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Thread: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

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  1. #1
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    Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    Hello!

    I did not find any search results for this constellation of problems, so I decided to post a new thread for this.

    Despite a working broadband connection (I have already checked this with my ISP), I have problems with the following Internet applications:


    • Flash videos (such as Youtube) do not work despite having installed the correct flash plugins. When trying to play a video, the browser becomes very choppy with a never-ending "transferring data from address x" or "awaiting response from address x" at the bottom of the screen.
    • Gmail (through browser) works slowly and sending any e-mails does not work at all. When trying to send an e-mail, the browser gets stuck as with Youtube. I have an e-mail account to my university on a browser-based Outlook Web Application. The same problem appears: I can read my e-mail quite well (apparently because the application is lighter) but sending e-mails is impossible.
    • Facebook works very choppily and certain functions, such as accepting friend invitations, work on a very long delay or not at all (same as with Gmail)
    • Submitting filled-out forms (such as when registering an account on some website) works often very slowly or not at all. The same symptoms as with e-mail and Facebook.
    • In general, heavy pages with lots of content, such as newspaper homesites, work slower than my bandwidth (1 Mbit ADSL) should allow. They work nevertheless, although surfing is sometimes frustrating because of the delays. The general working of the operating system is also quite slow: there is a noticeable delay when launching applications from the left-side menu (I am using the Unity desktop).

    I mostly use my computer for videos/e-mail/Facebook, so these are the problems I encounter.

    I am running Ubuntu 12.04 with all the latest updates installed and the latest version of Firefox. I have tried different browsers, such as Opera and Epiphany, and the problem persisted. Earlier I had Ubuntu 8.04. It worked overall faster, but the problems with Internet were exactly the same. I used to have a parallel installation of Windows XP Pro with Internet Explorer, which had no problems with the above mentioned functions. It was a bit slow compared to the previous connection, but everything did work.

    My computer has a 1.8 GHz AMD Athlon 1800 XP+ CPU and 1.5 GB of RAM. I suppose this should be enough for Ubuntu 12.04 to work smoothly, but I'm not sure.

    My overview of the possible diagnostics:

    • Internet connection. It should be OK, because according to my ISP the line works smoothly and the speed is a full ~120 KB / sec. A curious coincidence, however, is that the Internet problems first appeared when I moved to a new apartment and at the same time changed the ISP. At that time I was still on 8.04. It is difficult to explain the Internet problems with the ISP, however, because with Windows everything worked alright even in the new place.
    • Operating system / browser. I have installed all the relevant plugins mentioned in the Ubuntu FAQ and Ubuntu Wiki, so I don't know what could be wrong.
    • Hardware?

    I am now considering switching my OS to Windows. I suppose other options could be finding a fix on 12.04 or finding some better (lighter?) Linux distro.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions/questions/help!


    EDIT: The problems with sending e-mails / Facebook and the general slowness of the OS were solved. The former was solved by setting the appropriate MTU in the network settings and the latter by changing to Lubuntu desktop. The problem with Flash remains, for which I started a new thread here.
    Last edited by paranat; October 21st, 2012 at 07:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    One more try...

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    It's hard to tell what's wrong with one's internet connection without knowing the details. Generally, Ubuntu seems to work well for many, and not very well for some, in which case, we would need info on the type of connection, the ISP, networking hardware, etc, to be able to help.
    What kind of modem/router do you use? What's the name of the ISP. Are you behind a proxy (for example, on a university campus)? Is the line shared with other people?
    What's the output of 'lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net' from a terminal window.

  4. #4
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    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    If you are sure that it's not just a bandwidth issue (I have seen very similar problems on a DSL connection with marginal SNR) then the next thing that comes to mind is some kind of MTU conflict - sometimes referred to as 'black hole router' - pretty good explanation here (it's MS but the behavior is not OS specific)

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/159211

    What kind of network hardware do you have (router / modem etc.)?

  5. #5
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    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    Thanks for the answers!

    It's hard to tell what's wrong with one's internet connection without knowing the details. Generally, Ubuntu seems to work well for many, and not very well for some, in which case, we would need info on the type of connection, the ISP, networking hardware, etc, to be able to help.
    What kind of modem/router do you use? What's the name of the ISP. Are you behind a proxy (for example, on a university campus)? Is the line shared with other people?
    What's the output of 'lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net' from a terminal window.
    I am using a Finnish ISP called Elisa Saunalahti. The modem/router model is BeWAN IAD A2100N ELISA. I'm not behind a proxy and the line is not shared with other people. It's a direct broadband connection via telephone line, speed is 1 Mbit down and something (less) up.

    The building is quite old and I'm wondering if poor condition of the line might be the reason, but the ISP did some remote measurements and they said the line is working well. One possible reason is that the phone cable running between the telephone plug and the modem is about 5 meters long, while according to the ISP it should be a maximum of 3 meters. According to them, the modem should be right next to the plug, while the cable from the modem to the computer can be longer. I still have this setting, because a) it is very difficult to have the modem next to the plug, b) I once tried moving the computer and the modem right next to the plug and the problem remained exactly the same, and c) with Windows the connection worked as it is.

