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Whenever I play a game on my Linux machine, it stutters every 7 minutes or so for about 5 seconds. Seems like not a serious problem but it is still a bit annoying. So any ideas on how to even trace the cause of that bug and then maybe try to fix it too.

I have Ubuntu 12.10 installed on my Acer aspire 5552g which has a:

  • AMD 2.20 GHz proccessor
  • Radeon HD 5650 with the latest AMD proprietary drivers.
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • DE: Gnome 3

Updates:

  1. I took a look at the CPU usage chart while the stutter occurred and it showed that one core (dual core) went up to 100% while this happened and the other one stayed like it was. Might it be a sign of a CPU failure or might it just be a bad OS install?

  2. It seems to be a problem of Xorg actually. When the stuttering occurs, Xorg seems to take up about 60% of my CPU capacity.

Any idea on how to troubleshoot from here on?

Checking log files now and this is the list of the logs I have:

kaspar@kaspar-pc:/var/log$ ls
alternatives.log    btmp.1          jockey.log.2.gz     syslog.3.gz
alternatives.log.1  ConsoleKit      kern.log            syslog.4.gz
apport.log          cups            kern.log.1          syslog.5.gz
apport.log.1        dist-upgrade    kern.log.2.gz       syslog.6.gz
apport.log.2.gz     dmesg           kern.log.3.gz       syslog.7.gz
apport.log.3.gz     dmesg.0         kern.log.4.gz       udev
apport.log.4.gz     dmesg.1.gz      lastlog             ufw.log
apport.log.5.gz     dmesg.2.gz      lightdm             unattended-upgrades
apport.log.6.gz     dmesg.3.gz      mail.err            upstart
apport.log.7.gz     dmesg.4.gz      mail.log            wtmp
apt                 dpkg.log        news                wtmp.1
auth.log            dpkg.log.1      pm-powersave.log    Xorg.0.log
auth.log.1          faillog         pm-powersave.log.1  Xorg.0.log.old
auth.log.2.gz       fontconfig.log  pm-suspend.log      Xorg.1.log
auth.log.3.gz       fsck            pm-suspend.log.1    Xorg.1.log.old
auth.log.4.gz       gdm             samba               Xorg.2.log
boot                hp              speech-dispatcher   Xorg.2.log.old
boot.log            installer       syslog              Xorg.3.log
bootstrap.log       jockey.log      syslog.1            Xorg.failsafe.log
btmp                jockey.log.1    syslog.2.gz         Xorg.failsafe.log.old

And this is the tail -F of syslog:

kaspar@kaspar-pc:~$ tail -F /var/log/syslog
Feb 23 00:39:41 kaspar-pc kernel: [18312.601860] ptrace of pid 5563 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:39:41 kaspar-pc kernel: [18312.601915] ptrace of pid 8585 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:39:41 kaspar-pc kernel: [18312.608335] ptrace of pid 4064 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:39:41 kaspar-pc kernel: [18312.608402] ptrace of pid 4068 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:39:41 kaspar-pc kernel: [18312.608454] ptrace of pid 4076 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:40:44 kaspar-pc kernel: [18376.177046] yama_ptrace_access_check: 4 callbacks suppressed
Feb 23 00:40:44 kaspar-pc kernel: [18376.177051] ptrace of pid 4064 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:40:44 kaspar-pc kernel: [18376.177103] ptrace of pid 4068 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:40:44 kaspar-pc kernel: [18376.177154] ptrace of pid 4076 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)
Feb 23 00:40:44 kaspar-pc kernel: [18376.177204] ptrace of pid 4085 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 4058)

I have no idea how to make the list appear correctly.. But as I can see from syslog there is only lines about wine there and not my problem. So I probably need to look into some other logs but which ones.

Updated log which i ran for half an hour:

kaspar@kaspar-pc:~$ tail -F /var/log/syslog
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.563462] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.563502] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.563537] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.563572] ptrace of pid 18082 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.568618] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.568661] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.568697] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26160.568733] ptrace of pid 18082 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26161.074357] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:10:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [26161.074413] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217175] yama_ptrace_access_check: 23 callbacks suppressed
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217181] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217218] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217254] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217292] ptrace of pid 18082 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217500] ptrace of pid 18109 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217536] ptrace of pid 18124 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:03 kaspar-pc kernel: [26391.217571] ptrace of pid 18429 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:04 kaspar-pc kernel: [26392.427695] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:04 kaspar-pc kernel: [26392.427737] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:04 kaspar-pc kernel: [26392.427775] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:14:58 kaspar-pc cracklib: no dictionary update necessary.
tail: `/var/log/syslog' has become inaccessible: No such file or directory
tail: cannot watch `/var/log/syslog': Permission denied
tail: cannot watch `/var/log/syslog': Permission denied
tail: `/var/log/syslog' has appeared;  following end of new file
Feb 23 11:16:13 kaspar-pc anacron[12106]: Job `cron.daily' terminated
Feb 23 11:16:13 kaspar-pc anacron[12106]: Normal exit (1 job run)
Feb 23 11:17:02 kaspar-pc CRON[18745]: (root) CMD (   cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994551] yama_ptrace_access_check: 5 callbacks suppressed
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994556] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994594] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994631] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994667] ptrace of pid 18082 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994702] ptrace of pid 18109 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994738] ptrace of pid 18124 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.994773] ptrace of pid 18429 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.999638] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.999678] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:12 kaspar-pc kernel: [28437.999714] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [28463.842282] yama_ptrace_access_check: 4 callbacks suppressed
Feb 23 11:48:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [28463.842288] ptrace of pid 18061 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [28463.842339] ptrace of pid 18065 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [28463.842390] ptrace of pid 18074 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)
Feb 23 11:48:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [28463.842441] ptrace of pid 18082 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 18055)

