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#1 2013-01-04 13:09:09

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

(Mods: please move this to another sub-forum if necessary).

I installed one of the earlier Waldorf releases and have kept it up to date. Recently, I've noticed high CPU load averages (> 1.0) on an idling Core Duo Acer Aspire 4710.

I upgraded from Waldorf/Wheezy to sid today and ran all updates. Load averages are now even higher -- idling is > 2.0 now, even after I killed  conky, compton and the browser to check. I killed slim and dropped to a terminal -- still idling above 2.0.

Using "top" or "powertop" does not give anything useful -- there is no process obviously loading the CPU. The processes which appear at the top of the 'top' list (sorted by CPU) are using 1% or 2% and then they drop off.

Typing this in Firefox (the only tab open) with terminator running as well (and compton and conky now) gives a 1-minute load average of 2.47 and a 5-minute load average of 2.29.

What is eating my CPU? sad

PS: I know that a running machine is never going to idle with a load average of 0 all the time. However, a machine that is idling at >1.0 or >2.0 means that it is running hot and using more power. I'm running on AC power now, but battery life on a laptop idling with high load averages is going to be dramatically shortened. I've done nothing since posting this thread a few minutes ago, except to check it and then edit it to include this note. Load averages are 2.24, 2.30 and 1.88 now.

Last edited by SabreWolfy (2013-01-04 13:16:52)


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#2 2013-01-04 13:40:13

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

Killed X and dropped to a console and left the machine idling for 20 minutes. Load averages are 2.07, 2.03 and 1.97 mad


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#3 2013-01-04 14:05:35

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

Booted off a Xubuntu 12.10 i386 live USB and running Firefox and terminal. Load average a few minutes after booting is 0.45, 0.56 and 0.28.

Edit: It's now dropped to 0.24, 0.40 and 0.27.

Last edited by SabreWolfy (2013-01-04 14:08:42)


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#4 2013-01-04 14:44:18

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,602

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

Try installing recent kernel - e.g 3.7-1.towo-siduction-arch or later - using smxi.
See if you get the same behaviour.

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#5 2013-01-04 15:03:08

arclance
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-03-29
Posts: 886

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

^ That should fix it.
There is a bug in the load calculation in the kernel used in Debian Testing and Sid that causes it to report load averages that are higher than they actually are.
I think it was fixed somewhere around kernel 3.4 and testing is using 3.2.

Last edited by arclance (2013-01-04 15:08:38)

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#6 2013-01-04 17:08:02

VastOne
#! Ranger
From: #! Fringe Division
Registered: 2011-04-26
Posts: 10,163
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Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

^ Not so sure about that... Lately, on all kernels I have been using, liquorix 3.7, siduction 3.7, debian 3.6 trunk, I am seeing dramatic increases in memory usage..

I have been testing all of them trying to identify what is going on and cannot isolate anything.


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#7 2013-01-04 17:28:50

arclance
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-03-29
Posts: 886

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

^ That does not really have anything to do with the load average numbers reported by the kernel unless it is so bad you start swapping.

This is the commit for the load average fix I was talking about.
It got accepted in kernel 3.5.
I was seeing what SabreWolfy is seeing before I updated to 3.5.

I have not seen any dramatic increase in memory use with liquorix 3.6.11.
I am going to wait for 3.7.2 or 3.7.3 to update any further based on some of the problems people have been having with the 3.7 kernels.
Maybe it is a problem with a kernel module that you updated recently like a GPU driver?

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#8 2013-01-04 17:38:23

VastOne
#! Ranger
From: #! Fringe Division
Registered: 2011-04-26
Posts: 10,163
Website

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

^ My bad...  I did not see anything like this until the last commits to 6.9 through 11 and now into 3.7

I do not think it is GPU related from a driver... Both nouveau and nVidia stable and beta drivers are showing the same thing.. This is on several different machines and I also have users reporting the same thing with ATI cards.


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#9 2013-01-04 17:48:19

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

Nothing similar going on with Intel cards on 3.7, so it probably does have something to do with the drivers.

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#10 2013-01-05 10:11:38

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

xaos52 wrote:

Try installing recent kernel - e.g 3.7-1.towo-siduction-arch or later - using smxi.
See if you get the same behaviour.

Thanks. I'll bear that in mind if necessary.

Last edited by SabreWolfy (2013-01-05 10:21:41)


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#11 2013-01-05 10:15:52

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

arclance wrote:

^ That should fix it.
There is a bug in the load calculation in the kernel used in Debian Testing and Sid that causes it to report load averages that are higher than they actually are.
I think it was fixed somewhere around kernel 3.4 and testing is using 3.2.

Thanks -- I recall something about that, but I could only find search results discussing load averages which were lower. So the issue is just the reporting of the load averages, not the actual load averages?

Edit: Any kernel module updates would be whatever comes down with normal updates. The machine has onboard Intel graphics.

From my post here, wheezy/sid are on kernel 3.2 only. The Xubuntu 12.10 Live session I mentioned (which I am using again now), has kernel 3.5 and load averages are much lower: 0.21, 0.30 and 0.30 ATM from general browsing with a few tabs open in this live session.

Last edited by SabreWolfy (2013-01-05 10:32:01)


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#12 2013-01-05 16:21:56

arclance
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-03-29
Posts: 886

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

This the change I was talking about, I found the links after the post you quoted.
I was seeing what you are seeing before I updated to 3.5.

The problem was the way they were sampling the data used to calculate load averages that caused it to display values that were to high.

SabreWolfy wrote:

From my post here, wheezy/sid are on kernel 3.2 only. The Xubuntu 12.10 Live session I mentioned (which I am using again now), has kernel 3.5 and load averages are much lower: 0.21, 0.30 and 0.30 ATM from general browsing with a few tabs open in this live session.

I looks like changing to a 3.5 or later kernel should fix the load averages from your test in Xubuntu 12.10.

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#13 2013-01-06 10:37:43

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

@arclance: Thanks -- I did read both of your post, as well as the links, including Papa Linus' comments smile It does seem to be fixed in kernel 3.5. As the bug seems to be simply in the calculation of the load averages, I'm no longer as concerned about the issue, as it would seem that the CPU is not running at 2.0 load average -- it's just displaying as 2.0, for example.


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#14 2013-01-06 15:54:17

arclance
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-03-29
Posts: 886

Re: Waldorf to sid: high idling CPU load averages

The fix showed up in a later version of 3.2 as well.
Hopefully it should show up in Debian after the freeze is over and they update the kernel.

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