    Output of "lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net":
    Code:
    00:04.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: NVIDIA Corporation nForce2 Ethernet Controller [10de:0066] (rev a1)
        Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. A7N8X Mainboard onboard nForce2 Ethernet [1043:80a7]
        Kernel driver in use: forcedeth
        Kernel modules: forcedeth
    If you are sure that it's not just a bandwidth issue (I have seen very similar problems on a DSL connection with marginal SNR) then the next thing that comes to mind is some kind of MTU conflict - sometimes referred to as 'black hole router' - pretty good explanation here (it's MS but the behavior is not OS specific)

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/159211

    What kind of network hardware do you have (router / modem etc.)?
    The only reason to think it's not a bandwidth issue is that I talked to the ISP customer service on the phone and they appeared to do some remote measurements and said the connection works fine... So I'm not sure. How do I test for SNR?

    I probably don't understand what the article is talking about, but I tried measuring the MTU with this command: ”sudo ping (my ip address) -f -l 1472”. The output is:
    Code:
    WARNING, probably rcvbuf is not enough to hold preload.
     PING 192.168.100.10 (192.168.100) 56(84) bytes of data.
    And below there is a flashing line of dots, and it seems to be going on and on with no result. I shut down the terminal after 10-15 minutes. Did I do something wrong – how to identify a black hole router?

  6. #6
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    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    My apologies - since that's a Microsoft article the version of the 'ping' command will be slightly different for Linux - maybe try something like

    Code:
    ping -s 1472 -c 4 -M do google.com
    This is what I get:

    Code:
    $ ping -s 1472 -c 4 -M do google.com
    PING google.com (74.125.226.9) 1472(1500) bytes of data.
    1480 bytes from yyz06s05-in-f9.1e100.net (74.125.226.9): icmp_req=1 ttl=56 time=17.6 ms
    1480 bytes from yyz06s05-in-f9.1e100.net (74.125.226.9): icmp_req=2 ttl=56 time=17.6 ms
    1480 bytes from yyz06s05-in-f9.1e100.net (74.125.226.9): icmp_req=3 ttl=56 time=20.0 ms
    1480 bytes from yyz06s05-in-f9.1e100.net (74.125.226.9): icmp_req=4 ttl=56 time=18.1 ms
    
    --- google.com ping statistics ---
    4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3004ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 17.609/18.348/20.021/0.994 ms
    whereas if I try MTU > 1500 I get

    Code:
    $ ping -s 1474 -c 4 -M do google.com
    PING google.com (74.125.226.3) 1474(1502) bytes of data.
    From 192.168.1.102 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
    From 192.168.1.102 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
    From 192.168.1.102 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
    From 192.168.1.102 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
    
    --- google.com ping statistics ---
    0 packets transmitted, 0 received, +4 errors

  7. #7
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    Re: Problems with internet applications despite having the required packages - 12.04

    Quote Originally Posted by steeldriver View Post

    Code:
    ping -s 1472 -c 4 -M do google.com
    This is what I get:
    With the code
    Code:
    ping -s 1472 -c 4 -M do google.com
    I get:

    Code:
    atte@aten:~$ ping -s 1472 -c 4 -M do google.com
    PING google.com (173.194.32.0) 1472(1500) bytes of data.
    From aten.Elisa (192.168.100.10) icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1460)
    From aten.Elisa (192.168.100.10) icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1460)
    From aten.Elisa (192.168.100.10) icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1460)
    From aten.Elisa (192.168.100.10) icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1460)
    
    --- google.com ping statistics ---
    0 packets transmitted, 0 received, +4 errors
    Whereas if I set the MTU value 100 lower, I get:

    Code:
    atte@aten:~$ ping -s 1372 -c 4 -M do google.com
    
    PING google.com (173.194.32.9) 1372(1400) bytes of data.
    1380 bytes from arn06s01-in-f9.1e100.net (173.194.32.9): icmp_req=1 ttl=56 time=42.2 ms
    1380 bytes from arn06s01-in-f9.1e100.net (173.194.32.9): icmp_req=2 ttl=56 time=42.2 ms
    1380 bytes from arn06s01-in-f9.1e100.net (173.194.32.9): icmp_req=3 ttl=56 time=41.7 ms
    1380 bytes from arn06s01-in-f9.1e100.net (173.194.32.9): icmp_req=4 ttl=56 time=41.4 ms
    
    --- google.com ping statistics ---
    4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3004ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 41.462/41.926/42.299/0.344 ms
    So it appears that my MTU is between 1400 and 1500, when the maximum for an Ethernet cable should be 1500 (right?). What to make out of this?

    Edit:
    Out of this...
    Code:
    From aten.Elisa (192.168.100.10) icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1460)
    ...I could assume that my MTU is 1460. Is this normal - could it cause the problems?
    Last edited by paranat; October 19th, 2012 at 06:42 PM.

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