apb1963I've been having severe load issues for months with 12.04.3... and I noticed today that I had no swap file or partition.  So I installed one.  Hard to be sure, but that seems to have helped but maybe it's my imagination, I don't know.  Anyway, as the load started to rise a few minutes ago, I was looking at top and I noticed there were 5 zombies.02:14
apb1963I had thought zombies were a thing of the past, back when kernels were buggy or some such. 02:15
apb1963But regardless, I wonder if there's anything I can do to figure out what the heck is creating this load?  I noticed the swap issue because kswapd0 was using a lot of CPU and in fact in the D status... now that seems to be resolved for the moment... so, I'm looking for what else might be causing all this grief.02:17
apb1963Any recommendations?02:17
apb1963Thoughts?  Ideas?  Words of wisdom?02:17
JanCzombies happen because of buggy userspace02:20
JanCapb1963: my guess would be that your system doesn't have enough memory; maybe you need to tune some applications to use less memory, or some applications are leaking memory and need fixing, or maybe you really need more memory02:28
apb1963JanC:  thank you for your response.  Please review the output of free -m: http://paste.ubuntu.com/6736119/02:30
JanCwell, zombies should be irrelevant02:35
JanC(at least in most cases, I don't know about corner cases)02:36
JanCkswapd kernel tread using a lot of CPU sounds like it needs to do a lot of work for some reason02:38
apb1963JanC: right... but that was prior to installing a swap file.  I don't know if it's coincidental or not.02:40
apb1963not sure how it was running w/out swap space02:40
JanCI could easily run my system without swap  :)02:42
JanCat least, most of the time02:42
apb1963yes, but as you surmised, I run close to the RAM borderline02:46
apb1963I'm currently using 300M of swap02:47
apb1963but none of that is the point... the point is the load starts to build quickly and makes the system unusable.. sometimes just the act of running top itself seems to help... other times I have to kill a few processes.. usually chrome, but not always.02:48
apb1963At the moment plymouthd is the top user of CPU at 5%.  Load is 0.17 where I would expect it to be.02:49
JanCrunning top can't solve this02:49
apb1963I know.... that's why I'm here.  For suggestions as to what I should do... 02:49
JanCand I don't se you running "close to the RAM borderline"02:51
apb1963 <JanC> apb1963: my guess would be that your system doesn't have enough memory; maybe you need to tune some applications to use less memory, or some applications are leaking memory and need fixing, or maybe you really need more memory02:51
JanCmost of RAM is used by filesystem buffers & such, based on what you pasted there?02:52
apb1963ok.... and?02:52
JanCis this a 64-bit system, and were you doing a big I/O operation while things stalled?02:53
apb196332 bit02:53
apb1963and I'm not sure what represents a "big I/O operation" specifically.  I understand what you're asking in general terms, but I wasn't doing a file copy if that's what you're asking.02:54
JanCyeah, big file copies can cause problems (especially with older kernels), but that's mostly on 64-bit systems AFAIK02:57
apb1963those zombies are really bugging me... shouldn't the kernel have reaped them within minutes or less?03:00
JanCapb1963: zombies are processes that have a parent process but the parent process didn't reap them03:01
JanCso processes that stopped, but their parent didn't act on that03:02
JanCstopping their parent process should get rid of them03:02
JanC(stopping their parent process would mean they get re-parented to init, which would reap them)03:03
apb1963so that's a good point... parents... looking for the option to ps that gives me wchan03:03
JanChtop has an optio to show the process hierarchy in a tree  :)03:04
JanCyou can also see the PPID in top or ps though03:05
apb1963unless I nkow which process is a zombie, I won't be able to find the parent.03:05
apb1963found it03:07
apb1963what a surprise03:07
JanCzombie processes shouldn't be a problem, unless they get created at an alarming rate03:07
JanCthey should use almost no resources03:08
apb1963well what I was concerned about was that they weren't getting reaped...  I forgot that the parent reaps, I was thinking it was the kernel...03:08
apb1963so ok, then that's not the issue03:09
apb1963just exploring possibilities here03:09
apb1963I started up sar03:09
apb1963thought I had it running... but that was on a previous incarnation03:09
apb1963well, let me do my thing and when it starts to load up again, I'll stick my nose in again03:10
apb1963Thanks for the help03:10
JanCI had Firefox grow to 24 GiB some tiem ago, still not sure why that happened...  :-/03:11
JanCusually it uses less than 2 GiB with > 100 tabs open (which is *way* less than Chromium with 10 tabs open)03:13
JanCso maybe you have a process that sometimes grows to use a lot of memory, but maybe it disappears or releases that memory before you have a chance to debug; that's a hard thing to debug if you aren't monitoring03:15
apwbug #126201011:34
apwubot2, ?11:34

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