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I have Ubuntu 16.04 installed in USB pendrive and sometimes it's getting stuck on something like I am installing some packages, progress is going normally and suddenly there is long period of inactivity and at some point it wakes up and progress is resuming (it's not like this system is slower than system installed on internal hard drive but it freeze sometimes like it would be fault of system waiting for USB memory resources but nothing is reading/writing on disk according to iotop, also RAM and CPUs are idle according to htop) also when I have firefox active when I click on link then it "thinks" a lot (firefox is indicating that it's on it but it is waiting for something), funny thing is that if application was already working (and all of it's reasources are in RAM) then this app is working like a charm, what could it be? maybe journaling fault? on Ubuntu 17.10 same thing happened. My filesystem is EXT4


reading comments I will add more info about my system:

  • system is fully upgraded
  • it's not an internet problem because during this 'hickup' when I install packages and I want to spawn another terminal tab and I want to invoke simple top command I have to wait for him to make his mind
  • I turned of any nonsense like screen turning off after inactivity
  • I suspect that the problem is slow communication with the USB pendrive. As long as activities can use RAM buffering, things are fast, but when you have to flush part of the buffer (and read/write to the pendrive) it will be slow. Typically this will happen, when you start a new program. If you have swap on the pendrive, this problem will also depend on swapping (which is usually slow, but very slow unless you have a very fast USB 3 pendrive). -- It will probably help to replace standard Ubuntu with a lighter community flavour: Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE or Xubuntu. – sudodus Mar 23 '18 at 19:34
  • Try to first fully update and upgrade and dont let it inactive or go to login screen. After that is done it should be fixed. Also make sure you have enough space in the root folder. Do you use your pendrive on different systems or only on one system ? – An0n Mar 23 '18 at 19:40
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If it happens only while installation of programs then it is probably a network problem. Otherwise I have no clue.

Hope this helps Ben

| improve this answer | |
  • it's not a problem of internet because system itself is having a problem invoking other actions as well – quester Mar 23 '18 at 20:17
  • Ok it might just be that your usb is slow – Techterror12 Mar 23 '18 at 20:17
  • one explenation is access time is very high and this might cause this problem but maybe there is something that is small disks related? – quester Mar 23 '18 at 21:02
  • @quester, What size is your USB pendrive? And what speed (nominally USB 2 or USB 3), and what speed specification of the flash memory hardware? – sudodus Mar 24 '18 at 4:17
  • 32GB (2GB for swap), and USB 2 and this might be an issue but only in access time or some background routines I am not aware about – quester Mar 24 '18 at 15:57

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