[maemo-users] Dealing with N900 responsiveness (or lack of thereof)

From: Dawid Lorenz adl at adl.pl
Date: Mon Feb 22 17:43:28 EET 2010
Is this only my N900 @PR1.1 or others also experience overall device
sluggishness after ~2-3 days of uptime? There is semi-identified problem
with hildon-home hogging CPU time for few seconds on each wakeup from
standby [1], however that's "fixable" by *killall hildon-home* and re-adding
widgets to desktop. Most likely case is memory leak in one of the widgets on
desktop, however that hasn't been determined yet.

Apart from hildon-home, I've noticed my N900 is still misbehaving after few
days since last reboot. Namely, it becomes very unresponsive at times, to
the point where -- for example -- I can hear incoming call ringtone, but
screen doesn't really catch-up, so I don't even have opportunity to see who
is calling, not to mention taking that call. This is obviously quite
annoying, however I am very far away from taking "reboot your device every
second day" advice as a solution.

What I am suspecting here is swap (over)usage. It does only seem to grow
over time, rather than going down when I close unused apps, for example.
Physical RAM, on the other hand, usually sticks around 180-200MB of use,
regardless of apps opened in the background. I've seen browserd takes quite
a lot of memory resources, so I usually do
restart*, which seems to release some memory, but not for very long tough.

Other thing I've noticed is system swappiness value, which is 100 by
default. What I've learned [2] is that 100 value favours moving stuff to
swap space quite frequently, which makes some sort of sense with experience
I've got. I have rebooted my N900 today and set swappiness value to 60 by *echo
60 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness*, however I am not sure whether that's right
way of setting this (article refers to /etc/sysctl.conf file which simply
doesn't exists in my rootfs, or perhaps is stored elsewhere). Anyway, I am
going to observe how system overall performance evolves over next couple of

Does anyone experience similar sort of problem in his/hers N900 and has some
thoughts on the topic? Any input would be appreciated. Apart from "reboot"
solution, of course.

[1] https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8723
[2] http://www.heysky.net/digest/2008/07/linux-memory-management.html

Dawid 'evad' Lorenz * http://adl.pl

null://real men never use Gmail
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