The time stamps when stuttering occurred we're 11.21 11.31 11.36 11.41 and 11.46 According to that log, nothing happened at those times.

Logs from kern.log

    kaspar@kaspar-pc:~$ tail -F /var/log/kern.log
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.438757] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.438797] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.438833] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.438868] ptrace of pid 22784 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.440681] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.440716] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.440751] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:38 kaspar-pc kernel: [33595.440785] ptrace of pid 22784 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:39 kaspar-pc kernel: [33596.007100] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:13:39 kaspar-pc kernel: [33596.007139] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269211] yama_ptrace_access_check: 23 callbacks suppressed
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269216] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269257] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269296] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269335] ptrace of pid 22784 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269374] ptrace of pid 22816 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269413] ptrace of pid 22831 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:36 kaspar-pc kernel: [33893.269452] ptrace of pid 23091 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:37 kaspar-pc kernel: [33894.217138] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:37 kaspar-pc kernel: [33894.217192] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:18:37 kaspar-pc kernel: [33894.217243] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.769962] yama_ptrace_access_check: 5 callbacks suppressed
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.769968] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770047] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770107] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770159] ptrace of pid 22784 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770209] ptrace of pid 22816 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770259] ptrace of pid 22831 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.770310] ptrace of pid 23091 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.778003] ptrace of pid 22763 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.778045] ptrace of pid 22767 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)
    Feb 24 18:57:59 kaspar-pc kernel: [36252.778093] ptrace of pid 22775 was attempted by: wineserver (pid 22757)

Seeing this log it seems that once again the error does not want to show up.
Edit: Linking some screenshots with top monitoring the moment the stutter occurs. Maybe it helps a bit. Before stutter stutter

As it can be seen, when stutter occurs, Xorg is taking up a lot of processing power from one core. This time it was only 12.6% but the nastier ones take up to 37% which causes a real lock-down for a couple of seconds. Also I wonder if this is Xorg making the error, should I not look at Xorg logs? But which one should I be monitoring as there are so many of them. Also when I tried to monitor Xorg.3.log it did not show any timestamps for it's errors so it might be hard to read stuff from there I guess.

share|improve this question
    
Have you tail -F'd some of the log files under /var/log (most interestingly syslog) while the problem occurs? This way you may be able to figure out what's running. My guess would be cron job is giving the trouble. If it's that regular it sounds like cron or one of the other similar programs. –  0xC0000022L Feb 21 '13 at 2:49
    
Updated with logs, I have really now idea how to use the listing system here ... –  Kaspar Feb 22 '13 at 22:54
1  
you would obviously have to provide output from one of those 7 min cycles, not just the last few lines. Basically, open a terminal, then play your thing and check what's in the output and looks fishy every 7 minutes. If those are a lot of lines, use a pastebin. –  0xC0000022L Feb 23 '13 at 1:09
    
Judging from the last log it seems syslog is not the one to look at for this error? Should I monitor Xorg log maybe or what? –  Kaspar Feb 24 '13 at 10:20
    
It's hard to tell, but I would try kern.logif syslog doesn't give anything useful. But keep in mind that the problem could just as well be purely in hardware and we're chasing a "ghost" then ... –  0xC0000022L Feb 24 '13 at 14:55

2 Answers 2

If you don't have your AMD Graphics Drivers installed, you can download them here

If that doesn't work, try uninstalling and reinstalling xorg using

sudo apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg

then

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg

share|improve this answer

It might just be a game error (or bug). Try reinstalling the game, or reinstall Ubuntu. It might help to get more RAM and a 64 bit version of Ubuntu. Also, laptops are always slower that PC#s.

share|improve this answer
    
I think reinstalling Ubuntu completely would be a bit extreme solution. But it occurs when gaming and watcing videos and probably even when doing browsing, but I cannot feel it that well then. –  Kaspar Feb 24 '13 at 18:29

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