[K12OSN] Firefox and load average

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Tue Dec 4 16:15:20 UTC 2007

On Mon, 3 Dec 2007 13:08:22 -0500, David Hopkins wrote
> Just recently (last few days) when students launch FF (1.5), the load
> average on the server will spike to 20 or so, sometimes much higher,
> (on a dual 2.4GHz hyperthreaded Xeon system), then over a few minutes
> come back to 2 (more or less). The problem is that during the spike,
> everything comes to a complete crawl.  Since this behavior has only
> started recently, I am at a loss for why. I have not updated any
> packages nor added any.  It is almost like some 'tipping point' was
> reached wrt files, perhaps related to a thread discussion earlier
> concerning open files?  Has anyone else on the list seen behavior like
> this? And if so, have a recommendation on how to resolve it?

For what it is worth I don't think my processor usage spiked when the open file limit
was reached.  However things did slow and prevented any new logins until enough users
logged out and the file limit was no longer exceeded.  The limit I believe was due
solely to the fact that I use LDAP users.  If you don't use LDAP it is unlikely that you
see this problem, I also had 75 or more concurrent users to reach this limit plus email
sessions from a different server.

However if you use LDAP you may just want to try increasing the file limit to see if it
helps, you need to reboot the server to be certain it takes effect.

I assume the amount of students concurrently logging in hasn't changed.  Did you or the
students change the homepage?  If so the extra graphics loading of if the new pages
contain flash, this might be causing a problem.

Are there any stale process left on logout?

Just some thoughts,

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