of lawyers who want to tell me what I can't do. The GPL sounds like it was written by a human being, who wants me to know what I can do.

  9. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 04:43:37 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:

    > Not in my Synaptic, nor apt-cache:
    >
    > john@ubuntu6.06:~$ sudo apt-cache showpkg tracker W: Unable to locate
    > package tracker
    >
    > You must be using a version newer than Dapper?
    >
    > It also doesn't sound like something the OP would be using, unless it is
    > a standard install on newer versions of Ubuntu.


    It is in gutsy.
    Homepage: http://www.tracker-project.org

  10. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    jellybean stonerfish wrote:
    > On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 04:43:37 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Not in my Synaptic, nor apt-cache:
    >>
    >> john@ubuntu6.06:~$ sudo apt-cache showpkg tracker W: Unable to locate
    >> package tracker
    >>
    >> You must be using a version newer than Dapper?
    >>
    >> It also doesn't sound like something the OP would be using, unless it is
    >> a standard install on newer versions of Ubuntu.
    >>

    >
    > It is in gutsy.
    > Homepage: http://www.tracker-project.org
    >



    So I see. Thanks for the tip.

    But I wonder why is this needed?

    What am I missing using find, locate, whereis, and several others?


    --
    John

    No Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Trend Micro, nor Ford products were used in the preparation or transmission of this message.

    The EULA sounds like it was written by a team of lawyers who want to tell me what I can't do. The GPL sounds like it was written by a human being, who wants me to know what I can do.

  11. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 20:30:57 -0500, netcat wrote:

    > On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:55:55 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >
    >> Al wrote:
    >>> My Ubunutu system continues to exhibit strange behavior at start-up.
    >>> After I log in, the hard drive seems to trash around for a few
    >>> minutes. I haven't started the browser or any other application. I
    >>> have been asked to do a "top" command in the monitor window to see
    >>> what's going on. I get that the cpu is 98% doing wa, whatever that is.
    >>>
    >>> I looked at the lights on my modem and they showed a lot of activity.
    >>> I then pulled the LAN from the computer and the activity stopped.
    >>>
    >>> I just checked "top" again and I am getting 80% id while I am doing
    >>> this post. 0% wa.
    >>>
    >>> Has my unit been infected? I have all of the updates. How can I find
    >>> out what is really going on?
    >>>
    >>> Al
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Just a guess but it could be the Update Manager looking for software
    >> updates.

    >
    > My guess is tracker. Update manager seems to wait awhile and completes
    > fairly quickly but tracker runs close on the heels of bootup and totally
    > hogs the CPU for quite a long time. This happens just when Ubuntu is
    > still trying to connect to the network, which can cause all kinds of odd
    > network effects. On my system I get a lot of heavy wifi traffic and then
    > the wifi card dies so thoroughly that I have to shut down and power back
    > up to get it functional again.
    >
    > Al, we need to know what command is tying the system up. Using top, you
    > should see something like this:
    >
    > PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
    >
    > 5045 root 15 0 295m 19m 9672 S 5.8 1.4 1:39.80 Xorg
    >
    > 5811 user1 15 0 2360 1068 800 R 3.9 0.1 0:00.02 top
    >
    > 1 root 15 0 2948 1852 532 S 0.0 0.1 0:01.07 init
    >
    > 2 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kthreadd
    >
    > (etc.)
    >
    > The %CPU column shows percentage of CPU being used and COMMAND is the
    > command we need to know to identify the offender. Applications are
    > continuously resorted from most busy to least busy, which means that
    > whatever is hogging the CPU will be on the very first line of the
    > results.


    OK, will do next time it happens.

    Al

  12. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 06:20:31 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:

    > jellybean stonerfish wrote:
    >> On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 04:43:37 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Not in my Synaptic, nor apt-cache:
    >>>
    >>> john@ubuntu6.06:~$ sudo apt-cache showpkg tracker W: Unable to locate
    >>> package tracker
    >>>
    >>> You must be using a version newer than Dapper?
    >>>
    >>> It also doesn't sound like something the OP would be using, unless it
    >>> is a standard install on newer versions of Ubuntu.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> It is in gutsy.
    >> Homepage: http://www.tracker-project.org
    >>
    >>

    >
    > So I see. Thanks for the tip.
    >
    > But I wonder why is this needed?


    I suppose they're trying to come up with a GUI-oriented file-finder.
    Tracker sounds good but the Ubuntu team really does need to limit its
    access to resources so it doesn't hog the whole system while updating
    its database. Maybe we'll see that in Hardy.

    > What am I missing using find, locate, whereis, and several others?


    Nothing, but they probably are a bit much for the less-technical users
    that Ubuntu is really intended for.

  13. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:34:35 +0000, Al wrote:

    > OK, will do next time it happens.
    >
    > Al


    If it does turn out to be tracker, here's a very informative thread I
    happened across while trying to find out what it does:


    http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-591867.html

    One poster notes that tracker has a "Performance" tab where you can
    scale it down a little. However, others noted other problems, like one
    complaint that tracker locked a drive when he mounted it and began to
    scan it intensively. Also, I found this interesting:

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    daicoden

    "It does not seem to be listening to the priority. It may have a nice of
    19 but it is constantly hogging 1 CPU on a dual core system and making
    everything else run through the other one. The memory is constantly
    through the roof, 896 MB. I turned up the priority so it would finish
    overnight but it is not ending."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Holy cow, this thing ties up a whole CPU all night, it had generated a
    900 MB index, and it's *still* not done???


    There's also an interesting post by a jcoffland down near the bottom
    where he provides instructions for downloading and compiling the lastest
    version of Tracker, which he claims to be less problematic than the one
    that comes with Ubuntu.


  14. Re: Strange start-up behavior

    On Tue, 08 Apr 2008 06:20:31 +0000, John F. Morse wrote:

    > jellybean stonerfish wrote:
    >
    >> It is in gutsy.
    >> Homepage: http://www.tracker-project.or


    > So I see. Thanks for the tip.
    >
    > But I wonder why is this needed?
    >
    > What am I missing using find, locate, whereis, and several others?


    The gui? tracker-search-tool. I haven't found a use for it yet, as
    find, grep, locate, whereis, ect are easier to use.
    tracker can find meta-data too, such as tags in a sound file.

    I think the benefit is it makes a database so searching for a string on
    your disk is faster.

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