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After a Skype video call, or the use of virtualbox, Ubuntu slows down to a crawl, even after the process is ended. Running htop reveals that processes that used little CPU before are now all using about 30% cpu (namely Compiz, Firefox, Python, and Skype, but I'm sure there are others), to the point where all my cores are at 99%. All I can do from here is restart.

Any idea why this is happpening? I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit on 3.7 GiB of memory, Intel® Core™ i3 CPU M 330 @ 2.13GHz × 4, VESA: M92 graphics driver. Not sure why I'm running VESA, I installed fglrx, but I suppose that's a different question.

Thanks in advance!

UPDATE So I ran across this again after playing a youtube video and backing up at the same time. I decided to run unity --replace I received the following error:

(compiz:23601): GConf-CRITICAL **: gconf_client_add_dir: assertion `gconf_valid_key (dirname, NULL)' failed
Initializing unityshell options...done
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc0009e!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000a1!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000a4!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000a7!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000aa!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000ad!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000ad!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
compiz (core) - Warn: unhandled ConfigureNotify on 0xc000b0!
compiz (core) - Warn: this should never happen. you should probably file a bug about this.
(compiz:23601): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

So I ran unity --reset and looked into htop. It seems that a "compiz --replace", Firefox, Skype, htop, Xorg, and rythmbox were using an abnormal amount of CPU, and everything was rather laggy. Top displays the following:

top - 23:44:08 up  8:30,  2 users,  load average: 1.42, 2.15, 3.15
Tasks: 205 total,   1 running, 201 sleeping,   0 stopped,   3 zombie
Cpu(s): 29.7%us, 13.4%sy,  0.0%ni, 56.3%id,  0.2%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.4%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   3909324k total,  3713056k used,   196268k free,    78096k buffers
Swap:  4049916k total,   120360k used,  3929556k free,  2063860k cached

That amount of free memory concerns me.

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I assume that's memory-intensive, too. Maybe your swap is used up too much. What is the output of free? in that case the pages will need time to swap back to RAM. Until then your PC may remain slow. –  Samik May 31 '12 at 20:57
    
Pretty sure it's not swap. I just got this problem recently after running updates. The updates are finished, but now htop shows compiz, rhythmbox, lightdm, firefox, and plugin-container (for firefox) using more than 10% of CPU each. Here is the output of free ` total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 3909324 3675560 233764 0 92416 1968604 -/+ buffers/cache: 1614540 2294784 Swap: 4049916 8 4049908 ` –  Matt2 May 31 '12 at 21:25
    
I'm thinking about rebooting, as this is getting painfully slow. Since I can't figure out how to format the output of free, have a screenshot: img6.imagebanana.com/img/umkwguwj/Selection_003.png –  Matt2 May 31 '12 at 21:36
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1 Answer 1

Have a look at this page; since you are using VESA driver, I think this is your case. Check the output of glxinfo | grep render and if it says OpenGL renderer string: Software Rasterizer then this behaviour is normal until you use the appropriate video driver.

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OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4300 Series GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_copy_depth_to_color, GL_NV_copy_image, –  Matt2 Jun 1 '12 at 3:26
    
Sorry to double post. I think I am using fglrx, and am suffering Bug #879522, in which VESA is incorrectly reported in System Information. I'm not experienced enough to know. –  Matt2 Jun 1 '12 at 3:33
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