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Excess processes

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I just noticed a lot of hd thrashing while was looking at a web page with tb running in a separate window (of course!). I was surprised because this computer is running linux, not mswin. I looked at the task
manager and saw lots of processes running that were of either uk or of no interest to me.

in task manager, what does rss mean. What does the memory listed in the last column mean? Is this ram in use now? while watching, a line flashed red, an another line flashes yellow once in a while. what do those mean?

there is no 'help' button. Also, how ids i know what the process names mea/do, and can i get rid of the safely (in init.rd?)i am running xubuntu 13.04

posted May 16, 2013 by anonymous

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3 Answers

0 votes

1) What are uk processes? English, Irish Scottish or Welsh?
2) No idea, I don't run xubuntu, maybe someone more familiar can explain that
3) Without knowing what you're actually running, hard to say.

Try running this from a terminal to get a file listing all running processes at that moment:

ps auxf > process.list

Can't tell you what's causing this without that info. It could be anything from you don't have enough RAM to you've got too many programs open at once causing the system to swap to disk to a run-away program that's got a memory leak bug to many other things that cause disk thrashing.

answer May 16, 2013 by anonymous
0 votes

If the hard disk thrashing you may have run out of RAM. How much have you got? In a terminal, run
to and see how much swap you are using, if that is more than a few tens of Meg it probably means you have not got enough RAM.

answer May 16, 2013 by anonymous
0 votes

Don't want to hi-jack this thread but I'm following it with interest, as I have noticed my hard disc light on alot after upgrade from 11-04 to 13-04 (via 12-04, 12-10)!

Does that mean I need more ram?

Tasks: 224 total, 2 running, 221 sleeping, 0 stopped, 1 zombie
%Cpu(s): 4.0 us, 2.0 sy, 0.0 ni, 92.8 id, 0.5 wa, 0.0 hi, 0.7 si, 
 0.0 st
KiB Mem: 3093632 total, 2288352 used, 805280 free, 274240 buffers
KiB Swap: 2085884 total, 88684 used, 1997200 free, 933548 cached

If so might have to use XFCE instead of Unity if it is becoming so resource heavy.

answer May 17, 2013 by anonymous
No you have plenty for what you are doing. You are not using a lot of swap and the amount of RAM available for re-use should it be needed (free + buffers + cached) is 2GB.

In terms of total RAM (of which you seem to have 3GB) 1GB is enough for Ubuntu + Unity provided you do not try to run too much at once, and 2GB is enough for most purposes unless you want to have dozens of
firefox tabs open or go in for editing large videos and so on.

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