Ubuntu: Intense hard drive access activity immediately after log in


I upgraded my ubuntu karmic to lucid a few months ago. I don't know when it all started but the thing is that when I log in, I see a very intense disk access activity for a while that prevents any application from starting in a reasonable time (it takes from 10 to 20 seconds).

That's why I cannot launch a terminal window and top or iostat just in time to see what happens. When it prompts it's too late.

I tried to delimit the problem uninstalling zeitgeist, docky or whatever program I thought was behind that behaviour. I even deleted my Private encrypted folder to avoid decryption issues. Nothing changed.

Any idea about how to proceed? Thanks in advance.


I'd switch to a virtual terminal at the GDM login screen (Ctrl+Alt+F1), log in and start iotop (you maybe need to install it first). Then switch back to GDM (Ctrl+Alt+F7), log in, and immediately switch back to iotop using Ctrl+Alt+F1. You should now see, which process is responsible for the heavy IO.

Forgot to mention an alternative: you could try using bootchart to generate a chart that visualizes the boot process + desktop start. You maybe need to edit its configuration, so it shows more than just the first seconds of desktop loading:

Open the file '/etc/init/bootchart.conf' and remove the line:

--crop-after=compiz,metacity,mutter,kwin,xfwm4 \

Two things:

  1. You maybe need to reboot twice after the first installation to get a useful result (it's possible that an index file needs to be rebuilt, I don't know for sure).

  2. Once installed, bootchart will run on every boot, unless you add bootchart=disable to the 'GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT' parameter in '/etc/default/grub' (followed by a sudo update-grub).

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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