[nSLUG] System performance, etc.

Frank Geitzler frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca
Thu Sep 8 10:15:17 ADT 2016

I have an old Compaq Proteva tower which I use to test out disk drives,
new software, etc.  Several years ago I had to have the motherboard
replaced, with a MSI-865 PE with a Celeron 2.93 GHz processor Ne02.  It
only has 3 GB of memory, and runs Ubuntu 14.04 at present.
For some time I have been annoyed at the performance of the system -I
can type faster than the letters appear on the screen...  I noticed that
I had set up Ubuntu with only a 2GB swap file, and wondered if that
might be part of the problem, so I defined a new 8GB swap file using
gparted, referred to that swap file in the /etc/fstab file, commented
out the line referring to the old swap file, and booted the system with
the modified fstab.  There was no apparent difference in the
performance.  For some reason, the command 'df' for this system with the
8GB swap file showed no swap file,  although the hard drive now contains
two swap files.  I then put the old fstab, referring to the old 2GB swap
file, back in place -but 'df' still shows no swap file. I later realized
by entering 'df' on my laptop, that the swap file apparently does not
show on the list of files produced by the 'df' command -that was just a
'red herring'.
I have a feeling that something is running which is wasting cycles.
Last year I attempted to set up a local Apache web server, ran into
problems with the installation (missing or unavailable prerequisite
files) and gave up on it -I had other priorities at the time, but it is
possible that some of that is stealing cycles.
I don't have any experience with the system internals -can anyone
suggest some installed or free Ubuntu software tools which would let me
see what is running, and how to stop processes which shouldn't be there,
etc.?  If this were a Windows system, I would give it a three-fingered
salute to get Task Manager, and see which processes were heavy cycle

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