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When having Ubuntu 11.10 idle, hard-disk is still doing "something" periodically for a very small time (I have 8GB RAM). I can hear the seeks every few seconds (iostat tells something like 20kB/s).

What process could cause that? I thought that's a Windows issue only.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Use iotop to look at what processes are doing I/O.

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Have an idea what is COMMAND [jdb2/sda1-8]? – James Dec 15 '11 at 13:43
[jdb2] is a kernel process responsible for writing the journal in your filesystem. Perhaps syslogd is doing writes, cron.log or something? – Caesium Dec 15 '11 at 14:30

You need to put the computer into power save mode:

sudo pm-powersave true

Less frequent writes to the disk means if you crash you can lose more work though.

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