After updating to Kubuntu 11.10, my file I/O performance has slowly just gotten worse and worse. It is to the point where I'm getting 1 MB/s write/read speeds to the drive. If I download something, the whole machine becomes unresponsive for at times up to 30 seconds. This usually causes a timeout in the download and the download then stops.

Even extracting archive files, while extracting the computer is just unusable on top of the terrible read/write speeds. It isn't the drive as I have Windows installed as well and when I boot to it I have no issues with the drive.

I did not have this issue using Kubuntu 11.04 and am thinking of downgrading. However, I'd much rather help out the Ubuntu community by working through these issues. I'm starting to lean towards the new Linux Kernel is just not working well with file handles. During file I/O my system usage does pick up, but it is not 100% CPU usage. My system is as follows.

  • Samsung 2 TB hard disk drive
  • AMD Phenom II x6 1055
  • 4 GB RAM (only one in use according to system monitor)
  • ATI 5850 HD
  • Do you use NTFS on the partition you are writing to? – int_ua Dec 2 '11 at 8:33
  • @int_ua No it is ext4. I'm trying Ubuntu 11.10 out now and it is a little better. I do use home drive encryption. I don't know if that makes a difference, but a 6 core phenom II should have no problems with that. – dko Dec 3 '11 at 15:37

Could be a kernel problem or a failing hard drive, we need more information.

First, you can you install and run smartmontools

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

# See if any of the following commands yields any problems with the drive.

sudo smartctl -s on /dev/sda 
sudo smartctl -t short /dev/sda 
sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
sudo smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

Second, did the problem resolved with an updated kernel ?

Third, this page might also be of assistance https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DiskPerformance

  • I changed over to ubuntu and the problems appear to be better. I also set it up from the beginning with home folder encryption instead of installing the tools afterwards because I only wanted one of the two users to have the encryption. – dko Mar 1 '12 at 12:49

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