Ubuntu: Ubuntu 14.04 sudden freezes and 100% disk usage



Question:

Sometimes I just casually browse web and out of nowhere my disk is usage is 100% and everything freezes. I have 64 bits ubuntu 14.04 with all updates. My pc spec is i5 4670k, integrated GPU and 4gb of ram. My hdd is seagate 1TB (I don't recall its full name). Freezes happen a few times a day. Only running apps are: Chrome, Banshee and thunderbird. It might have something to do with flash, but I'm not 100% sure.


Solution:1

It looks like your physical RAM is getting full and the system starts to use the Swap. Programmes like Chromium can easily take up several Gb of RAM. On 12.04, with about 20 tabs open Chromium would get up to 2 Gb of RAM in less than a day.

You can start by monitoring closely your free RAM with the System Monitor. See if these episodes of high disk usage coincide with a full (or near full) RAM. If that is the case then try to understand if any programme stands out; both Chromium and Thunderbird could be the culprits.

In any case, if you are used to have multiple tabs open in your web browser, I would definitely advise you to use Firefox instead.


Solution:2

Have you tried limiting your open tabs to 4-5?

While browsing with different number of tabs open, type free -m at a command line to see how much memory you have list. Manpage for free.

More suggestion on checking memory used here.

Also use the top command in a separate terminal. It will show you all processes running, the memory and cpu % they use. Very handy. Hit 'q' to stop the top program. See the man page for various sorting options.


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