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The basic problem: When updating a game through Steam, I get an initial spike of network activity, then the download stops.

As displayed by Steam, the speed tapers off: Steam download speed

When looking at the actual network traffic, it spikes once, and then dies entirely: Network download speed

Some notes here:

  • Once the download is down to 0, it stays at 0. Pausing and unpausing the download has no effect. To restart the download, I need to restart Steam.
  • Actual data is apparently received for that second, so it is not a case of total blockage. The next time I start Steam, the few MB of data I downloaded are still there. (In theory, I suppose I could get the 1GB download by restarting about 200 times...)

Now, the interesting parts: I can get a less unstable download by placing a severe throttle on the bandwidth. Steam download speed with throttle This way I can get a few hundred MB of data rather than about five MB. Nevertheless, it still eventually chokes.

I start the Steam client from a console. The output is rather verbose, but here's an example:

Running Steam on ubuntu 15.04 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME has been set by the user to: /home/ernir/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime
ExecCommandLine: "/home/ernir/.steam/root/ubuntu12_32/steam steam://open/driverhelperready"
ExecSteamURL: "steam://open/driverhelperready"
CAPIJobRequestUserStats - Server response failed 2
ExecSteamURL: "steam://open/downloads"
Generating new string page texture 127: 128x256, total string texture memory is 5,28 MB
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1437790054)
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1437790054)
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1437790054)
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1437790054)
Generating new string page texture 128: 128x256, total string texture memory is 5,41 MB
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_ref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2656.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_unref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2794.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_unref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2794.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_ref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2656.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_unref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2794.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_unref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2794.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
process 4301: arguments to dbus_connection_unref() were incorrect, assertion "connection->generation == _dbus_current_generation" failed in file ../../dbus/dbus-connection.c line 2794.
This is normally a bug in some application using the D-Bus library.
Generating new string page texture 129: 24x256, total string texture memory is 5,44 MB
Generating new string page texture 130: 256x256, total string texture memory is 5,70 MB
Generating new string page texture 132: 48x256, total string texture memory is 5,75 MB

The CAPIJobRequestUserStats - Server response failed 2 line is the only one that looks promising, but searching for it hasn't gotten me anywhere.

Additional information:

  • Steam works perfectly on the Windows partition of the same machine.
  • The DNS troubles some have mentioned don't seem to be the issue - or at least, installing and restarting dnsmasq didn't do anything.

I am running Kubuntu 15.04 now, the problem was identical under Kubuntu 14.04 and 14.10. System information (as reported by Steam):

Processor Information:
    Vendor:  GenuineIntel
    CPU Family:  0x6
    CPU Model:  0x3a
    CPU Stepping:  0x9
    CPU Type:  0x0
    Speed:  3800 Mhz
    4 logical processors
    4 physical processors
    HyperThreading:  Unsupported
    FCMOV:  Supported
    SSE2:  Supported
    SSE3:  Supported
    SSSE3:  Supported
    SSE4a:  Unsupported
    SSE41:  Supported
    SSE42:  Supported

Network Information:
    Network Speed:  

Operating System Version:
    Ubuntu 15.04 (64 bit)
    Kernel Name:  Linux
    Kernel Version:  3.19.0-25-generic
    X Server Vendor:  The X.Org Foundation
    X Server Release:  11701000
    X Window Manager:  KWin
    Steam Runtime Version:  steam-runtime-release_2015-06-12

Video Card:
    Driver:  NVIDIA Corporation GeForce GTX 650 Ti/PCIe/SSE2

    Driver Version:  4.5.0 NVIDIA 346.59
    OpenGL Version: 4.5
    Desktop Color Depth: 24 bits per pixel
    Monitor Refresh Rate: 59 Hz
    VendorID:  0x10de
    DeviceID:  0x11c6
    Number of Monitors:  2
    Number of Logical Video Cards:  1
    Primary Display Resolution:  1680 x 1050
    Desktop Resolution: 3360 x 1050
    Primary Display Size: 18,07" x 11,65"  (21,50" diag)
                                            45,9cm x 29,6cm  (54,6cm diag)
    Primary Bus: PCI Express 16x
    Primary VRAM: 1024 MB
    Supported MSAA Modes:  2x 4x 8x 16x 

Sound card:
    Audio device: Realtek ALC887-VD

Memory:
    RAM:  16001 Mb

Miscellaneous:
    UI Language:  English
    LANG:  is_IS.UTF-8
    Microphone:  Not set
    Total Hard Disk Space Available:  104234 Mb
    Largest Free Hard Disk Block:  11192 Mb

Any and all insight is appreciated at this point!

  • Does this also happen in FireFox when downloading a large file? Leave a comment @Fabby with the reply. – Fabby Aug 13 '15 at 21:25
  • @Fabby, no, all other network activity is as expected, including (large) Firefox and Chrome downloads, as well as Torrents. As far as I can tell, it is specific to Steam. :/ – Ernir Aug 14 '15 at 1:13
0

Turns out it was a problem solved by dnsmasq after all.

I can't tell you why it didn't cut it earlier, but on a fresh Ubuntu 15.10 install, I went through the following steps:

First, installing some libraries:

sudo apt-get install libcurl3 libcurl3-gnutls libcurl4-openssl-dev

and then installing Steam. The speed displayed the same characteristics (initial spike, then nothing, as before). However, this time installing dnsmasq and restarting the service did the trick.

sudo apt-get install dnsmasq
sudo service dnsmasq restart

I consider the issue solved, although I would have preferred a solution that didn't involve a full OS reinstall.

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