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Re: Too many processes question.

I wrote:
> So a "slow" computer is actually rarely to do with raw processor power.
> It's much more likely to be some combination of the hard disk not using
> DMA, or there being a memory hog on the system that is causing it to
> swap a lot, or there being something running in the background that is
> really accessing the hard drive a lot.
> You may have noticed that I like blaming the hard drive for speed
> problems. Les, is the hard drive light on much?

Les replied:
> All the time (I'm pretty sure that is broken on this system, because I
> can usually hear the drive spin up or the arm movement anyway).  The
> problem seems to be though, with all that stuff in memory, that my main
> memory (only 256M on this machine) is pretty filled up.  And I think
> that 256M of OS and X is just way the heck too much.  
> I really don't want too much going on, just X and its requriements, The
> Kernal, the print stuff, the USB stuff and the CD and DVD.  So what is
> with 104 processes.  Even Windows only shows 54 on my XP box, and I
> thought Windows was a HOG.

Well, one thing is that Unix has always worked with multiple small
processes where Windows has wanted One Big Monolith. (And Unix has been
less buggy for it).

Having said that, Fedora does come with more stuff running than is
always strictly necessary. To begin with, I'd recommend running
system-config-services and seeing what is configured to run.

You may want to turn off:
 * auditd, msctrans, setroubleshoot until you have trouble getting something to run and
   think SELinux might be a culprit
 * autofs
 * avahi-daemon
 * bluetooth, hidd and pand
 * CPUspeed if your CPU can't take advantage of power-saving
 * dhcdbd
 * diskdump and netdump
 * dund
 * there's no point having firstboot enabled any more
 * gpm if you rarely drop down to a virtual console
 * irda if you're not using infrared
 * irqbalance (I doubt you've got a hyperthreading or SMP system with
   256 MB)
 * mdmpd and multipathd
 * netfs and netplugd
 * nfs, nfslock, rpcgssd, rpcidmapd, rpcsvcgssd
 * nscd
 * pscd
 * smb (Samba)
 * sshd
 * ypbind
 * yum-updatesd (this means you'd be responsible for running yum or
   similar to update the system -- every week at least)

If there are no on-demand services, you can turn xinetd off, too.

Not all of these may be there or turned on by default. And there may be
other things that you've got installed and running that you don't use.

Having looked into the services (and stopped ones you don't want -- it
may be easiest to go to run-level 3 and back, or reboot), then run the
top command. Press "shift-M", which sorts the entries by "RES", defined
as "the non-swapped physical memory a task has used". Take a look at the
largest processes. If you see something you're pretty sure you don't
need, see if you can turn it off.

Ask again if you need more help.

Hope this helps,


E-mail:     james@ | Remember, half-measures can be very effective if all you
aprilcottage.co.uk | deal with are half-wits.

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