Subject: UVM/other problems for desktop users in current?
To: None <>
From: George Michaelson <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/18/2002 12:58:00
I run an unmodified current (1-2 weeks lag at most) on my Dell L400
laptop. 256Mb memory, 1 9Gb IDE disk.

During cvs -q update -d -p runs over /usr/src, /usr/pkgsrc, /usr/xsrc
the interactive performance nosedives. the three main desktop apps I notice
this on are XFree86, phoenix and sylpheed, which have 25, 25 and 45Mb
in-memory sizes apparently.  Switching between virtual desks, the time to
re-paint, and then interact, is painful. 

Can anybody suggest why this happens? Is it a side-effect of walking over
filesystems doing stat() on very large sparce directories? or of writing
updates back into CVS/ subdirs which forces flush in the file buffer cache?

The other time I see this is during make on mozilla, when it does the
tar un-pack of the distribution set. once that completes, I can compile
to my hearts content, but the bulk fs unpacks are painful.

I know I've whinged about tuning before, and I realize its a different story
for every class of user, but this very strongly suggests to me that something
is mis-tuned for the average-joe desktop.

Any clue holders able to shed some light?