Kubuntu 20.04 running very slow

I have Kubuntu 20.04 installed on an older Dell Optiplex 990, I7, 512 SSD, and 16 GB RAM. The installation was screaming for months and has suddenly slowed down considerably. The system monitor program shows little use of RAM but almost 100% CPU on all cores.

I am relatively new to Linux and chose Kubuntu because of the KDE Plasma desktop. I have it running also on Lenovo T440, no problems.

I would like to reinstall Kubuntu or go to OpenSuse version.
I would like to leave my data on the current drive and install the new OS on a new SSD.

What do you recommend?

Respectfully,
Eric

1) I’d be curious as to what’s the run away process that is gobbling your resources.

  • if you are familiar with the command prompt, run the command “top”
    • press the “1” (one) key to toggle back and forth between Single CPU view and Core view
    • press the “P” (capital pee) to sort on the CPU column
    • Under the top of the “command” column you are looking at the process/es that is/are running wild

Does this help identify what is going on?

2) Are you asking for a recommendation for the hardware for a new SSD (like brand and size)?

3) My approach to this install would be:

  • to pull the current SSD - set it aside
  • install the new SSD
  • install the new OS onto the new SSD
  • put the old SSD back into the machine
  • mount it
  • copy your data from the old SSD to the new SSD as a backup
  • format the old SSD
  • copy your data back onto the old SSD (using it as a data drive)

Someone else here might have a better approach

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^ Good answer here, it’d be nice to know what’s causing it, may be a quick fix.

Press CTRL+ALT+T to get a terminal window

If you’d like to post it here use this:

top | head -n 13

Drag select the output, right click, copy. Then paste it to a forum reply inside a code block. Ex:

```
Pasted text here
```

I would also first try to tackle the problem. I use the command line but you can also just open KDE’s task manager to see what is hogging the CPU.

From the hardware specs your machine should be able to handle Kubuntu without problems.

And of course, welcome to the community!

Thanks. I am a big fan of the DLN podcast and have moved all of my computers to KDE from Windows. Refreshing.

Thanks, Marco. I appreciate your response.

  1. baloo_file is 50% of my CPU and 45% of my 16 GB memory.

  2. I have SSDs in my stock. I am asking how to separate the OS from my data by installing a new version of the OS on the new SSD, then getting rid of the OS portion of my larger SSD for data only.

  3. Thanks I will try this.

top - 13:25:33 up 1 day, 22:22, 2 users, load average: 2.16, 2.28, 1.96
Tasks: 288 total, 2 running, 286 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 0.0 us, 14.2 sy, 0.0 ni, 60.6 id, 25.2 wa, 0.0 hi, 0.0 si, 0.0 st
MiB Mem : 15892.1 total, 223.4 free, 4515.1 used, 11153.6 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 2048.0 total, 1049.7 free, 998.2 used. 10283.2 avail Mem

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

112574 eric-ku+ 20 0 891244 110996 81700 R 100.0 0.7 1:19.11 ksysguard
1810 eric-ku+ 39 19 256.4g 9.3g 9.1g D 6.2 59.8 255:53.77 baloo_file
1848 eric-ku+ 20 0 2779244 151532 15928 S 6.2 0.9 13:57.54 telegram-deskto
101743 eric-ku+ 20 0 2064448 69004 32820 S 6.2 0.4 2:51.57 chrome
1 root 20 0 169040 8096 4252 S 0.0 0.0 0:03.88 systemd
2 root 20 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.03 kthreadd

Quick format fix putting it inside ``` ```

top - 13:25:33 up 1 day, 22:22,  2 users,  load average: 2.16, 2.28, 1.96
Tasks: 288 total,   2 running, 286 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  0.0 us, 14.2 sy,  0.0 ni, 60.6 id, 25.2 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
MiB Mem :  15892.1 total,    223.4 free,   4515.1 used,  11153.6 buff/cache
MiB Swap:   2048.0 total,   1049.7 free,    998.2 used.  10283.2 avail Mem 

    PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU  %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND          
 112574 eric-ku+  20   0  891244 110996  81700 R 100.0   0.7   1:19.11 ksysguard        
   1810 eric-ku+  39  19  256.4g   9.3g   9.1g D   6.2  59.8 255:53.77 baloo_file       
   1848 eric-ku+  20   0 2779244 151532  15928 S   6.2   0.9  13:57.54 telegram-deskto  
 101743 eric-ku+  20   0 2064448  69004  32820 S   6.2   0.4   2:51.57 chrome           
      1 root      20   0  169040   8096   4252 S   0.0   0.0   0:03.88 systemd          
      2 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.03 kthreadd

“KSysGuard is a program to monitor various elements of your system, or any
other remote system with the KSysGuard daemon (ksysgardd) installed.”

https://github.com/KDE/ksysguard

I’m not familiar with KDE System Guard, anyone have thoughts?

1 Like

I’m not a KDE user but as I understand the baloo program is an indexer for the files on your system. Once indexed, you’ll have faster results when searching for something on your system. Given that this is its purpose, a fresh install would cause baloo to run wild for a few hours but then once the indexing is done, it should be quiet.

I guess that I need to figure out how to limit baloo to just the specific folder that I need indexed. This has been running for weeks. thanks for your input.

That is the problem with Baloo and @MarkofCain is right. So it is not a bug. Baloo just needs to index all your files and when it is done it will not hog your system anymore.

I would definitely try to limit it and in the worst case even deactivate it. Or on a fresh install I would not even activate it on the first run of the new system.

File indexing on weak hardware or with a lot of data is really tedious.

Thanks, Folks. It has calmed down and now my installation is back to super fast. Since I know what it is, I will know how to manage it in the future.

1 Like