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Thread: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Ubuntu defaults to the "Anticipatory" IO scheduler on boot up, when there is heavy disk IO by processes or applications running in background this can cause response issues that can be allievated by changing to "Completely Fair Queuing" IO.

    I have taken these instructions (and take no credit for them!) from the thread at:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=119220

    To have the scheduler set to cfq on boot, pass elevator=cfq to the kernel.

    You can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add it to the kernel line for your current kernel, and add it to the end of the #nonaltoptions line to have it automatically applied to future installed kernels (do not remove the # at the beginning of the line!).


    For some related documentation for those who are curious about the difference between the "Completely Fair Queuing" or "Anticipatory" IO schedulers:

    http://www.redhat.com/magazine/008ju...es/schedulers/
    Regards, David.
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  2. #2
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    Question have high disk IO

    [I]Hi dcstar...
    I'm not sure I'm reading this right. It's '2' inserts?

    1:You can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add it to the kernel line for your current kernel,
    Which is after the 'defaults' section?
    and again; after : quiet splash?
    and then...
    2: and add it to the end of the #nonaltoptions line to have it automatically applied to future installed kernels (do not remove the # at the beginning of the line!).
    I'm pretty much doing this, asap~ guess i'll leave the post, anyway!
    Thanks much!

  3. #3
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    Re: have high disk IO

    Quote Originally Posted by stanz
    [I]Hi dcstar...
    I'm not sure I'm reading this right. It's '2' inserts?

    1:You can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add it to the kernel line for your current kernel,
    Which is after the 'defaults' section?
    and again; after : quiet splash?
    and then...
    2: and add it to the end of the #nonaltoptions line to have it automatically applied to future installed kernels (do not remove the # at the beginning of the line!).
    I'm pretty much doing this, asap~ guess i'll leave the post, anyway!
    Thanks much!
    Yes, add it to your current kernel boot line to use now, and put it in the "#nonaltoptions" place if don't want to manually have to redo it after a kernel upgrade.
    Regards, David.
    Please use the Forum search and Wiki search for immediate help
    Please mark your thread as Solved when appropriate
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  4. #4
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    Wink Ubuntu more responsive

    Hi dcstar,
    Thanks for the info & reply. That was getting 'pretty deep', for me, not making
    changes like that.
    I'm trying to figure out, why my system takes sooo long to boot & load up.
    It's close to a minute, with firefox taking longer to load, which don't seem right.
    This is what brings me here~ trying to figure this out.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Thank you for the howto. I did not know about these options in linux and I was actually looking for something similar since I have a tendency to have a lot of apps doing background work while I surf and such.

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldBuggie
    Thank you for the howto. I did not know about these options in linux and I was actually looking for something similar since I have a tendency to have a lot of apps doing background work while I surf and such.
    Let us know if it makes a difference to you.
    Regards, David.
    Please use the Forum search and Wiki search for immediate help
    Please mark your thread as Solved when appropriate
    New to technical forums?: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Ok,

    To verify:

    Code:
    # cat /sys/block/hd*/queue/scheduler
    noop [anticipatory] deadline cfq
    noop [anticipatory] deadline cfq
    noop [anticipatory] deadline cfq
    To change it on the fly:

    Code:
    # echo cfq > /sys/block/hda/queue/scheduler
    # echo cfq > /sys/block/hdb/queue/scheduler
    # echo cfq > /sys/block/hdc/queue/scheduler
    # cat /sys/block/hd*/queue/scheduler
    noop anticipatory deadline [cfq]
    noop anticipatory deadline [cfq]
    noop anticipatory deadline [cfq]
    Last edited by geofs; April 16th, 2006 at 11:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    And to add to the theme, I have recently custom compiled the 2.6.16 kernel and actually set this option as the default in my system (actually didn't compile the code for the others, wasn't going to use them anyway!).

    BTW, there seem to be a few options in regards to trading off desktop responsiveness versus "under the hood" performance when it comes to building your own kernel, this sort of thing could be worth looking into for those who do need different things to what is built into the standard Ubuntu kernels.
    Last edited by dcstar; April 16th, 2006 at 11:54 PM.
    Regards, David.
    Please use the Forum search and Wiki search for immediate help
    Please mark your thread as Solved when appropriate
    New to technical forums?: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Hello, while mucking around my old dist-upgrade menu.lst to import to a fresh install of dapper, I noticed that the #nonaltoptions line is now missing, and the "elevator=cfq" option was appended to the #defoption line
    Code:
    # defoptions=quiet splash elevator=cfq
    Is this now the default? If so guess this howto needs an update or addendum? Maybe in breezy and lower it's still the same.

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Make Ubuntu more responsive when you have high disk IO

    Quote Originally Posted by LordMau View Post
    Hello, while mucking around my old dist-upgrade menu.lst to import to a fresh install of dapper, I noticed that the #nonaltoptions line is now missing, and the "elevator=cfq" option was appended to the #defoption line
    Code:
    # defoptions=quiet splash elevator=cfq
    Is this now the default? If so guess this howto needs an update or addendum? Maybe in breezy and lower it's still the same.
    So it would seem. Could the howto be updated to reflect this?
    I love this smiley!

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