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When working on the desktop, I sometimes encounter a sudden slowing down of Ubuntu Unity. I cannot reproduce the error but would like to be a proactive Linux user and find out what could be the problem.

How does your your error tracking system look like? I am looking for strategies, not only simple advice like: usetop. I want to slowly understand, which program is causing the problem and be able to send in bug tickets.

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You can refer here How do I report a bug? –  atenz Jul 23 '12 at 14:06
    
Well, that helps me with the reporting part of my question, but not so much with the tracking of current problems. –  Martin Betz Jul 23 '12 at 14:14
    
Errors that can be reproduced are counted as BUGS , slowing down is not an error always , since it doesn't shows erroneous Code or system to fail . Also give try to System Monitor ( do check its preferences menu for showing more info) . –  atenz Jul 23 '12 at 14:18
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If it's not the CPU (use top, do it), check the memory (top -b -n 1 | sort -k 10 -g), and maybe the GPU temp (nvidia-smi for nvidia cards ..). –  user55822 Jul 23 '12 at 20:52

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It can be extremely difficult to understand the cause of things like that. Some bugs only happen in combination with other bugs, on particular hardware, etc. In those cases, you really need other types of data so that you can try to find common denominators. Apport is a bug reporting system that fetches relevant data. The ubuntu-bug command is even simpler. For instance, if you have a bug with Unity, you can press Alt+F2 and enter ubuntu-bug unity.

It is beneficial if you can provide information about what you're doing if you can reliably reproduce it. In your case, I would try to press Alt+F2 and enter unity --replace. If that helps, provide that information.

The unity command provides a few helpful switches as well, such as --log, --advanced-debug and --verbose. Debugging skills are very useful, but you might want to start with something simpler.

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